Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. ~ William Shakespeare
Okay that’s such a cliche of a start, but I already did it. So, who cares? Coming to the point where I explain the significance of the cited quote –
I wasn’t born great, I haven’t achieved greatness (yet), and I do not have even an ounce of greatness thrust upon me. What I am, have achieved, or better put, had it thrust upon me is the Editorship.
Let me do a little flashback routine on that “one question” a person is asked a zillion times in his whole lifetime at various points of time. (Editorial thoughts: There’s a lot of “time” in that sentence!)
What do you want to be? Or, who do you want to be?
Read my answers to understand how a Gemini brain functions:
5 years old Mansi: I want to be an actor. I can dance, speak fast, sing poems with exact expressions, and blink my eyes like a butterfly. And, my handwriting is the best in my class.
9 years old Mansi: I want to be a Librarian. It is the cleanest, quietest, and the most info-fuelled place ever. Plus, you do not have to wait for your turn to re-issue a book if you finished it in 2 days.
11 years old Mansi: I don’t think I’m ever growing up. All my classmates are now taller than me. I’d better just finish school and read books. I think I might die with the biggest Bookworm record on my name.
Backdrop: At 12 years of age, in an on-the-spot painting competition, a grey-haired, supposedly-renowned lady spotted my time-killing-forced-scribbles as an intellectual mind venting out. A special category was created especially to acknowledge that mindless scribble. This 26 years old Mansi has immense respect for that lady now.
12 years old Mansi: Painting doesn’t require me to be tall, or buffed up. So, I’d rather be a painter, who reads, and has a good cursive handwriting.
Mentionable month – 13 year old Mansi won a debate competition and got a few articles published in “schools-only” newspapers, so she planned to be a journalist when she grows up one day. The euphoria didn’t last long. Glad!
14 years old Mansi: Wow! I love dressing up. But my mom won’t allow me. Why not become a designer, a fashion designer. Awesome! There’ll be beauty around me all the time.
Anyone would agree to this, from chef to a designer to any regular mason, what a feeling it is to watch a piece you envisioned come alive.
Backdrop: Elated out of wits Mansi approaches her dad and lets it all out on him. What happened after that was unforeseen – A slap from her father for requesting to take up humanities as specialization after her high school so that she can slide into designing. (It’s considered a shame in India to take up humanities, and not Science, when you secured more than 80% marks.)
So, Mansi’s courage collapses under societal mindset and she decides to do as her dad suggested (read: ordered). She started preparing for Engineering entrances.
At the age of 16, Mansi was introduced to another gracious lady, a henna-red haired teacher who taught us Biology for like 10 days or so, and just how well did she teach.
16 years old Mansi decided to be a Doctor.
This time, she was not ready for another slap, so she kept her mouth shut in front of her father, and continued studying for medical examinations, just the way she would read novels secretly placing them inside textbooks.
In between all this, she was penning down poetries, short and long (still unfinished) stories, plays (scripting and directing), shooting out punchlines and one-liners for poster competitions.
Fast forward to 2013: Mansi is now holding a “Biomedical Engineering degree” in her left hand and “Business graduate” in her right, after having kicked herself out from a start-up gig.
A week later, she could sense the walls of her room closing in and her bed gradually disappearing in the white marble floor. The television set turned out to be the worst of the digital devices she could operate. The steaming paranthas tasted stale and water began to have a taste of its own. The wardrobe, the shoe rack, even her comb waited for her as she spent almost 4.5 hours daily figuring out which is the best app available on the play store.
Why is the team of Plants vs. Zombies delaying a second version?
This is what happens when a workaholic is no longer working.
Once again, my hero walks in, my dad, and asked me to snap out of it. Pretending to listen to him while still checking my Facebook feed, I heard him say, something I never thought he would.
“Let’s get you married!”
Forgot password to job portals. Forgot password to my email accounts. Changed my contact number. In short, I was doomed, until I got this call for a Sales job, a walk-in.
I suit up, get my resume printed and reach the venue.
After 7 sweaty rounds of “Tell me something about yourself and why sales, why Engineering, and why to everything, “Our MD would be interviewing you tomorrow. It’ll be the final round.” The sweetness of the facilitator’s voice was not enough to sweeten my experience, let alone pacify my growling stomach.
As I waited in the queue to get my “Boneless Chicken Wings” I said to myself, “No more rounds. Get married to some douche and then look for a job.”
Of course, I did not listen to myself. Glad!
Another call for interview, this time for a writing internship. Never thought of that taking up as a career option. Dad pushed me to go, and so I went. A day later, I was notified that I’m selected. I must have managed to write a sane article (devoid of any emotions that were gushing with my blood at that time). No elation, no excitement.
As I laid my hand on the office door handle, I breathed out forcing a smile over my lips, straightened my brows and upped my chin a centimeter. For a moment I stared on my reflection and said to myself,
“Girl, you gonna rock this place!”
And hell I did.
I went in as an intern, soon became an author, forced-became an Editor, and now I’m rocking the same place as a Content Strategist.
Some days, I return home feeling immensely accomplished, other days I’d pin myself down pitying on my fucked up priorities and my inability to sort life and curse my lifestyle of a dead fish, which people politely call as, the opportunistic.
Plans after plans, I found my career (or my life) going nowhere, and time on my watch spilling everywhere, and so I grabbed with both hands what life offered me. When I had other lucrative options, like engineering and marketing, to choose as a career, I jumped into writing.
Morals from the story:
1. If you make plans, also allow some tenant rooms for flexibility. Being rigid is only going to break your heart. And there is abso-fuckin-lutely nothing wrong in being an opportunist. The world gives a shit about only those who don’t give a shit about them.
2. Always keep faith. If good times pass too soon, then so do the bad ones. It’s just how you see them. If at all you can live like that, don’t plan at all. Life will turn out good. It has to. It always does. 😛
3. Grieve, sleep, cry, yell, shout, but vent it all out. Keeping your feelings inside isn’t gonna fuel your engine. If you can do nothing, write. My boss says that anyone can write. I’m sure he is talking about self notes. 😉
P.S. As of now, I’m an Editor and Content ‘supervisor-kind-of’ (don’t get much time to write), but who knows where I might be in the next few years.
P.P.S. Mansi plans to travel the major historical and geological wonders of the world by the end of 2016. 😛