Four years, a hundred pieces

Notes from Bali — photo by G.

This blog is now four years old. After stints on Rediffblogs, Blogspot, and Wordpress over nearly a decade, I landed here on July 10, 2017, when I started writing about my trip to Bhutan. It was like a new beginning, as if the visit to the beautiful mountain country had helped me hit the reset button.

This also happens to be my hundredth post, and I write it with gratitude for all the people who shaped my writing and gave me things to think about. The last year-and-a-half has been difficult, with writing fodder hard to come by (since most of my ranting goes into my journal); however, this blog still exists, thanks to you. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. While I can’t guarantee the quality of the “body of work” I’ve produced, I barely remember a trip or a time at home when I didn’t have a diary or an online journal.

I have something everyday to tell you. I decided, on an impulse, to take a couple of hours off work and go for a walk last week. It was an activity that would have been considered mundane in the world we once lived in. However, that afternoon, being out among strangers, masked as we were, there was a sense of excitement. I hadn’t been out alone since a work trip to Delhi a few months ago, and my few outings had been restricted to two other houses. To be outside walls, to feel the hum and honking of traffic, to bask in the warmth of the sun seeping through trees, was rejuvenating. I never thought I’d say this, but I enjoyed the passing vehicles. I felt the murmur of the trees that met over the road. I revelled in the little shopping I did, not strictly necessary, but small purchases to feed mental wellbeing. I realised how much I was in love with this planet, and that I would never want to be on a shuttle to outer space. I’m not adventurous enough. I like the familiarity of human beings and of the scenes I know so well. I like the company of strangers.

You could keep counting the lessons that the last several months have taught us — perhaps they have put us on an accelerated course to enlightenment, or set us back many years. We don’t know yet. But what I’m grateful for and appreciate today are the life and the joy that the company of other people brings, how we can escape from ourselves into other lives and enrich our own. And so I’m grateful for not just the people, but the writers who bring us their stories. I write because of them, and I write here because you read my work. I have always been wary of calling myself a “writer”, because I don’t produce masterpieces or make money from my work. But when I write, I forget everything else. Words are uplifting when I read, equally so when I write, because they help me think and put me back on the path where I’m meant to be. It helps that you read what I write, so thank you, because you keep me going. Come back for more stories.

A woman from many places.