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of scribbles, words and miracles

I grew up in community which frowned upon broken families. In the mid-80s, literature on broken families was not accessible and if they were, nobody read them to me. I was six when my father left us. The experience of rejection and abandonment was painful. I constantly prayed for a miracle. But he never came back. One day, my mother was cleaning a jar in the living room. She was surprised to find pieces of paper. I expressed my sadness by scribbling on pieces of paper which I dropped inside the jar. Since then, writing has become my miracle.

Years later, I spent my summer at a public library. I read voraciously. I loved old books and their rustic scent as much as I loved the freshly-colored books. MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech inspired my young mind. Ghandi and his words “be the change you want to see in the world” moved me. I learned that words have power.

I thought that the brokenness in my family was the most difficult challenge. But this changed in 2006 when I gave a speech. Some of the listeners were victims of abuse. I was reminded of a secret that I kept for a long time, a secret I kept so well that I also managed to hide it from myself. A year later, I wrote about my experience as a victim of child abuse in an essay* published in a national newspaper. Sharing my experience made me stronger. To this day, the essay reminds me that writing is a miracle. There are some emotions which are too difficult to express, it is a gift to be able to express them through a tapestry of words.

In 2007, I participated in an international essay competition sponsored by the World Youth Movement for Democracy (WYMD). My goal then was simple. I wanted to express my thoughts about democracy. Hence, I was overjoyed when I learned that my essay** won! It was a wonderful miracle. What began as words which are an expression of my principles and ideals led the way to my journey to my current involvement as WYMD’s member of the Leadership Board for Asia. I have written statements of solidarity for young activists in other parts of the globe. My constant involvement in virtual activism has enriched my life because I have maximized the magnitude of freedoms that I have and use this to help other young people in repressive regimes through my writing. I have also learned that solidarity and friendship go beyond distance.

Words, written with honesty, courage and heartfelt intention, can spur miracles. Such words are miracles.

*Link to the essay entitled "Plus-size Wallflower" -
**A copy of my essay -

      • South and Central Asia
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