I used to hate writing. Maybe it was because my handwriting was bad. Maybe it was because I was bad at English – it used to always end up pulling down my averages by a ong way. Maybe because I somehow got this feeling that writing is for girls. I did enter the odd creative writing competition just because my friends were entering, and write some juvenile rhymes. A couple of those rhymes were rewarded also. However, they didn’t spur me to write more.
Cut to Jan 2003. Saarang. Happened to have a long chat with a distant cousin whom I met after a gap of nearly six years. She is a big time writer (unfortunately doesn’t maintain an online journal). Writes all kind of serious stories and poetry (maybe because her sense of humor is lousy). Has published her stuff in the Newsletter of the Association of Descendants of my grandfather’s grandfather (phew!). She was fully engrossed in cracking the Saarang Creative Writing contest. Me happened to put in my two naya paise which she said she found inspirational. And she popped the question.
“SK, why don’t you write? I think it’s simply because you’re too lazy. I’m sure you can write really well if you can put in the effort.” I decided to give it a shot.
I enrolled myself as a correspondent for “the fourth estate”, the then students’ magazine of IITM. Was asked to cover some student elections. Article turned out to be highly scandalous. Me was branded as the “biggest yellow journalist in IITM”. Volunteered to do the newsletter at the following Saarang. Got the job. Continued writing for ‘the fourth estate’. One of my articles succeeded in splitting the editorial board. Me joined the breakaway faction and wrote for the “total perspective vortex” (at last count both these journals had shut down). And came to IIMB.
The great Kodhus (of the shorts fame)started “Twisted Shout” here. Its first article happened to be on me. Me decided to join the journal. Was made “head of political bureau”. Struggled initially. Kodhus wrote a story in four parts. My first contribution was to write the fifth part. Wasn’t so successful. Was asked to report on some internal literary events. Me started a tirade against the organizers. Even caused the cul-sec to make a drama of resignation. Of course, before putting in his papers, he had made sure they’d be rejected. Thanks to me, Twisted Shout lost all its contracts.
We continued to write. And I opened this journal. Other clubs gave us a few contracts which were duly completed. We got “footage of the year” award. I wrote my first independent article. After this came the “valentine’s day special”, a story in two parts written by Kodhus and myself. No other Twisted Shout publication had generated so much public adulation. I followed it up with two other stories in quick succession. Again ‘bestsellers’. And we continued to get the contracts.
Hit the pinnacle yesterday when I got the first contract by myself (all earlier contracts were due to Kodhus and swaadisht). Was asked to draft a press release. As I finished doing this, there was a special sense of accomplishment. I had come the whole hog. From someone who hated to write and thot he was lousy in English to someone who was the first person in campus to be approached when something had to be written…