When I was eight years old, we were tasked with writing a four-line poem in school— to fill some blanks in our English workbook.
I was a timid, little girl whose aims in life were not as high as the others in my class. Some wanted to become astronauts, some, pilots, many others doctors or engineers. Realistic, yet dream worthy.
I, being me, wanted to learn as many languages as I could, and write. Just write. I've seen far more raised eyebrows than giant quibbles in red ink for apostrophes. The rest saw the aforementioned giant red quibbles. I felt honoured to receive those raised eyebrows.
Ok, we are digressing.
Let's go back to my four-line poem homework.
I aced it because I was the only one who filled those blanks, with a poem 🙄. The teacher smiled and told me that ‘one day’, I would become ‘a fine writer’. I don’t know if she did it to ensure I didn't feel like an outcast, or if she really meant it.
Her words stuck with me nevertheless, and I’ve been chasing my passion ever since.
It is important for me to take you back to my eight-year old self reciting my four-line poem, the fringes of my bob cut blocking my vision as they fell on my ominously big (which 8 year old in the 90s wore glasses anyway?) shell spectacles.
‘I wish I were a writer,
So that I could write,
About my country’s pride,
And make her glory bright’
I have been writing for the last 20 odd years now, here I am - the spotlight's on me!
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Journalism, and found myself at a crossroads during my master's degree when I had to choose between audio visual communication and journalism. Naturally I opted for the 'road less travelled.' I walked out of the preened gardens of my college overlooking the hills with a master's degree in Audio Visual Communication, a bunch of screenplays and a fat smile on each of our faces. Oh, by 'our', I mean my parents— they were there to see me graduate.
Soon after, I managed to get on the good side of a company by impressing them with my portfolio and wit. Well, let's not talk about my wit yet. I was picked up by the television giant and loved my job. I moved cities, pawned a couple of things from my closet to buy things I thought I needed for the job even though I didn't actually need them (yeah, high heels on shoot day? You must be kidding!), put on my best smile, and showed up to work everyday. It was a role that tested my ability to multitask, stick to deadlines, produce high quality video content and deliver a magazine format food & travel show in a language I did not even know well. Lots of travel, lots of food. Yeah, I lived the high life. Modesty? What's that?
I moved on to the sports industry - lived the high life yet again, worked on indoor shoots, chatted away with sports celebs, smiled sheepishly on my first day in the indoor multi-camera setup, shuffled printed sheets to pick up the right stats to be whispered into a host's ear when they was on camera, went through the rushes and old footage of games from the 80s and 90s, wrote scripts, laughed at all the football jokes, had pizza and coke on big match days with the boys, gaped at the way the studio lit up when the clap-person clapped the clapboard and the producer yelled 'rolling.' Oh, well, the producer was sometimes me, watching. What do you expect? I was a fresher. Geez. I even messed up the prompter a couple of times for the hosts on live TV. I made a lot of mistakes, and learnt a lot from my time there. I loved it. It was the beginning of something amazing in my life.
I quit that job.
I moved on, yet again, to a startup, which by the way is not a startup anymore. But this time, I was way too excited. I got to write! I wrote, but there was always a piece of me that was missing, but I wrote anyway. I was happy to be educating customers.
Through all of my times at the different places I worked in, I pined to write.
To write more. To write better.
To be an 'accomplished writer', a storyteller — lover of words, a listener, and most of all, an observer.
I started Virtual Parchment in 2007 on Blogger as a way to cope with my everyday life. In 2017, I brought it to Instagram. Soon, it turned into something else. It became a vessel that spoke to many of my followers. What began as a creative outlet for my ideas, began healing and helped some of my followers who were battling depression. Ever since I started out, I have been experimenting with writing styles such as poetry, prose, haiku, one liners, illustrative poems, to name a few.
Virtual Parchment, this site here, will be home to all of my long-format written pieces— life advice, short stories, flash fiction and poetry. If you're reading this, drop in a few words of support and encouragement.
Thank you to the one or two people reading this at the wee hours of a day or a night or a whatever that it is.
😄 THANK YOU!