“Writer” is not an epithet that I would normally associate with myself, but Professor Comer’s video on this topic set me thinking – what does classify as writing? I had my share of essays during my Delhi school years - in English, Bengali (my mother tongue), Hindi (the official language of Republic of India along with English) and to a limited extent even in Sanskrit (the ancient Indic language to which Bengali and Hindi owe their origins). Preparing lists – and all sorts of them from “to-do” to “packing” to “to-buy-gifts-for” – is my forte. As an IT professional, I swear by the written word; creating application documents, support control plans, operational procedures, release schedules – overloading discussion forums and their users alike. I am a letter writer too – from postal letters sent to my fiancé (now husband); which by the way never ceased to be a source of amusement for his roommates on account of the number of the pages they contained; to customer emails stating “I regret to inform that we will not be able to meet the deadline due to an unfortunate development on our side…”.
But my closest association with writing came in my Nairobi avatar - a homemaker with a baby and no paid occupation. I began toying with things that I could do from home and on my husband’s suggestion turned to blogging. It hit a chord within me – I felt there was a lot that I could chronicle – about the land and my travels, about the flora and fauna, about my new life, about the things that I have experienced. “Africa Diaries” came into being – the attempt of an amateur looking for an engagement to “shake off the rust from the grey matter”. Enrolment for this course is an extension of that pursuit. I would like to think of myself as a student of writing and in complete awe of the accomplished writers that we have in our midst, I look forward to learning from and with you all.