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Letter from Shuvangi

I joined The Pomelo right after I quit my job. A job which required a lot of technical research and writing. Just not the kind of writing I wanted to do. Coincidentally, during that time I had read a tweet along the lines of “I am doing so much writing that is unimportant in my 9-5 job that I have no energy to do the writing I want to do.” I took it as a wake-up call. The timeline between leaving my job and joining The Pomelo is still hazy.

What did I expect? Definitely did not expect to instantly connect with the two cheerful women I met for the first time over a fuzzy video call. Nangsel and Fatima, editors at The Pomelo hailed from Darjeeling. The place which has a soft corner in every Nepali’s heart. Land of Indra Bahadur Rai, Parijat and now Bipul Chetri. All the people I adore, are touched by the cold winds from Kanchenjunga.

There was knowing and also not knowing each other’s language. We couldn’t hold a conversation in Nepali but we knew where we came from. How do you make sense of the instant understanding otherwise? How do you make sense of the grief that stuck so deep in a person you’d never met?

Years ago, when I went to my first poetry event I had gone thinking about a line “Don’t be scared to go to places you like even if you are alone. You will find like-minded people there.” I went to the event alone. And years after, I would send an email to The Pomelo. It is weird how I have found a circle of close friends being brave. People who now go places with me and hold up space for me.

Some days, writing is all I want to do. There seems to be no other alternative than being a writer. Other days, I am hopeless with all the writing I cannot do. But I guess I’d rather be hopeless doing this. It is only about choosing a lesser evil. Like giving your character two equally good or bad, or right and wrong choices, and seeing how they fare. For most of our lives, we live in that grey area blurring the rigid lines. Sometimes you add colours to it while some days you desperately want to avoid them like intruding hairs or gloomy clouds.

Whatever the choice be, I believe it is with writing I live through all possibilities.



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