What do you do when the one thing that you know how to do is suddenly the only thing you can’t do?
Ever since I was young, I wanted to win an Oscar for Best Director. Hence, all my aim was towards that goal. I did an M.A in Mass Communication, won a National Award for a documentary, left Delhi to live alone in Mumbai, joined Subhash Ghai to become an Assistant Director, and lived off a nine thousand rupee salary and no holiday for years just to work at standing on the Academy Award stage one day. I was ambitious and determined.
While I was doing costumes with Kareena Kapoor and later script readings with Katrina Kaif for Boom, I was writing my ideas in a journal. My stories churned in my head and I wrote every day. Scripts, screenplays, and novel ideas filled pages and pages of a spiral notebook. But I never showed them to anyone. I wasn’t confident that anyone would want to read them.
As expected in the Indian scenario, I got married and eventually had a child. And my dreams suddenly crashed. How could I look after this little girl and still work twenty hours a day? My priorities abruptly changed. It wasn’t important that I became a director with international acclaim. It was important that I kept my daughter fed and happy.
However, my passion of achieving something in life kept me awake at night. I felt my education, my degree, and my responsibility to my parents had to amount to more than just being a great mother. Therefore, I started writing again. Just then, a friend visited me and we chatted about her love life. The idea of changing relationships in the Indian scenario excited me. I wrote the first chapter of my debut novel Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas that night while my child slept.
The title came immediately. The book flowed over the next few months. Suddenly I had a purpose. I looked after my child when she was awake and wrote when she was asleep. I balanced being a mother and being an independent woman. The fire of ambition was stoked once again. I wanted this book to be funny, identifiable, and real. I wrote contemporary dialogues and steamy sex scenes. I lived out my fantasies through my words. And I finished before my daughter turned one.
When I overcame my fear of rejection, I submitted it to a publisher. I had no idea the journey the book would take. It became a bestseller with over 40,000 copies sold. I was left astounded. I was now an Author! A sharp turn left from my old dream. People wanted to know what I had to say about relationships. My words became the thoughts that people wanted to hear. My new profession gave me the freedom to write when I chose to and allowed me to spend time with my child when she needed it.
Today I am an author of three bestsellers with my fourth book Advantage Love releasing this month. With a series called Scandalous Housewives and a humourous book called My Clingy Girlfriend in the pipeline, I’ve changed my dream from being the best Director in the world to becoming a Bestselling Author. My daughter, Ariaana has seen how important it is for her mother to work and earn which makes her conscious of the choices in her own life to be independent. I balance my time between work and her, which allows me to be a better mother and a dedicated writer.
Women should never give up on their dreams. Even if one replaces another, we should always pursue our heart. Choosing to be a mother is a wonderful decision but when the child grows up, we will need to do something for ourselves. So why not start now? You don’t need to make a profession out of every hobby you have. You just need to find something you love to do and try to do it every day.
Writing was a natural choice for me because I’ve been writing since I was five years old. Becoming an author was an unconventional choice because most women would go back to working at what they were doing before they had children. I chose a new profession. I turned my aspirations around. I love being able to help people on their relationships and write about it in my novels, on Twitter and my blog.
Someday, I may direct one of my novels for a feature film and stand on that Oscar stage with my daughter by my side. It will be a new aim I pursue. We don’t just make one unconventional choice in our lifetime. We make many. And through them we become who we are.
An unconventional choice is nothing but the challenge to turn your life around!