By Kanchana Banerjee
By Invite

I had a dream. Everyone has dreams but mine has been with me for years. It was a quiet murmur, a soft whisper which gradually grew louder. In the recent years it began screaming in my ears. Not letting me sleep.

When will you write the book you’ve always dreamt of? When will you be the author of your book? WHEN??

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to pen a book. As a child I went to book fairs holding my father’s hand I would look at the rows of books and dream. Later as I grew up and went to book shops by myself…walking through aisles of books around me, looking at titles by Indian authors, I would dream of the day when  my name, my book would be there too.

Will I ever be able to do it? Will I ever get published?

The fact that I was writing for publications and companies galore and not writing a book bothered me. Getting published seemed like a beautiful dream but a distant one.

2016, I published my first book with Harper Collins. I thought I was fulfilling a long cherished dream. Little did I know I was doing much more. So much more. We all make choices in our lives and so did I.

 I didn’t slink back into the bed of roses or my comfort zone.

Opportunity knocked many times on my door. A UNICEF project that would entail extensive travel. An editor’s job of a small but prestigious magazine…and others. It was like Destiny didn’t want to give up on me. It came to me again and again but I looked away. I walked away. But this didn’t stop me from looking at successful women with envy, not realizing the hard work and sacrifices they had to make for their work. The truth is that I didn’t take my work and myself seriously. I lacked courage to get out of my comfort zone and making good the opportunities that came to me. Willy-nilly I had chosen the easy path, the proverbial bed of roses and I was disgusted with myself for never pushing myself.

Kanchana Banerjee

They were my choices, my decisions. At the time they seemed to be the right thing to do but later with age, I began to regret them. In hindsight, my choices didn’t seem so right and I wished I had chosen differently. It’s a very peculiar kind of hell to be in when you can’t pin the blame on anyone. When you alone are responsible for the pulling the short straw, who do you blame? How do you kick yourself? Diminishing self-worth, ebbing self-confidence I didn’t like the person I had become. An unfulfilled dream is like a thorn, a small one that lies embedded deep inside, knawing at you, pricking and bleeding.

Writing a book is a commitment; a very tough one that’s often fraught with despair, frustration and hopelessness.

The book changed me in a way nothing else has. It restored my faith and belief in me. Writing a book is a commitment; a very tough one that’s often fraught with despair, frustration and hopelessness. There are days when nothing makes sense. The words don’t flow and you hate yourself and the world for embarking on this journey. The fact that I endured, stayed on course and didn’t give in like I had often done in the past was the birth of a new me. I didn’t take the easy path. I woke up every morning at 4 am to write for 6-7 hours a days. I didn’t slink back into the bed of roses or my comfort zone. I didn’t want to prove anything to the world. I did it to prove to myself that I can do it. This isn’t about money or fame. Chasing a dream can never be about money. It has to be much larger. This is about me. 2016 will be the most important year in my life. It’s the year I found myself. I won over my failings and silenced the demons that have screamed inside my head for years.

The year ahead can only be better. There isn’t a list or 3 things that I’m looking at doing. I want to learn and experience new things. I want to write better. But more than anything else I want to reach out and help women find themselves. Women tend to bury themselves, lose themselves in their mundane domesticity. My story isn’t unique. It’s common to almost every other woman and that’s what makes this so tragic that most women live through life just breathing and surviving but not living. It’s important to have a dream; to not suppress it, to recognize it and work at it. To tell yourself that you are special.

Because you are.

Picture Credit: WixStatic