“I keep writing shorter stuff to allay the hunger of my writer soul… but snacks can never stand in for full meals!” I wrote to a friend in a long conversation on the writing life in 2019. Only I didn’t seem to have one: my maiden collection of shorts had been accepted for publication for more than a year then, but I still didn’t know when it would come out; and a work-in-progress epistolary novel on which I had worked for two years had been shelved for the next two. Trying to find a fresh toehold in Kolkata professionally after a decade abroad and settling my daughter down in a new environment had taken more time than I had imagined; whatever was left of my energy was invested wholeheartedly in a dream initiative – the Kolkata Partition Museum Project. My writing suffered. Since I was unable to work on the novel, I settled for a blog: snack for a meal!
The snack proved healthy and self-sustaining. It evolved from being small compensation for what I wanted and couldn’t do to a space – however humble – where I could express/face/negotiate with the realities of my life after returning to Kolkata. I now feel at home in it.