Ajinkya Nene,

Senior Content Team

 SY Bsc

    Hello, dear reader! My name is Ajinkya Nene, and I am currently in my second year of BSc Economics at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. [The politics is silent, I assure you]. 

    I am a student, reader, writer, amateur chess player and quizzer. I also have a relatively newfound fascination with rock climbing, but we will see how that goes. 
    I love reading, and have been reading way longer than I have been writing. The ability of the written word to transcend space and time, and even reality itself, captivated me. Humanity has always had an innate urge to leave behind something of their own, an imprint of their beliefs on the fabric of unfeeling time that will stand tall against the caprices of mundane existence. Reading and writing, among other things, fulfil these innate truths.  
    It is a funny thing, writing. It is a form of expression like none other, an art, a skill, a necessity, a blunt tool and a fine brush all at once. It does not discriminate and whatever product it yields is your own. 
    Like many other people, my first ever experience with writing was in school. I still remember being daunted by the sight of a blank page in front of me and wondering if I even felt that strongly about the prompt to fill in an entire page. So, just like everyone else in the class, I entered into the medley of crafting sentence after sentence and worrying about the differences in the structure of informal letters as opposed to formal letters. I liked it well enough but thought it was rather like maths, in the sense that you chose what you thought was the right word and then worked out how it fit into the existing sentence. 
    My first real experience with creative writing came about in an English exam in the eighth grade. The essay prompt was the rather clichéd topic of “Patriotism”. I just knew that we would be expected to regurgitate the usual spiel that we are all taught, which is supposed to maximise marks and minimise examiner outrage. However, that day, I got my first-ever stroke of artistic and linguistic inspiration and veered wildly off the script. I approached it with a fresh and original perspective and poured out my thoughts and views. For some reason, it seemed as if the sentences formed themselves, and the right words graced me with their presence without needing to be summoned, and the essay soon turned out to be about three times longer than it needed to be. The feeling of exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that came with it mattered more to me than marks ever could, and that was also the moment I realised why the Ancient Greeks believed in Muses
    If you were wondering how the essay turned out, luckily my teacher was quite appreciative and got that same essay published in the school magazine, my first-ever publication! 
    However, as Jack London put it, quite eloquently might I add: 

    “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

    Therein lies the secret of why writing is so difficult sometimes. Sometimes the ideas and the prose just outrun you and your club. 
    Ever since that day, I do my best to go after that elusive inspiration every time I write. Sometimes I find it, and sometimes I do not, but I persevere in the hopes that my writing muscle has not deteriorated when I do find it. That is the reason I write. 
    As a chess player, I would be remiss if I didn’t find a way to work in a chess analogy. So, here goes: There are two facets of the game that make a successful chess player: the first is ‘tactics’, and the second is ‘strategy’. They are not synonyms in chess and represent two very different styles of play. Most low or mid-level players have more than enough on their plates with tactics alone, but what truly separates the greats from the amateurs is strategy. Losing a piece because you did not spot a threat is a failing of tactics, but losing after a complex back and forth throughout the game is a failing of the underlying strategy. Similarly, bringing different parts of speech together in a coherent sentence is a tactical problem that is necessary to solve before graduating to the real challenge, which is writing an essay or article with a clear goal in mind.
    When I just read a lot, I was under the impression that I was doubtless a passable writer as well, I always picked an appropriate word and crafted a flawless sentence, most of the time. As it turned out, writing a well-crafted article which has an impact is so much more than simply picking the right words. Selecting the right words is just the tutorial, and the real game starts when one passes that hurdle. 
    Writing for the 8.10 newsletter has been educational and interesting. Researching the varied topics I wrote on has also proven to be fascinating, although it has opened more than a few internet rabbit holes. 

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