Keeping the fire alive

"I was a slow learning child. I would find it hard to learn and remember things. I didn't even know how to tie my shoelaces. But my father never made me feel odd about it. All through my childhood, I was never once made to realise that I might have been a little different from the others. I remember, I was very scared of Sadhus. Those with the long beards and shoulder bags. I was of the opinion that they kidnapped children! Once, when the cycle rickshaw that took me to school didn't turn up, my father decided to send me in a cart. In that cart was a Sadhu! Even after coaxing and bribing me with candy, I refused to get onto that vehicle. I was petrified. Eventually he had to give up and take me back home! As I grew up, I was very close to my father. I approached him for all my scholarly doubts. Once when I told him I was thinking of becoming a writer, he very poetically told me, "If your thirst is genuine, it will be quenched". So when he died a sudden unfortunate death, I was left shattered. By then, I had become a father myself. I had understood what it was like to be one. I was disturbed and disinterested in worldly matters for about two months. I had begun to remain by myself, restrict my emotions and shut everyone out. I saw a psychiatrist too. He advised that I must begin to express myself and after giving it a lot of thought, I started writing. It wasn't easy, nothing is at first. To give up a stable accounting job and shift to writing did raise a lot of eyebrows as well. But I was doing it for my happiness, out of my wish and what people thought didn't bother me. Eventually I wrote a book, got it published and started writing and directing plays as well. I learnt many lessons in this journey. It's necessary to take your flaws in your stride and put them to the best of use. It's necessary to hold on to friends who follow their criticisms with suggestions. It's necessary to do what pleases you without thinking about what people have to say. When you come to face an obstacle, do not stop, just slow down. But most importantly, nothing is impossible and age is no bar. If an infant can stand on his small legs and take the weight of his entire body, everything after that must seem possible to the human mind. You must only carry the right attitude and have fire in your belly."

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