When I was in high school, I wanted to be a journalist. It was least fancy for others to see me be so passionate about a profession that was totally unrewarded and disregarded at that time. Mom and Dad were super progressive as long as writing or journalism was a penchant and not a profession. I wanted to be Christine Amanpour. I was so in awe by her, even when my Dad teased me that I would be a she-man if I aspired to be her. It may not have been complimentary but I was so ready to be her, just like her. But what I wanted to be the profession of my heart never took off.
I followed my parents’ dream of becoming a doctor, not that I became one. Some days I even pretended I wanted to be one, since serving came circumstantially. By the time I was 12, I had already cleaned the blood-laden wounds of my Peddananna (father-like), taken care of my Pedamma (mom’s sister) while she forgot me one day at a time. I even swore to serve those suffering from Alzheimer when she was tied to a pole like a mad dog by her only son, because she had wandered off. Only that, I could never be as devoted to complete such rigorous education and then be able to called noble. There was fire in my belly that burned to do something that was righteous soon and early. And journalism was that for me. So I could be the voice for those whose voice is not heard or has been silenced. To be the unseen face behind the words that were powerful and impactful touching even the brazen.
I pursued Pharmacy and probably would’ve been good at it if I continued with it, through my journey across the seas. Even when I was studying, I’d sit for hours thinking of how I could do both Journalism and Pharmacy simultaneously. After all, the Journalism school was right next to ours. Like a run away bride, I get thoughts of disowning the half-prestigious white coat (we were still in times where the pharmacist was thought to be a compounder at the doctor’s office – a lowly peon) as it wasn’t what a doctor would wear and who was always at a higher pedestal. In all seriousness, I wondered what doctors would do without the drugs we made.
Somewhere in between, I had huge arguments with my parents of atleast letting me be a lawyer. But, lawyers wore black coats and it was not acceptable. Mom, being mom, taunted me that lawyers are liars. I still fight with her that if she’d let me, I’d be an amazing immigration lawyer or atleast pursued my latest craze of being in Cyber law. But when do silly dreams come true. They don’t. Reality always trumped any little wish I may have had because of the sinking market value any journalist or a lawyer may have had at that time. After all, the daughter of elite professors cannot be in any profession that is not perceived as prestigious. Recently, I learned that what they had at that time was indeed peer-pressure (if anyone thought it is a Gen-X term) and it has continually evolved to be of the same repute as it was eons ago.
Through ill-fated relationships and relatives, I struggled with my own identity. Wavering from being ugly to fat to dark to manly to muscular to unworthy, I found it hard to evolve for a decade. After a 2003 publication, I stopped writing for nearly a decade. To the point, I forgot what was it to be in love with my own words. I’d write a poem or two every year for the sake of writing. It wasn’t from the heart. Professions changed, life changed, things happened, I lost a parent and yet there was this gap I could never fill. I’d try so many times but each time I did, someone or the other would intercept with some invisible evil that I would never accomplish anything.
As I’ve always said, 2012 is the year I call my rebirth. They’ve been other rebirth too especially after a life threatening situation, a couple of accidents that one never comes out alive from, but I did. That year, was the rebirth of my spirit. Maybe, because all those who buried me never thought I’d be a seed cared for. That seed that was buried deep became a sapling. Rest is history. I started writing again with vengeance. There was both venom and love in the words that followed. It was start of who I always wanted to become. Create history. Whether people chose to read or judge, the more I wrote, the more powerful I felt. I rose through every crisis, criticism and distress. The world may have taken away so many things from me, but it just couldn’t take the ‘Amanpour’ out of me.