So, I have just got back from IIT Kanpur, where I was invited to speak at the E summit 2013. Times of India carried a news item about it.
I spoke about my journey as an author and emphasized the five lessons that I learnt along the way. I was told I spoke really well- it was powerful and made an impact. I was glad to hear such praise.
It is interesting to see the kind of reactions, that 'success' spews. Especially so, if the 'successful person' in question is very accessible by mail or the social media. Almost everybody that I meet or encounter from my 'past'( 'past' refers to the time when I was an unknown nobody) has something or the other to say about my books, about my writing, my poetry, my blog-posts---anything that comes to their mind. Do they pause to consider how I feel about their opinions? Ninety percent of the time, it is a no.
Today a friend from my past, whom I have not met or spoken to, for the past ten years, got in touch. She loved my book and she was indeed happy for my success and was genuinely proud of me. But what intrigued me was the slightly accusatory undertone (I am sure unintended) which I couldn't help noticing . In the course of conversation, she mentioned that today she could not hold back any longer and she had to tell me about my book (she sure got my attention) and she went on to tell me how much she loved it (so far so good). She said she had tried to get back in touch and since I did not show interest, she left it. She also said 'I know you are a big person now.' I said it was the price of fame, and I would surely write a blog-post about it, 'explaining'. And this is my 'explanation'.
The fact is, my life has completely changed in the last 6 years. If I were to draw a graph of my career growth, it would look like this:
|photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1426748|
The fact (which most people miss) is also that I have worked bloody hard for it! Incidentally, I noticed a common thread in what all the other speakers at the E-summit at IIT Kanpur, had to share--- That they all work long, long hours and since they enjoy so much what they do, it doesn't feel like work to them.
It is the same for me. My fifth book will be out in November (Yes!! :) I am in the editing stages. Will share details--watch this space). So, that is five books in four years :) (My first book had come out in October 2008).
The exchange that I had today, made me think about my working days. I do have a LOT of things going. It was only today, after a gap of nearly 10 days, that I managed to have a long conversation on the phone with one of my closest friends who is perhaps even busier than me. (a remarkable woman who is a single parent, a very successful entrepreneur and her life story is one of the most inspiring stories ever--I plan to write about her someday).
Most days, my day begins at 5.30 AM and I am working late past mid-night. . I don't go out and socialize in the evenings, which I see most people around me doing. (Instead I prefer playing badminton or a game of chess with my daughter ). I don't watch television at all. I work even on weekends.
I also spend loads of time with my family, go for walks, do my yoga and I read a LOT, apart from my art and writing. I watch some awesome movies too.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Most people who don't know me wouldn't understand my choices.
Sometimes, I am annoyed at the 'friendly suggestions' offered about my lifestyle, about what I express on FB and about my blog. One person from my past, who again got in touch with me after a gap of 20 years, pinged me and asked me what I was cooking for dinner. Being the polite person that I am (really, I ought to be a little less polite) I answered his frivolous query, whereupon he commented 'Oh I see..you are taking the easy way out.' WTF! You can be sure he never got a response from me again. Many weeks later, he pinged once again to comment about how I have become too busy for friends. I did not reply to that one either.
I get that all the time, from the people from my past. The truth is I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. A lot has happened and I have changed a lot since. And when you reminisce about the 'good old days' I fail to see the 'good' in them! No, thank you very much---I like my life now!
I know many people probably would presume that I now have a bloated ego, and have forgotten the time when I was a nobody. (How can I forget?! But I do not live in the past. My present is more exciting for me!)
One of the very important lessons that I have learnt is that no matter what you do, how much you succeed, there are always people who are going to not acknowledge that your success is because of your efforts and not because of some random chance. It is futile to seek that from them---they are too bereft to be able to give that to you.
Also, you can never please everybody
But as long as you prioritize and do what makes you happy, that is all what matters.
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