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Chhaya Dabas’ Baatein Aims To Rekindle Conversations

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In this fast-paced world where everyone is in a hurry, what do we miss the most? Those warm open-ended conversations that we had with our kith and kin? Or those special times when hours rolled by, pouring our hearts out to each other? Chhaya Dabas, an alumna of Delhi University, is on a mission to rekindle those deep conversations which have got lost in the humdrum of daily life.

Baatein — Rekindling lost conversations 

Chhaya’s Instagram page “Baatein”, meaning conversations, showcases artistic collaborations, poetry, picture stories and random inkling.

“It is my lens to the world. In a constantly shrinking digital world with diminishing physical boundaries, when the possibility of more border-less conversations arises, it is strange that the plausibility of the same idea seems questionable. Conversation — as a concept and as a medium — has taken a setback. We, and I mean the generations chasing deadlines, are slowly crawling towards receding timelines. We have forgotten to pause. Baatein emerged to start those conversations again,” this  22-year-old Chhaya elaborates.

“Technology helps in connecting and learning from like-minded people and also be exposed to like-minded ideologies. As a writer, my thoughts come from across the globe. Technology helps artists tweak the geography as per their needs,” – Chhaya

“Conversations make our lives a little more memorable. You would still preserve a handwritten letter more carefully than a chat exchange. The same goes for yellowing books or postcards,” she averred

Chhaya’s writing odyssey

Giving an insight into her childhood, Chhaya mentions that her upbringing in a literally inclined household is a major reason behind her proclivity for words. Thus, a search for stories and a need to find her expressions came to her at a very young age.

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“My grandfather is a published author, a PhD holder in linguistics and a former professor and a farmer’s son. My father has an insatiable penchant for words and books and both my grandmother and my mother are former teachers. Further, my maternal grandparents are remnants of the Partition,” she explains.

It was during her college years that she thought of taking up writing as a viable career option.

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“While I was in the second year of my college, I found myself relatively free to explore the city more, interact more with strangers and even known inspirations. Hence, a series of prose and poetry started filling my diary more than often. The same translated into a blog on Instagram, which I named Baatein,” she says. 

“Baatein is growing at a commendable speed. From accolades to features, it is creating its mark and place. And we hope it keeps growing and creating conversations,” she wishes.

Chhaya’s struggle with cancer

“I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone tumour called Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 13.”, she tells us. She adds that her fight against the disease made her more focused, more contemporary in her orientation and perspective and more ready to fight any battle.

She, however, mentions that the difficult phase of her life couldn’t stop her from writing.

“While the prolonged treatment was a nightmare I would like to forget, the experience forged me into a stronger and more nuanced person than what I was earlier. I found myself penning down my thoughts more often than in ordinary circumstances. Certainly, I became more appreciative of the pixellated world replete with its small pleasures and wonders,” she explains.

 Technology and writing — the perfect blend of empowerment

Chhaya finds the act of writing very empowering. Looking forward to pursuing her Master’s degree in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College, London, she is an ardent believer of the unprecedented change the blend of writing and technology can bring about in the world.

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“Technology has played a crucial role in helping Baatein grow. I have collaborated with artists across the globe just due to the sheer ease of connectivity. Technology helps in connecting and learning from like-minded people and also be exposed to like-minded ideologies. As a writer, my thoughts come from across the globe. Technology helps artists tweak the geography as per their needs,” she opines.

Read Also: Women Writers Fest: 15-Year-Old Zuni Chopra Shares Her Insights As A Writer

Talking about her own rendezvous with writing, Chhaya asserts that writing helps her to question the answers that we have been fed over the years, articulate her speculations and contemplations about this world we live in. Moreover, she shares her versions of how she observes the world with her small, yet loyal audience.

Trials and tribulations 

Her journey, she says, had its own set of hurdles. But over time, she learnt to tide over them.

My main challenge is to ensure I never lose my motive and originality, what I or Baatein stand for. Everyone has critics in their life, irrespective of whatever they do. The solution is to take it constructively and keep working towards your goal and keep improving in your own eyes.”

Her advice to young entrepreneurs

Her advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on quality, contribution, creativity and authenticity in whatever field of work one is in. 

“Always add a personal touch to the narrative. Make it yours and make it inclusive for all,” she suggests.

“Writing helps me question the answers that we have been fed over the years, articulate my speculations and contemplations about this world we live in. And share my versions of how I observe the world with my small, yet loyal audience,”- Chhaya

Future plans 

Besides taking Baatein to dizzying heights, Chhaya aspires to explore visual storytelling and a podcast series. These days, she is working on her poetry anthology and would like to someday start a chapter on cancer, having dealt with it herself.

Read Also: 7 Signs That You Were Born To Be A Writer

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