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New Year. Same(ish) Newsletter.
This is a short one. A year-ender.
When I started writing this newsletter in late 2020, I thought it will be a place for me to just write and think. This substack, however, is a public space and is different from writing in a diary that I wouldn’t share with anyone. What I write here is read by others. And sometimes, the others write back and tell me what they think about my writing. This elevates the newsletter from a one-way dialogue to an occasional conversation. And, I never thought of this space as a conversation.
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The last few months have been brutally stressful for me with the impending submission of what only AA calls my ‘doctoral dissertation.’ Sometime in between compiling chapters of research, I sent out a newsletter containing a personal essay about my father. The essay was largely written in a single sleepless night, mostly on the Notes app on my phone. I woke up the next day, polished it a bit and sent it out. What followed was a lovely outpouring of love and appreciation.
People contacted me via Email, WhatsApp and Twitter to tell me about the wonderful ways in which they connected with the essay. For a writer, there is no better feeling than when a stranger reaches out and tells you that something you wrote moved something in them. I have always found it remarkable, how words can be so personal and yet universal. And to learn that my words could have that same powerful duality was a life-affirming moment for me. Thank you for reading and for your kind words!
To the readers who have been here a while, I know posts have been very sporadic, but I promise that I’ll try and be more regular this new year. There has been a life change which I hope will give me more time and space to send out newsletters. To the many who joined me after reading the last newsletter, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay.
I am a strong believer in stories. In their universal value, their unifying power and their unwavering relevance. This year, I hope to bring you more stories from the world at large and from my random access to memory. I hope you’ll continue reading and conversing.
I’m also a strong believer in kindness. If that’s your sort of thing, remember, “It’s Chaos. Be Kind.”
Happy New Year,
In his stand-up special - Annihilation, Patton Oswalt recounts this as his wife’s belief system. They are just 4 words, but they have stayed with me ever since I first heard them.