“How do you manage to write while looking after three little kids?” This question has recently been included in my FAQs (Frequently asked questions) list. The famous author Virginia Woolf wrote in her book A Room of One’s Own, “A woman must have money and a room of her own in order to become a writer”. Since I am a working woman, I earn money. I believe that all women are working women. I’m just one of the salaried ones. So, I have the money of my own. One criterion is fulfilled. Now, all I need is “a room of my own” to write. It is not an easy thing for a mother of three to create her own room or space! This room is not a material room. The space refers to an immaterial space. I had to create this space for me. I am a mother of three wonderful kids. My youngest daughter is just a month and a few days old today. I am a teacher by profession and passion. I am on my maternity leave. So, without teaching in the institution (Premier University Chittagong), I am doing everything I usually do. I always make sure that my babies are eating good, sleeping well and playing with full of spirit. Again, I make sure that I am giving some time to myself too. Therefore, I write.
I believe that writing is one of the best processes of healing. It is also one of the most effective ways of sublimation. In our society, voices are often unheard. Many people have to go through tremendous mental pain and pressure. The best way to heal that pain is to write in whichever language you prefer. You can write in English. You can write in Bangla. Spoken words are more likely to be decayed and denied very quickly. But written words live longer since they are documented. So, write down the words which are wondering around your mind. Once the words are delivered, trust me, you will feel free like a piece of feather.Now, what can you write? What should you write? You can write on anything and everything. Choose a topic that will make you happy. You should not make your soul suffer. So, if you think your soul is suffering, write something which will relieve you. For example, housewives are often considered good-for-nothing. They are treated like the old useless “thing” of a house. They have to receive comments like, “what do you do the whole day? Just sitting lethargically and pass the day like a sloth?” Dear housewives, despite having a free tongue and a pair of lips, you cannot speak out for a few patriarchal reasons. Your spoken words will not sustain longer. Why don’t you write down your bold and beautiful answers to stop those irritating mouths? So, start writing. Write in magazines and newspapers. Write novellas. Use your in-house problems as the main plot of your fiction. Use those harassing people as the major characters of your story. A fiction will offer you the privilege to set the climax according to your will. It also offers you an escape route where you can hide the identities and still unmasking them technically. So, write something which will encourage other housewives to stand up for their dignity. Write!
Our young generation is both poetic and political. They have poetic minds and political brains. This is a techno-friendly generation. The youngsters use smartphones for smart purposes. They upload videos on Facebook. They go live. They capture different photos. This generation knows the proper and best use of social media and electronic devices. But, do you know, you can write in your smartphone? When I was a child, I saw my father writing in his notebooks and diaries. He used to write songs almost every day. He did not have a computer or smartphone in his time, but he wrote. From then on, I was interested in writing. We are very lucky to have technological supports in our generation. I wrote my entire thesis papers of both Honors and Masters in my smartphone. Then after a while, I lost it. Electronic devices have no guarantee. My husband found my mind overloaded with joys and pains, thoughts and words, images and pictures. We do not have a laptop. He also writes in his mobile phone. So he bought me a smartphone again. My Nokia N1 costed me six thousands taka. I immediately logged in and downloaded “WPS”—an android app for writing—for free from playstore. And I started writing. I felt wonderful to resume writing. So, all you need is a device to write! If you cannot afford a laptop or desktop, write in your smartphone. That will be the smartest use of it.
Many people want to write. They have hidden writers in them. But their writing talents, most of the time, sleeps inside. They claim that they lack encouragement. Trust me, the encouragement lies within you. Many people give a lot of silly excuses for not being able to write. Let me share a personal anecdote here. In a fine evening, while having tea and snacks with my parents-in-law at their place, my father-in-law told us about his teacher Ms. Razia Khan Amin. She is the teacher of my teachers. My father-in-law admired her and her endlessly superb talents. I asked him, “was she married at that time?” He replied with a jocund voice, “of course! She was even a mother of her daughter then”. The story of Ms. Amin injected quite a good dose of encouragement in me. I thought to myself that children, husband and household activities can never be my excuses. These are no way my weaknesses. My family must be my biggest strength. My biggest priority is my family. My biggest way of being sane and sensible is writing. I love my family. I love writing too. So, whatever I love can never be an obstacle to anything I am profoundly fond of. Therefore, I cook, feed, clean and write simultaneously.
So, feel blessed to have a potential writer in you. Manage a writing device. And write whatever you want. Write history, write her-story. Write fiction, write fact. Write prose, write poetry. Write columns, write features. Write blogs, write books. Write biography, write autobiography. Write in English, write in Bangla. Write on national issues, write on international ones too. So, write, write, whatever, you must write!
The writer is Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, Premier University Chittagong