Why do I write? It has always been a loaded question for me, a question that carried weight beyond the choice of a profession or a hobby. I was a lawyer, with a degree from one of the top law schools in the country, and a promising career ahead which was by all materialistic standards, a dream. But it wasn’t my dream. It did not make me happy. The black letter of law held no sway for me when the rainbow tinged world of words beckoned me.
I quit my job, and let my passion for writing drive me into a wilderness that was possibly a career suicide at that point of time. But for me, it was the only way I could live. And be who I wanted to be. Since then, my life has followed its own eclectic trajectory where I have been everything from a startup junkie to a content consultant to an experiential trainer/coach to an entrepreneur. The only common thread running through this entire mad cap ride is my passion for writing, and the fact that everything that I did, every career move I made was ultimately meant to achieve one single goal –to give me the freedom to write.
I quit my job, and let my passion for writing drive me into a wilderness that was possibly a career suicide at that point of time. But for me, it was the only way I could live.
Why do I write? That is pretty much a rhetorical question for me. I don’t know how not to write. It has been the only big consistent in my life. I have been writing for over 12 years now. My first major publication was a piece that appeared in The Speaking Tree column of the Times of India way back in 2007, followed by many more, eventually culminating into one of the pieces finding its way into the Best of Speaking Tree Collection (Vol. IV), right alongside some of the brightest minds and finest spiritual souls in the country. Since then, I have written for everything from a flourishing personal blog on Medium to digital e-zines like Arre, and have been widely featured by national and international publications like the Huffington Post, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Thought Catalog and Thrive Global.
So why do I write?
I write to celebrate. To meditate. To process my emotions. And to bury them. To feel everything. And nothing. To find out what matters. And to realize that nothing does.
I write because that is the only way I can breathe. Live. Feel alive.
But above all, I write because that is how I make sense of this life, and the madness that is this world. When I quit my corporate job, I was dogged by questions. Questions about life and happiness and what it meant to have money if it did not make you happy. I wondered if there was a middle path, some way to find happiness irrespective of who you are, what you do and where you are in life. It was inconceivable to me that pursuit of material well-being and riches was incompatible with contentment, that corporate life as we knew it was incompatible with how we understood happiness in a spiritual sense.
And thus Nirvana in a Corporate Suit was born. Nirvana is the product of my personal quest to find answers to all the questions that bothered me in the only way I could. Through writing. For all its fun, cool and hip packaging, Nirvana at its very core is an intense spiritual quest of self-realization and personal happiness.
My spiritual tilt has always defined how I perceive and process life in general, and writing in particular. And one of the most important self realizations that I have had over the years is that it serves no spiritual purpose to take yourself too seriously. Having fun, enjoying life and letting go off unnecessary burdens is an essential part of experiencing life to the fullest, an essential first step towards any spiritual development.
Nirvana strongly embodies and reflects this ethos, actively looking beyond the solemnity of self-help, into a world where searching for one’s happiness is not just a serious spiritual pursuit but a thrilling, hilarious, emotionally resonant ride that is built on the flagrant ideas of universe’s magic and sense of humor. Nirvana is contemporary in its approach, addressing what it is like to find one’s happiness in an increasingly corporate, materialistic existence. It also speaks in a language that is rooted in our pop culture, is contemporary and no holds barred in a way that refuses to put the idea of spirituality and happiness on a high, largely unattainable pedestal. Instead, it chooses to weave these good life ideas in an engaging, magical fantasy that is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Nirvana is contemporary in its approach, addressing what it is like to find one’s happiness in an increasingly corporate, materialistic existence.
I have always believed that spirituality has to be introduced in our discourse in a way that is practical and applicable, like a tool that can fundamentally enhance the quality of our daily lives within and beyond their materialistic context. Nirvana is my attempt to make this possible, to make the spiritual cool, and pursuit of happiness a popular culture force that can inspire the readers to not only re-examine their lives but also set out on a journey to find their personal happiness.
I have always been driven towards writing because it is the one way I know where I can touch lives, give people hope and perhaps bring about a change I’d like to see. Words are all I have, and I want to use them to contribute towards building a world where hope and compassion rule supreme, and where happiness is an aspiration that drives us to build better lives and a better world for everyone.
Runjhun Noopur, an ex-corporate lawyer, an entrepreneur, a Kathak dancer and a writer, whose debut novel Nirvana in a Corporate Suit is just out. Noopur’s short story ‘Braid of Honour’ was recently adjudged as one of the three winners of the prestigious DWL International Short Story Competition, 2018. The views expressed are the author’s own.
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