Debashri Banerjee, a content creator and published author of ‘The Bobby Pins and Other Short Stories’ writes about how she decided to break free from social expectations and pursue her passion as a career. Over her journey, she had to fight not only prejudice but also writer’s block!
As I come back from yet another felicitation ceremony, I sit down and ponder how my hard work and exercise of my free will are paying me back after years. To all the younger people out there reading this piece, I encourage you to follow your passion and keep your spirits free. I have been writing since the tender age of 16. I didn’t write too well then, I made several mistakes. But that’s how you learn.
Considering that I was a shy, docile introvert, it was pretty difficult to inform the world that I loved writing and I would like to pursue it professionaly. That’s where my first ‘struggle for freedom’ started. 90s was a beautiful period of transition – a transition from traditional methodologies to affairs driven by technology. In a period like that, as a student, you were expected to follow age-old fields of medical, engineering or the blossoming management. Above all this was computer science. Every young lad wanted to study the same, no wonder why the burst of the Dot Com Bubble in 2000 saw the flooding of unemployed software engineers.
I, on the flip side, looked like an odd-one-out-buffoon who wanted to write! So as expected, my family got the idea the least. Life took its own share of twists and turns. I pursued my Master’s in Communication Studies from Madras Christian College, Chennai. And I took jobs in writing from day one. Be it marketing and communications, B2B marketing, corporate communication, or Search Engine Optimization, I invested myself in the writing wing. Writing brought several problems with itself– you are required to deliver content in a matter of 30 minutes, there is no scope for writers’ block, and you have to write no matter what – but all these teach you in abundance. I failed, I got up, I failed again and still got up. All this while, I kept carrying that vivacious ambition to author a book someday. Meanwhile, I had developed a well-managed blog of my own where I would put up all my features related to travel, short stories, poems, interviews, satire, opinion articles and much more.
Finally, in the month of February, 2017, I officially launched my first book “The Bobby Pins and Other Short Stories”. This book is a compilation of 13 short stories exploring themes like social media addiction, a hit and run case, stories of acid attack victims and widows, etc. They reveal the dark side of our society. It is my freedom of thinking, the capability to weave stories and ability to reach out to the common audience, that I have managed to come this far. I have come a long way in my life and still, there is a long way to go.
On that note, I would like to earnestly ask you to pursue what your heart says but at the same time, be realistic. Freedom of speech, writing and thought process comes at a cost. Make sure, yours is positive, good for the society and has a great value for the generation coming up. All of you reading this, just aim to hone your skills and contribute them constructively to the society you are living in, no matter whether it is writing, music, arts or anything else. Explore your world more and more.
Happy Independence Day,
Debashri says, “Freedom of speech, writing and thought process comes at a cost.” Do you agree? Have you ever rebelled against elders to pursue a passion of yours? Tell us in the comments below!