Celebrating A Year Of Writing by Indu Balakrishnan

Time will not slow down when something unpleasant lies ahead  – JK Rowling, Harry Potter Series 

The difference between a rebel and a patriot depends upon who is in power at the moment. –  Sidney Sheldon, The Sands of Time

The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience – Mark Manson 

We never lose our demons, Mordo. We only learn to live above them. – The Ancient One, Doctor Strange

He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy – Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Some lines have been written so well, I read them and wish I had written them. Simple, yet profound. So profound, that it seems so obvious. And that much more impressive. 

I have always wanted to write. I never realised it consciously, I suppose. My first story was written when I was in class 8. My mother had joined me for an english class in the summer and this teacher was very broad minded. She never told me what to write. She just told me to write. I remember my story very well. Having read Famous Five and Nancy Drew, my plot was about a girl finding a secret stairway behind a shelf and a treasure map. Wasn’t very original, now that you think of it, but I will always remember the story nevertheless. The teacher was impressed and she made all the right noises, asking me to continue writing. 

Well, you know that hardly happens. What does happen is life. Board exams. Teen pressure. Peer pressure. College. Sports. Then my job. Then marriage. Kids. Pets. Life. All these seemed to come in the way of me and that pen. Well computer. You know what I mean. I can say they were more distractions than roadblocks. Things that had to be done but should not be the only thing you do, yes? 

I am a writer by profession. Did I tell you that?  After my second child was born, I was dying to get back to work. I studied my masters but could not apply for a job because of all the shuttle work that comes with being a parent. I needed a job that I could do from home. Flexible. Interesting. Something I would do despite the distractions. 

A good friend suggested taking up a freelance job as a writer. I will always remain grateful to him for that idea and push. I started applying and I got the very first job I had signed up for. Things worked very well. I was doing very well. I realised I could get a full-time job. And in a couple of years, when I got braver, I did. And got very lucky at the very first try. 

Yes I was writing. But I did not write for myself. And that was the key. Writing for clients and winning deals for the company, yes that is indeed a big accomplishment. But when you write for yourself, there is something truly beautiful and satisfying in it; isn’t it?

And then the pandemic hit. Everyone was home all the time. It became harder to just be. Two friends and I started a WhatsApp group to discuss what we could do to do what we love. And voila. We started Filter Coffee and French Toast. A platform for the three of us to speak about the most normal and obvious and mundane things. What we hope will strike a chord among our readers. Make a difference. Inspire. Laugh. Resonate. And make us feel good about ourselves. Lord knows, we need this more than anything else today. 

Many people lost a lot during these challenging times. And many found themselves. Thanks to my partners @ Filter Coffee And French Toast, I started writing diligently. Am doing my best to explore and exercise my writing skills. I hope to publish my book someday. For that, I need to write it. And this platform gives me the time, energy and confidence that I can do it. 

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. And bring a smile. 

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