Shine, slay, and keep inspiring others

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I started my career 10 years ago. I am no stranger to hearing how underpaid girls are in my sector. I regularly notice the skewed gender ratios in higher management across industries. But, this isn’t a story about that.

This year my 2 close friends — both girls — different age brackets — different genres of professions — started new jobs. Another friend got her doctorate this week, and another is now a professional Instagram influencer. Wow! What a year for these gorgeous souls and talented minds. I saw them grind, and I witnessed their success.


Not all of them has a perfect ending

“Am I romanticising it too much?” I thought before I started to write this story. Questions — they are the weirdest things. They make you want to have an answer. They give you query, they fill you up with curiosity, and then you can’t help it. You think, and try to find an answer that satisfies you. That’s what answers are — a satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment. You stop protruding when you are satisfied.

Jobs — it doesn’t matter what you are doing, if you are getting paid for it or doing it for yourself — it is a…


Master the words, and you’ll master the world

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Ernest Hemingway said a version of this — same sentiment; different words. In essence, expressing yourself vocally, verbally, or via words ‘sucks’!

I can’t count the number of times I found myself at a loss of words to express my feelings. I am in no way claiming I have felt thing others haven’t. But, I can say I tried a lot harder to put those feelings into words. On…


It’s okay to be odourless, but don’t stink.

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C. Parkinson wrote an essay, “Parkinson’s Law” for The Economist in 1955. The first sentence read, “It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

Although this genius humorist was commenting on the increase in the number of employees at the Colonial Office during the decline of the British Empire, today Parkinson’s Law resonates with the rise of bureaucracy at organisations.

If I take this adage further, work can be considered gaseous in nature, as it can in theory, infinitely expand. So, it has to be contained and timeboxed. The best…


It’s important to know who you are, and in what order

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At LinkedIn, a while ago, my headline read, “Inventor; Engineer; Writer;”. A friend asked if there is any reason for the order. At the first instance, “I replied with a shrug, meh!” then something changed.

I thought about it.

When I wrote the headline, I was only listing highlights of my career (a decade young now). It didn’t have any logical sequence. But, I am a computer engineer-one who plays with programming languages and knows the order of import decides the precedence of functions.

So, I looked at it again — this time considering how I decode the world around…


8 tips to validate characters in your story

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Writers around me often ask these questions:

  • how to write in solidarity with feminism,
  • how to make my writing resonate with feminists, and
  • the strangest of all — how to target the feminist audience.

It was surprising to me that it’s now a genre in itself!

My short response usually goes like this — stories we read impact us, and we impact society with our words. Stories mould our culture, and in return, cultures shape our stories. Society and stories live in a symbiotic equilibrium. Ergo, if you want to write a feminist novel, or want to attract feminist readers…


… and you’ll never be alone thereafter.

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One day you’ll be with a girl whose feet haven’t grown roots.
She’ll tell mountains stories of your lives,
and she will stare at stars
just as you’ve done your whole life.

She’ll hold your hand
and tell you everything that she’d seen.
She’ll sing the songs that will make your marching heart
pause and lean.

She’ll smile at you like you’re the
wishes she’d prayed.
She’ll recite your poems
better than you ever dared.

She’ll tell you her dreams from last night,
and oh! are they gonna leave you keen! …


It means nothing, yet everything came from it.

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For a very long time, I struggled to write linearly on unruled pages. Consequently, my teachers and my parents convened their best efforts to keep me in line. They taught me to make lighter straight lines with a ruler, at the top, and the bottom. Consequently, my words learned to stay within their boundaries. With time, these preparatory lines grew lighter and faded soon after.

A little later, I saw my dad write official mails at home on unruled sheets. It was the time before electronic mails. He had this nice trick he used to create vertical margins on the…


Let your fingers run wild over imagination’s spine in seclusion

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I agree, tonight isn’t like our other weekend nights.
I, too, feel its frosty coldness.
My heart, just like yours,
isn’t pacing with excitement for impeding scenery ahead.

There is neither steering
nor a glass in these hands tonight.
I’m not wearing a shoe,
and not expecting any pre-dinner footsie too.

I agree it’s hard for us who stay alone.
Still, my dear dumbasses — stay the eff home.

Just agree to this for some time.

There will not be any first meets,
and reruns of old stories will only continue online. …


Lyrics gave meanings to the metaphors of our life

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Are songs time machines,
for today, I’ve lived a ‘Holocene.’
I woke up to Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ as
it took me to Vienna, two centuries to now.
Yes, I did travel with my morning frown.

I found myself scratching an old scar —
pulling me a hundred years deeper into the past,
there it was, ‘Lacrimosa’ by Mozart.
Be warned —
for it would pierce holes into dams that you’ve kept tightly barred.

It was time for you to get up; I climbed into the bed and watched you open those sad eyes. Restlessly they counted each bother for a…

Pratik Mishra

Storyteller; Poet; Engineer; Behaviourist; Backpacker; Writer;

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