I have had a steady career in the sense that I have followed the wise advice nuggets of my elders and have completed my graduation in a safe field ie dentistry. My dad’s logic behind helping me take admission in one of the topmost dental colleges in India was that if I become a good dentist, at least I will never be jobless (Ironic because the job market for dentists in India is rapidly shrinking).
I came to Delhi and started my practice here but, there has always been this artist within me. Dentistry allows for some amount of artistic expression but, my canvas was bigger. I wanted to draw cartoons, write stories and be known for it all. Marx had imagined a society where someone can be a scientist by the day and fisherman in the evening. Well, I wanted to be in that society; not fishing, but writing.
I did have a blog (this blog) but then, I began dreaming about writing a book some day or having a career as a novelist. Now, it is common knowledge that one should follow their true calling and there is no harm in chasing dreams. I did want to do so but, there was a practical side to the whole thing. No one succeeds overnight and the prospect of giving writing or cartooning my everything would have left me no where. I am not sure if writers ever pay their bills. Dying under debt just didn’t sound that smart.
A friend of mine knew that I could write. I used to hang out with her and discuss career. She was one of the most reasonable and sorted people I had known. Safe choices like engineering and MBA were her cup of tea. I floated the idea of writing a book to her and she pushed me toward writing saying, “I am taking safe steps and planning ahead because I do not have what you have. Very few have what you have and it is the art of telling a story. You know your way with words and it is the reason you should, you must write a book.”
With her push, I decided to balance time between writing and dentistry and the result is my first manuscript which is the semi-autobiographical account of a dentist’s love life. Although it is yet to be published, just the joy of finishing a manuscript has been tremendous. I am so grateful for the push that made it happen.