I am, like nearly half the population in India, qualified to be a software engineer. By nature, I am:
- very out-going (I’m frequently turned out of the house for cracking corny jokes)
- generally perceived to possess an enviable sense of humour (a useful quality in one aspiring to be a humorist)
- an exceptional pianist – my skills lie in being able to drive the neighbours out of house and home
- very bad at cooking…though that is germane to the issue
- a true Gemini
What struggles? I’ve never struggled in my life! Actually, I’ve had rather an easy time of it. When I was three, I went with my parents for an interview for admission to kindergarten. The kindly lady asked me some simple question, which I answered with an almighty bawl. The poor woman took me in just to stop my howling, which, by all accounts, was audible within a five-mile radius.
The kindergarten teachers regularly updated the parents about their wards’ progress. During one such parent-teacher tête-à-tête, my mother gave vent to her concern that, like my sister, I too would turn out to be a quiet child. You know, the kind of kid that keeps brooding in a corner of the room. My teacher, on hearing my mother’s concern, grimly informed her that her fears were completely unfounded – I was quite unlike my sister. In fact, she said, I chattered so much that she would soon be forced to tape my mouth shut.
It is precisely for this reason that I became a writer.
Everyone thought it would be a splendid idea if, instead of exercising my vocal chords so much and so frequently, I transferred my spoken gems to paper. It would augur far better for my future, they said. And so, here I am.
The first piece of fiction I wrote was when I sent in a leave application to my boss. Oh sorry, actually it was much before that. Let me just jog the memory cells a bit.
Ah yes! It was at age 12, when I was giving my exam for English Literature. The question paper demanded a story involving an aeroplane.
I remember that all the time while I was writing, the invigilator stood behind me reading my output, having long abandoned her invigilation duties. At that time I thought my story was brilliant. But now I realise we were both (the invigilator and I) off our rockers.
A plot in which a plane full of grown-up, mature adults mistakenly believed an alarm clock to be a time-bomb, was juvenile, to say the least.