Never give up

August 31, 2010

This post is dedicated to the fabulous, hard-working interns in my office. Just a reminder that the journey to your destination doesn’t always mimic a direct flight; it’s more like a bumpy bus ride with many transfers.

My love affair with words started with solving the “Word Power” section of Reader’s Digest.

I remember waiting for mom to come home with her free copy of the magazine from office every month. As a full time banker, homemaker and mother, she hardly had time to relish those everyday stories, but they were a treat for me.

The stories gave me company at bedtime, they made me laugh, weep, think, analyze – they made me understand how much power words wielded over me.

I wondered if my words would ever evoke similar emotions in other people.

My parents, as regular readers of this blog are aware, never indulged my fantasies, though. Journalism could not even be conceived of as a career; writing was something one did to pass one’s time.

Young as I was, I followed their advice and started logging my daily journal which sometimes took the form of verse.

Sometimes, I would share my poems with teachers at school and it was because of their encouragement that I entered a poetry contest organized by UNICEF – and won it!

I was exhilarated. A 16-year-old does not need more than this to feel on top of the world.

This was also the time, when I had to decide which stream of study I wanted to pursue. I chose Science over Commerce and the Arts. My love for writing was, for a period of time, overshadowed by my intrigue (and, to be honest, parental pressure) for learning more about the scientific constructs of life. I tried to envision myself as a doctor.

But then I fainted.

While dissecting a rat.

The only one in the class to be overwhelmed by the sight of blood.

Out went that half-nurtured vision of being a doctor. Replaced, within weeks, by the next best alternative: a psychologist.

I convinced myself I could still be good at dissecting…except that this time I’d be dissecting minds.

After reading my thesis on what motivates Indian women to work despite the lack of social support, my psychology teacher in graduate school thought I would make a better writer than psychologist.

No matter what I chose, words would always came back to haunt me.

I had started contributing subjective essays and poetry to various publications by now, and writing just seemed such a natural thing to do. As much as my parents tried to dissuade me, my resolve to take up journalism as a career strengthened over time.

I joined a publication house in Mumbai, to prove my mettle, not only to my parents but also to myself. My measly pay was not enough to sustain my physical being, but my work satisfied my intellectual cravings.

My love affair continued.

And my quest for a meaningful and satisfying journalistic career took me to The University of Iowa for formal training, much to my parents’ chagrin.

Fast forward a couple of years, and I can proudly recount for you the various hats I’ve worn: freelancer, corporate communications coordinator, health reporting intern, editorial consultant, writer/editor, blogger…here I am halfway across the world from where my love affair first started, savoring my tryst with words.

As I see you — OMC interns — graduating, asking me for words of wisdom, with dreams in your eyes and confusion clouding your minds, all I have to say is: Dream your dream and remind yourself of it every day. The path to its realization might not be a straight one, but if you’re resolute and passionate, one day you’ll be able to turn it into reality.

Yes, you can.

And I know you will.
16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F Never give up

dp seal trans 16x16 Never give upCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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5 Responses to Never give up

  1. Dave Roy on September 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Very inspiring! I hope they read it and take it to heart.

    So you went to the University of Iowa (*cough*) straight from India?

  2. MansiNo Gravatar on September 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks, Dave.
    And, yep — straight from my little hometown to Iowa City — my new home.
    As for the (*cough*): Once a Hawkeye… :-)

  3. Imroz AdeebNo Gravatar on September 2, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Hey Mansi,
    This is a great read and what I found really encouraging is that you didn’t a straight line path to where you are today. It gives me a lot of courage that maybe some day I might also make my dreams come true (I’m a budding writer myself…how good..well time will tell!). I find myself utterly confused as to which direction I want to take my life, like I don’t really know what to do it with it :P But its great to see someone else who has taken the risks and reaped the rewards is always wonderful. Writing has been the only constant and the only escape I have had and still do, I make a decent living out of it too, but I believe my journey as only begun and I have a long way to go before I can rest. Thank you for the words…All the best to you. Also if you could visit my blog and give me some feedback. That would be great!

  4. Bryan GiraNo Gravatar on September 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’m not sure if this makes any sense or not but I ‘hear’ so much of myself, of my own thoughts in this as well as many other of your Posts.

    I’ve wanted to be Writer from as far back as I can remember but like you, it just wasn’t a ‘money maker’ and so the dream was put on a shelf, never to be seen again.

    Until now. Fast forward thru my entire life and ‘Readers Digest’ version, I’ve lost everything and I’m forced to start my entire life over. And this time, I’m going to do things completely differently.

    I’m going to do what I ‘want’ to do with my life, not what I feel I ‘should’ do. And I know that once I make my first dollar(fingers crossed. lol) with my writing, that will confirm the fact that I’m truly on the correct path. The path of my dreams.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. ;)


    • MansiNo Gravatar on September 3, 2010 at 6:50 am

      Thank YOU, Brian for validating my journey and renewing my confidence, too. I love that you’re pursuing what you want to do — better late than never, right?


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