Writing Story 2022: The Winds of Change

Change arrived in the beginning of 2022, a warm, slow sea breeze waving in the new normal. Then suddenly it picked up speed, a stormy gust, a whirlwind that carried me far faraway, to a whole new continent.

Transition emerged as an ever-present theme in my thoughts and musings, poems and dreams. It was a time of navigating paradox, of holding together contradictory needs and desires, from opposite ends on the spectrum of longing.

As the year draws to a close, I reflect on the paradoxes that shaped my creative life:

Stillness and Movement:

A transition, at its very essence, signifies movement. A journey from a point of stability, stillness, perhaps even stuck-ness; to a destination unknown.

Sometimes the move is physical, like it was for me. A dislocation, from one place, one home to another. But it is often temporal, metaphorical. A journey into a new phase, where time moves at a different pace, arranges itself into new seasons and weather patterns, rituals and routines. Rarely linear, full of false starts and accidental pitfalls, much like a game of snakes and ladders. Only to find new forms of stillness at the other end, the silence of rivers and canals, red brick houses, yellow autumn leaves, of invisibility and solitude and winter.

I engage with the journey metaphor in my poem Manzil, the Hindi original translated into The heart’s destination. A deep longing for Roots in an old favorite piece, has evolved into migratory bird status, complete with feathers and wings.

Remembering and Forgetting:

A transition also confronts you with an important choice. What to pack and what to leave behind? What is cherished memorabilia, a token of comfort and familiarity? And what is excess baggage, better shed away?

Of course, this is true for material objects. But also for experiences, habits, versions of the self. Taken-for-granted places and spaces, sounds and smells, people and food suddenly acquire special significance, jostling for sentimental attention. But how much can you really fit within the luggage allowance of a one-way ticket? 

Distant memories float to the surface and recent laments are quickly forgotten. Nostalgia around food and friendship forms the core of my personal essay on the dynamic dosa (forthcoming, as a podcast episode). Fire therapy, an auto-fiction piece from two years ago, brings alive memories of loss through snippets of familial conversation. In the Penthouse, an ageing actor encounters the ghosts of his past.

Dreaming and Reality:

A transitional period brings with it liminal feelings, of being suspended in-between worlds, timelines, identities. A sense of disorientation hums in the background, blurring what is real and what is a fantasy, an escape, an extended vacation, an over-stayed welcome.

The new under-construction life feels like a dream, situated in an alternate dimension, outside the bounds of the expected and permitted. An ambiguous space full of juicy possibility, fertile for imagination and creativity, art and playfulness. An open portal to everything hidden and unconscious, shadow and light.

Through this brain-fog, I fell into the beginnings of a new novel. The dragon of my storytelling workshop shape-shifted for corporate and creative audiences, before finding her way into an exciting book. An old love for improvised theatre was rekindled, moving from zoom to the stage, with high musical notes and a penchant for rhymes.

And now, as another portal opens into a whole new year, I would love to know- what was 2022 like for you? What shifted and what remained constant? What paradoxes did you live through? What will you carry forward and what will you leave behind?

Thank you for all the little and big ways you have been a part of my journey! Here’s wishing you a transformational New Year! I hope the winds of change move you to the best possible directions, in the most surprising ways. And within their turbulence, you still find safety and stillness, and spaces to rest and dream. 

My Writing Story 2019

2019 has been a wonderful and eventful year for me as a writer. I am eager to share my experiences and milestones with you.


At the beginning of this year, my strongest aspiration as a writer was for my stories to be published- to be freed from my notebooks and files, out into the world, to be read and hopefully appreciated. Initially, it felt challenging to put myself out there; whether it was submitting to magazines/ publishers or sharing with friends and family. Over time, I have been able to accept and learn from perspectives different from my own. Readers’ responses of course make it worthwhile; someone connecting to a line of  a poem or a character in a story. I had three new short stories and four poems published this year. Find them here.


An important milestone (and a huge relief) was completing my PhD. in Organizational Behaviour. My doctoral thesis on career transitions is in many ways my first big writing project. Through working on and towards my research, I rediscovered my interest in writing and in human narratives. In seeing my participants as protagonists of their life stories, I began to think more deeply and patiently about the many ways stories impact our lives, and how we make sense of ourselves and our world through ‘storying’. I look forward to writing my first non-fiction book out of this research (wait for it!) and to work with narratives and other art-forms to facilitate learning and exploration in workshop/ classroom settings. More updates on how this unfolds in the coming year!


By the middle of the year, there was a yearning to return focus to the process of writing. I attended my first Writers Retreat in August (Bound Retreat in Divar Island, Goa) and several festivals (Dehradun Literature Festivals and Tata Lit Live, Mumbai). Writing had up until now been both a solitary and intuitive process. So, it was exciting to participate in formal learning sessions on the craft of writing, receive feedback from fellow writers, work with mentors. This opened up possibilities to think ‘technically’ about aspects like setting, plot premise, and character motivation; and find my voice. It also revealed writing to be a social process involving a community of significant others- readers, editors, coaches, other artists and their work. 


In the recent months, I have found myself searching for the purpose in my writing, and experiencing writing as a source of purpose during difficult times. I learnt that to think deeply about your stories, you need to think deeply about the world around you. To create compelling characters, you need to be aware of your own feelings and motivations, willing to ‘see’ and ‘listen’. Up until now, I mostly wrote stories about coming-of-age and romantic relationships in contemporary, urban settings. Now, I find myself in unfamiliar territories- writing historical fiction, feminist narratives, personal or memoir-style prose, exploring themes such as body image, identity and sexuality. I am now the Editor of ang(st), a new, exciting body-themed zine.

In the coming year, I am excited about moving forward in these new directions. I wish you a very happy, fun and love-filled 2020!