April 2006 By Punya Srivastava Life Positive has groomed me. I came as a raw lump of clay that was moulded and given a personality. It is said that God makes everything happen at the right time. Maybe it was my time to get chiselled and find my own feet. The chiselling is an ongoing process and every passing day, since the last three-and-a-half years, finetunes me some more. I was a drifting piece of wood with no dock in sight. And then, LP happened. I joined as a correspondent in 2012 with no prior experience in print journalism. I fondly remember the excitement of being a part of the inaugural Mumbai Expo just two months after joining the team. Everything was going fine at the Expo until the editor handed me some sheets of paper and asked me to introduce one of the facilitators. I still remember how my tongue went dry at the prospect of facing the packed hall. Nonetheless, I went ahead and delivered the introduction. By the end of the day, I had eased into this role. That vivid image of Suma ma’am giving me a silent thumbs-up, as I delivered the vote of thanks, has got locked in my memories’ folder. This is what propels me; this is what I thrive upon – this appreciation and acknowledgement of even tiny, nondescript efforts. For someone who grew up feeling like a ‘nobody’, without an iota of self-confidence, getting recognised and appreciated for every task completed filled me with nothing short of jubilation. And every time this euphoric feeling spread through my entire being, the tiny blob of confidence within expanded. As the chairman once remarked, “You needed LP and we took you in because of all that we at LP believed in.” The second year here was a whirlwind because the deeper I immersed in the kind of writing and reading I was doing, the greater was the conflict within. I was being formed afresh and that was not an easy process. Tears came easily to me, often accompanying me while I read or listened to the experiences and wisdom of people walking the path. The sagacious counsel of my senior colleagues, Shivi Verma and Purnima Pandey, often came handy at such moments. They supported me with gloved hands, guiding me to make my own discernments while sharing their own experiences without any display of generosity or seniority, and with utmost honesty. This is the best part I like about my editorial team – we complement each other so perfectly! The confidence to embrace my vulnerability has been my greatest achievement in these three-and-a-half years. Thanks to my editor, who leads by example and walks her talk, this vulnerability has helped me share my truest self through my writing, and has turned a sceptic like me into a believer. My article on autism got me a lot of positive feedback and for the first time, I felt the satisfaction of touching these lives positively. Another change that I observed within was the gradual awareness about my thoughts, words and actions. Though I still give in to bouts of anger and irritation, yet, I am learning to let go of the accompanying guilt which helps me to move on and not remain stuck in the past. It won’t be a hyperbole to say that LP has become my alma mater, giving me the required grounding to lead a joyous life. Punya Srivastava is Assistant Editor with Life Positive. She is all for travelling_through life, culture and experiences.
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