It’s a beautiful morning people, just the kind when I want to sit and ponder some on “Why I write?” What is this inherent need to dissect emotions? Why my day feels so incomplete if I haven’t pounded my thoughts onto Microsoft Word? Why there’s a sense of completeness once I have transferred my aspect into the alphabet! What is this power “words” possess?

The answer is quite simple actually, though the whole process and the circumstances surrounding it are complicated. Writing for most of us is therapeutic and liberating and cathartic and invigorating and all those clichés; but after years of dabbling in everything from poetry to opinion pieces, I have come to a point when writing is much more. It’s this powerful force that can shatter stereotypes, especially those surrounding women. Don’t you feel there are myths you want to bust, traditions you want to trash for the travesty they have become, stories you want to re-do, heroines you want to re-invent, legendary heroes with feet of clay you want to demolish and demons you want to unmask!

Writing is this powerful force that can shatter stereotypes, especially those surrounding women.

The complications arise because of the fact that even in a world strewn with mind-boggling technological advances, with humankind all set to inhabit another planet, women continue to die in palaeolithic menstruation huts. The so-called largest democracy has still to “let” a woman take charge. Silicon Valley is mired in gender discrimination. The Gully Girls’ rap on unequal pay, unfair customs, unhealthy competition, unsafe streets, underlying anger, unapologetic authorities — gets lost in the unsettling din. And despite the global tidal wave of #MeToo; rapes, molestation, sexual harassment and extreme gender bias continue to hog headlines. What kind of lopsided world are we living in?

That’s why writing, particularly by women who raise their voice against inequalities, by women who have the guts to rise above the mundane and achieve great height, by women who go about their ordinary lives with an extraordinary dignity of purpose unfazed by the petty limits set by a myopic society is the need of the hour.

Inspired by the lives of everyday heroes, I write, to dig into my own depths and unearth the power within. The whole process of first sitting down and concretizing my thoughts, followed by owning them fully, despite some people’s opinions to the contrary is akin to the highest form of mindful meditation for me.

Inspired by the lives of everyday heroes, I write, to dig into my own depths and unearth the power within.

The responsibility that comes along with writing is a huge kick in itself. To be able to bring a smile on someone’s face or stir opinion or trigger thinking is very fulfilling. Like right now as Women’s Day approaches, I have this maddening urge to have my say on one of my favourite topics: Periods. What is with all this vacuous hullabaloo over a very natural, normal, biologically-in-order process of female puberty? So you bleed for say five days. For that you wear a pad, tampon or a cup (the fact that a large majority of women are forced to use unhygienic cloth should actually be a matter of shame for the authorities!) You may feel a little low and fatigued. But that’s that. Where do words like impure, stigma and outcaste come from? When logical reasoning is a part of every job and entrance exam criteria, how does that same logic take a hike in the matter of menstruation, that too in this day and age?

See, just writing my thoughts down gives me a sense of peace, a sense of purpose and a sense of self-worth. It fills me with a heightened awareness of the happenings around me, which makes all the difference in my approach to life; a first baby step in the right direction, from the blasé reaction of a casual bystander, towards the missionary zeal of a proactive global citizen.

Writing my thoughts down gives me a sense of peace, a sense of purpose and a sense of self-worth.

Writing it is said helps you discover your “superpower” because “a word after a word after a word IS power,” declares Margaret Atwood in her inimitable style. Maya Angelou seals the deal when she adds, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” For me, that’s the green light, to write and then write some more, fact or fiction doesn’t matter.

The brain clicks to a rhythmic whir, the heart sings and the whole being resonates with a soothing melody as words leap onto the background spelling power, pride and possibilities in invisible ink when the screen laps up my thoughts completely in sync with the tap-tapping music of the keyboard. Dramatic right? Why not? Happiness is… after all free self-expression, and I’ve found the “key” to it, no pun intended!

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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