After a long awkward silence, I am writing after a long time today. Aawaargi never stopped but its travelogue had to. A few months ago I realised that freedom of expression does not guarantee freedom from being judged. I was in between jobs last year, giving interviews and waiting to hear from employers. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of summer and employers seemed more interested in taking exotic vacations than hiring new employees. The slightest delay in their response would raise a thousand questions in my mind. Did I do something wrong in the interviews? Did I present myself well? Did I give the right answers? Is my nationality an issue? And so on. Any more delays or rejections and I would repeatedly check my Facebook, Twitter and G+ accounts like a paranoiac to make sure they were private. I searched myself on google time and again to see what others saw when they searched for me. After all I am quite an opinionated person. "Aawaargi is private to subscribers", I thought. "That can't be an issue", I would reason. But the fear of being judged by recruiters soon gripped my family and Aawaargi had to be silenced after a few small posts. I kept writing but never published the posts.
A few days ago, my favourite author Paulo Coelho tweeted :
And then came the actual realisation : "I was miserable." Closing down Aawaargi was one of the most painful decisions I have ever made. It was like asking me to stop thinking or breathing in open air. And yet I did it.I am not a professional writer, have no financial or social gains from writing and let's be honest, I am not even regular! Neither do I have many followers. But Aawaargi was my way of reaching out to people, of writing what was on my mind, of thinking out loud and perhaps, on the way learn something about myself and other people. And so, I have now reached the conclusion that there is only one life to live and one cannot waste it worrying about what others think. The more afraid we are of people's opinions about us or our work, the more we suppress our creativity and our desire to explore. We are afraid of making mistakes and then learning from them.
So from now on, Aawaargi will never stop. I will try to post as regularly as possible and continue recording my journeys regardless of what anyone thinks.