Where would I be without literature?
In 2000, I applied for a Master’s in Mass Communication from Bangalore University. I had graduated in Psychology and Journalism and thought that journalism was my ‘career’ path.
We didn’t have career counselors then. My family didn’t really care what I did. 𝗜 didn’t care what I did. I thought “Mass Comm” would be cool.
But there was one person who did care. A friend, Vimla, who dragged me from that first class in Central College.
“You can’t be studying this,” she sputtered.
I looked at her, bewildered.
“What should I be studying?”
“LITERATURE! You are a reader. And you are going to be a writer.”
I gestured to the red-brick buildings of Central College.
“But this is writing,” I protested.
My friend gave me that look that friends often give me when I am being extremely dumb.
“No. Your heart is in books. In writing books.”
I didn’t know I had a heart even.
But I allowed myself to be pulled, dragged, and pushed into the staff room of Jyoti Nivas College, where I met an amused Professor.
“And why do you want to study English Literature?” Dr. Rebecca asked me.
I didn’t have an answer. So, my friend answered for me. “Please take her,” she pleaded, as we were well past the deadline for applications.
I don’t know what Dr. Rebecca saw in me. Nothing, really, since I hadn’t opened my mouth.
But I did get in. I studied Literature for the next two years. I fell in love with American literature, waltzing with Whitman and Dickinson. I bristled with indignation when I read about colonialism in Post-Colonial Literature. I learned to speak, to express an opinion, and oh, I learned to write. Just a little.
Learning that I am still imbibing even today.
Sometimes, I wonder what my life would have been if my friend hadn’t intervened.
𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗜 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗿, 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗜 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀: 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰 𝗼𝗳 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲. 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀.
As I stand this Monday, wondering where I am going with life, I think of that time 23 years ago, and I feel that our angels appear when we least expect them to.
So, I stand here, hoping for hope to emerge again.
Do you have any such angels in your life?
And no matter what, I hope this Monday eases some light your way.