I have always wanted to be a writer but before becoming one, I worked as radio announcer, editor, assistant executive to the chairman of the dairy board and taught English in an engineering college. Serendipity had a hand in all these roles. I decided to take charge of my career in creative writing. Along with being a mother of two, I compiled and edited a book that I wanted for myself, Get Published (OUP, 2001).
Having preached, I set out to practice. I brought out my debut novel, Amrita, in 2004 when Serendipity decided to take over once again. I shifted residence to an apartment in Bengaluru which overlooked a dying lake. Moved by its plight, I mooted a public campaign in late 2008 to save the Puttenahalli Lake in south Bengaluru.
In order to collaborate with the civic administration, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in the rejuvenation, I registered a non-profit charitable trust, Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) in June 2010 with three friends. PNLIT became the first official citizen custodians of a lake in the city in May 2011.
Working closely with the government, the community and corporate partners, we transformed the lake into a thriving natural haven teeming with birds, fish and other life forms. The water table is recharged and the trees planted around the periphery from 2010 have increased green cover in the area.
The lake taught me to manage time better and, by the end of 2020, I had published a collection of short stories, two more novels, two volumes of Mahakavi Subramania Bharati’s poetry translated into English and a memoir based on my childhood growing up with a variety of pets.
It is a struggle to juggle with two passions but whoever said writing is easy or that lake conservation is a piece of cake?