Do you know what’s the best time in the 4 years of pursuing engineering studies?

Well, it’s the phase when you have got campus placement in the third year and you are left with the entire 4th year to enjoy time with friends.

I got placed in one of the top IT companies in India in 2004 and for the next 1 year, I had a gala time with friends. But no good time lasts forever. It was May 2005 and we were left with just another month in college. We had no idea of what kind of future was waiting for us after joining the company. 

We wanted to live in that moment of bliss forever. The best way you can capture a moment is by writing. A friend named Subhra suggested to write a Souvenir for our batchmates. In no time, 13 people got together for this short assignment. Some of us locked ourselves in Subhra’s home for a week and went on with the job in hand.

I had no interest in doing anything about Souvenir. Even till today, I don’t know why they chose me to be a part of the writing team. The rest of the folks in the group were better in terms of studies and I thought they were more suited for the work which was about to start. 

The only reason I stayed back with them was I would spend a few days with friends for one last time.

For the first two days, there were heated debates about the content, structure and formatting of the book. As expected, I had nothing to add to the discussion. By the third day, everyone was up to something and I was sitting idle. There were still 3 to 4 days to go and it started to get a bit mundane with nothing to do as other friends started going about their business.

On the fourth day, I picked a pen and paper and started scribbling some random thoughts. After few hours, I wrote something which finally made some sense to me. It was a four-line poem about a friend. When I showed the poem to friends, they loved it. I wrote a few more and they liked those poems as well. So, I decided to write poems for all 93 friends in my class.

When we departed from Subhra’s place after a week, I was feeling really happy and accomplished. For the first time in the entire 4 years of college, I felt I had done something worthwhile. When the Souvenir got released, all the friends were really happy to read the poems. I thought probably it was the beginning of a new journey.

I joined my first job in a prestigious organization a few months later and soon forget about writing as the focus shifted to learning new technology and other skills. This was in July 2005.

One fine day, in mid-2008, some random thought pushed me to write again. This time, I enjoyed writing articles and those were well-received by friends and colleagues. I was an active member of the environment club of the company that worked on various sustainability initiatives. Some of my writings got published in company newsletters. I got an opportunity to meet the Chief Sustainability Officer of my organization. I sent him some of my articles and he really liked those.

For one article, he complimented, “This article is of International standard.”

I was on cloud nine and brimful of confidence. I was determined to write every day and push my limits. I fancied writing my first book in 2009. But there were days when no new thought came to mind and I couldn’t write anything. The more I wrote, the more I encountered such lean spells. Slowly, a fear crept inside my mind that probably I would run out of ideas and I won’t be able to write good articles. Then came a moment when I completely stopped writing.

10 years went by just like a whisker and I didn’t write anything during that time.

In all these years, only one person was the custodian of my dream and she is none other than my mother. She was the happiest person when I told her about my intention of book-writing for the first time. When I stopped writing altogether, she reminded me from time to time to start writing again.

I was still far away from being a regular writer, rather I was someone who had a distant dream of writing a book one fine day.

In Jan 2019, my brother Sujit gifted me a diary and a pen on the occasion of New Year. I asked him why he wasted money on such things as those were of no use to me. I kept both the things on my desk and forgot about them.

After two weeks, I was about to close my laptop after a long day at work when my eyes caught sight of the dairy. That left me steady and unblinking for a couple of moments. I thought of writing something as my brother had gifted it with so much love. But there were no thoughts in my mind that were worthy of writing on a fresh new diary. So, I started writing a to-do list for the very next day. On the next day, I again opened the diary to write the to-do list for the subsequent day. In the next couple of months, I became more regular in writing my daily activities.

Thanks to running, I started to pen down few running experiences on social media. Initially, I used to write short notes of 4 to 5 lines about my running. One day, I wrote a longer story about running a particular event and a friend named Sudheer Gopidi complimented on Facebook, “You write very well. Gripping. You must consider authoring a book soon”. That day, my dream of writing my first book back in 2009 got rekindled after a decade.

In October 2019, coincidently I joined a three-month seminar by Ravi Kumar Sapata about fulfilling life’s goals. One of my goals during that time was to write regularly. The structure of the program helped me to get back to writing after a break. Thanks to Amit Mathur and Ugo Ogbonnaya who held me accountable to complete my assignments. At the end of three months, I was writing more frequently than any previous time.

In 2019, I completed TRORT Marathon, Bengaluru Marathon and Bengaluru Ultra Marathon and these experiences helped me to write more often. During the COVID-19 lockdown, running and writing were the greatest tools that helped me to deal with anxiety, depression, loneliness and every other thing that didn’t work for me.

I appeared for a job interview in the later part of 2020. During the managerial round discussion, most of my answers were excerpts from the articles that I had written 5 to 6 months back. The thoughts were original and I could be just myself while sharing my ideas. That resonated with the interviewer and I finally cracked the interview.

I started running and that inspired my writing. My upcoming book “Anybody Can Run” is a result of the effort that has gone in the last five to six years towards running.

But it started back in 2005 when the friends showed faith on me and that made all the difference. That marked the beginning of this wonderful journey of being a writer.

The Gold Dust

  • Running is much more than just a fitness program. 
  • Pen down your thoughts after each run.
  • The more you write, the more it will heal you.

A pen is mightier than a sword. Isn’t it?

Otherwise, how could I have connected with you sitting thousands of miles apart?

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