Intro: She is daring, innovative, inspiring, and someone who doesn’t stop and wait for somebody to come and help. She is a go-getter. She has had a sequence of transitions in her life, the first of which occurred when she decided to participate in post graduate work in system analysis – an altogether different focus from her graduation in Economics. Her next prominent transition was making a tough decision of resigning from a well established job and starting a career as a full time blogger.
She is Purba Ray – A woman of substance from India – witty, impulsive and often lets her heart do the thinking. Let us understand the driving force that made it all happen.
Thanks Purba for sparing your time. Welcome to Blogcritics. How would you define yourself in a few words?
As a person I am a bundle of contradictions – practical yet impulsive…fiery but peace loving…a little crazy, a lot of fun. in a café, you will see me laughing the loudest with my head thrown back. And I love fretting, it’s almost like a hobby. For me, cribbing is cathartic – but I don’t expect anyone to help me out with my problems. They are mine and it is me who has to solve them.
How about a brief synopsis of your upbringing?
A Bengali born and brought up in Delhi, I am the only daughter of my educationist parents. I did my schooling and higher education in Delhi. I graduated in Economics, changed tracks and did my post graduate work in System Analysis. I started working and got married at the ripe age of 22. I was teaching computers to school kids – one of those teachers who had to do everything. I was the head of the school quiz club, loved organizing quizzes, and used to prepare kids for debates. Later as the head of the computer department of the school, I organized an annual computer festival.
What made you choose Economics in Graduation and then shift altogether to a different focus of System Analysis in Post Graduation?
To be frank, it was not my first choice. I wanted to graduate in English; unfortunately, I ended up listening to my parents rather than my heart. System Analysis was an escape from Economics and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.
Why a teaching job rather than an IT job after finishing your Post-Grad in System Analysis?
I did join the industry as a trainee, but the claustrophobic office environment and very long work hours put me off. In school I was surrounded by eager, young kids. It was a whirlwind of activities; no two months were the same. To put it simply, I never regretted changing tracks.
What troubled you during your stable school job?
The last few years I had been feeling restless, and felt I was stagnating. I can’t do anything just for the sake of it, I needed a reason to continue. After nearly two years of dithering I put in my papers. I was asked to take a hiatus instead and since my daughter was appearing for her boards I thought it was a good idea to stay at home for some of the time. Fortunately or unfortunately those few months were not enough. During my break I discovered a life I never had.
Did you repent after resigning from your job? How has this decision impacted you?
Not even for a minute. Rather I was happy – I felt free, rejuvenated. And two weeks into my hiatus I wrote a note on Facebook, “Musings of an idle mind” and shared it with my friends. I was overwhelmed by the response I got. One of them was a well established blogger, Desh Kapoor, who asked me to contribute my write-ups for his forum Drishtikone.com. All the appreciation from complete strangers was gratifying. Nearly five months later I started my own blog A-musing.
I did not go back to my job. I felt I had finally found my calling in the lettered world.
Has writing helped you in self exploration, introspection?
Through my writing I could vent my creative outpourings. When I started, I was mostly writing personal anecdotes. I am a person who loves to laugh, so I made sure all my articles were laced with humour. Soon, I was writing about social issues that were close to my heart, things that rankled me. I do a secret diary series where I take upon famous personalities – Jairam Ramesh, Nitin Gadakari, Arundhati Roy to name few. I love doing news spoofs. I do something called Jhalmuri Times – a montage of news, views with liberal doses of humour. For a while, I also did the Bumbling Mumseries. In fact, my first post in the series was where I wrote about the so called joys of motherhood. I managed to scare an about to be married girl so much that her alarmed fiancé had to write to me seeking my help!
How easy/hard has it been to transition to a full time blogger?
Writing now has become a way of life for me. I write because I must. I am the kind of person who takes ages to make up her mind, but once I do, I put my heart and soul into it. I love reading the feedback I get from my readers. The encouragement and appreciation keeps me going. I don’t mind criticism – true, it hurts but I feel it keeps me on my toes, and gives me the feeling that I cannot take my readers for granted.
Would you like to give your blog address(es)?
Any message for women across the globe?
Women should have a purpose in their lives. We often get complacent and are scared to take risks. Just let go and you will discover a world unknown to you. And a happy you is a always a happy us.