The long wait of waiting for good things to happen did pay off. It paid off for me. Waiting for the contributor’s copy to reach home was also a tedious process of patiently waiting for it to reach home. The pandemic and the lockdown made the wait a long one.
The day I decided that I would start writing is a memory I still cherish. My naivete was quite evident. It was sometime midway through the year 2014, I decided I wanted to write for newspapers. Newspapers and the national broadcaster DD News were my only sources of news into my teens.
The wide world of private television channels entered my life only after I passed my 10th grade. It was not until I was enrolled into an undergraduate course I began to understand the world around me. The more I understood the world, the more I understood myself. And took the plunge into the world of writing.
I vividly remember the incident even today. Once I had decided I wanted to write, the first thing I thought of was sending a write up to a newspaper to be published in the editorial column. I picked up a few A-4 sheets and began writing a long post. I filled up five sheets in a heavily worded and long post.
High on excitement, I sent the pictures of the sheets of paper to a friend of mine who was a student of mass communication. The feedback I received gave me a reality check. I am grateful that my friend did not sugarcoat the message. The honest feedback I received helped me understand the quality of work needed to be published. My journey in the world of writing has been slow and steady.
The honesty displayed gave me the push to begin writing. I started a few blogs of my own. Within a year, I started three blogs. The first one – ‘Aspire!’. It was a place to put down my views and philosophize on my thoughts. I remember one post which I wanted to write. The topic for the post was female feticide. It was coming on the back of the episode of the popular weekend television show ‘Satyameva Jayate’ on female feticide. The post somehow morphed into a post on gender equality.
After such disasters in writing, I went to start two more blogs. One for my political views and the other for travel. My pace of writing was slow. Meandering about with an article a month. At this juncture, a couple of school friends came back into my life and The Critilizers’ was born.
But there was not much change. It was after I decided I wanted to change my professional focus to journalism and policy did Critilizers see content being published regularly. Since I have enrolled to study mass communication, I have expanded my writing portfolio and style.
In the process of expanding my portfolio, I stumbled onto an opportunity to get published in print. A newly relaunched magazine based out of Bhubaneshwar, ‘Kloud9′ with acclaimed writer Ruskin Bond at the helm of affairs as the Editor-in-Chief was looking for people to contribute content for the magazine.
The Vizag industrial gas leak still on my mind, I decided to write on the topic on industrial disasters. Incidents of fires and gas leaks do not make much of a headline unless they breach the threshold to become a Chernobyl or a Bhopal. My article titled ‘A Spate of Industrial Disasters Gone Unnoticed’ made it to the final layout of the magazine. The tag from the magazine on Instagram made my day.
Now, it was all about waiting for my copy to reach my doorstep. That wait was a long wait. I was tagged on the 15th of July on Instagram. With the lockdown still prevalent in a few states, I expected that travel from the capital city of Odisha to the capital of its neighbouring state Telangana would at the most take about a week. But the wait extended way beyond a week.
To calm my nerves, I remembered the advice to not worry about things that are not in my control. Paying heed to my advice, I decided to not bother about it. I had forgotten about it. One fine day, just I completed the online classes scheduled for the day; a package is waiting for me.
My mom informs me about a package that arrived for me. As I opened the cover, I was happy to find what was inside it. Resting within the packaging was the issue of the magazine in which my article was published. That wait proved to be quite sweet. And I was finally holding it in my hands, the issue of the publication that published my first article.