(It was supposed to post yesterday while I was sleeping, but the Blogger Gods were obviously displeased, so I’m publishing this manually today.)
When I was six, I came back from school one day and told my shocked parents a helicopter had landed in the school grounds and given us kids rides. At this point, I had never watched television, (in my home country, India, televisions made a rather late entry), leave alone see a helicopter in real life or on celluloid.
But according to my father (who knew all about planes and helicopters, thanks to his youthful ambitions of joining the air force that came to naught because of his eyesight) I described the pilot, the helicopter interiors, the fan and the wind with so much conviction and accuracy that he was tempted to rush off to my school. He stopped because my mother reminded him of all the fanciful tales I was always telling them on a daily basis.
Years later when I was studying English literature, my father told me of his reaction to my story, adding as an aside: Never stop writing, one day you’ll know why. Write anything, a list, a letter, an essay, a page in a diary, but make sure you write something every single day.
I did. All through my professional life before I got married, I kept dabbling at writing, and yes, I wrote something every day.
Once I was married, my husband kept at me– you should write, he said. You wrote me such beautiful mails. He ferried me to and from classes and writers’ meets and workshops, and here I am today, scribbling away, publishing a few, finally able to call myself a writer.
To me, the memory of that helicopter ride I told my parents is vivid, real (that is how reliable our childhood memories are!). Who knows, perhaps I did not make it up, and helicopters actually landed in our obscure town of hinterland India. Whatever it was, a dream, a story, my imagination, the origins of my writing lie somewhere there.
I can now lie and make up stories on a daily basis, and even be proud of it!
How did you begin your journey as a writer?