My love affair with reading began in my sixth grade when I was introduced to my first full-length Enid Blyton novel by a school friend. I read the book and simply loved every word of it. From Enid Blyton, I graduated to the Hardy Boys series written by Franklin W Dixon and the Nancy Drew series written by Carolyn Keene. I was also addicted to a series called The Three Investigators. Then I moved on to authors like Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Robert Ludlum and James Hadley Chase. By the time I was in IIT I was reading books by Bertrand Russel and Ayn Rand.
Later when I was in IIT I did try my hand at writing. I was not considered a particularly bright chap at IIT. Why come to think of it, I was mostly looked down upon. In my second year of engineering, the literary gems of the college brought out a magazine called Impulse. After the first edition of the magazine was printed, I thought I would also try my hand at writing something. I wrote a humorous poem which also had a philosophical bent to it. I took it to one of the members of the editorial board of Impulse and showed it to him. He told me the poem was pretty good.
My close friend Piyush (who incidentally is one of the few people who have the patience and decency to tolerate my hellish temper) comes up to me and says, ‘Jai, why don’t you perform something on stage this year. You are very senior and we would love to see you do something on stage.’
I am taken aback and I tell him, ‘I simply have no skills of that kind Piyush. Please do forgive me. I really can’t do anything.’
But he is insistent and just in order to humour him I ask, ‘All right you tell me what I should do.’
And he says, ‘Why don’t you write a poem and present it on stage?’
I immediately dismiss the idea and tell him I simply do not have the imagination or creativity to write a poem and that my earlier attempts at literary adventures have always proved disastrous. But that weekend just for the heck of it I wrote a poem based on the antics of my mischevious daughter who was ten years old at that time. To cut a long story short I presented this poem at the function and it was a huge hit. I finally created a blog and put the poem in it and Jai’s Writing Retreat was born.
Initially, I planned to write only poems but slowly I began including articles. This was followed by photography and then came fiction. So you see, the birth of my blog was an accident. But now, writing has become a part of me and my blog means a lot to me. In addition to the posts on my blog, I have also written two eBooks in Amazon Kindle. I am now trying to get down to writing a full-length novel. I find that rather difficult with a full-time job. But in any case, I intend to take up writing full-time after retirement which would be in another five years from now.
My blog has received a good amount of appreciation and I have also made plenty of friends in the blogging circles. I never imagined that writing would become a part of my life especially after my early years when I received a lot of discouragement from umpteen people. But as they say, it is always wonderful to discover things you like no matter what your age.
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