When you are 26, the world is yours to conquer, to play with, to mould to your specifications, to let loose your ambitions into; but not a time to lose your health or your mental peace. The last year has been a whirlwind of ‘odd’ – one half spent madly running about gathering stories, meeting people, and negotiating deadlines; the other half given to meeting doctors, analysing blood reports, and a complete cut-off from work. The biggest challenge has been listening to the doctor’s advice – that work is not the be-all and end-all and that a career does not translate into an identity. How do you rework your brain structure, your thought process to understand that there isn’t a need to give your all to that which defines you? There is also the fear that a prolonged sabbatical will diminish the power of your pen, that you will lose the touch, forget how to write. That has been the hardest to get rid of.
However, the upside of all that has been a period of complete relaxation, introspection, and rearrangement of priorities. Coming back has been a slide – a slide into work and a slide down from the high that I’d left it at. It has been a challenge – catching up on six months’ worth of news in a constantly evolving space, getting back in touch with industry honchos, and just getting that first word out from mind on to word document, and getting it right! An uncertain first story, then a second, and after the third, you settle down slowly into the rhythm, the words flowing faster.
The past couple of weeks have thrust me, literally, into the heart of the industry – the NASSCOM Product Conclave, where the best minds in the field of technology shared their wisdom and advice; ‘The Unsettle Hours’ by IMRB’s Innovation Labs division, where the most unusual talks were given and listened to intently; and of course, there is always the daily grind where you manage to interact with ten different people and yet retain your sanity by the end of the day. If my mother’s observations are anything to go by, then I, apparently, possess a certain wild gleam in my eyes when there is a ‘good, story-filled’ day. Well, here’s hoping that I get to retain that gleam in a completely normal and exciting way!