We all love hearing stories and this one is no different. It is not merely the story of content writer in Delhi, but also shares the experiences of a content writer from a normal, human perspective. This story does not claim to retell the experiences that all content writers must go through but highlights a particular girl-next-door who just so happens to write content for a living!
This is not just a story of a content writer in Delhi, this is also a tale of a young girl who has lived all her life, oblivious, in the tiniest of towns along the suburbs of Uttar Pradesh and decided to move to Delhi one day, twenty one years old, in search of a new life.
Arriving in Delhi
Meera, like most unfortunate hopefuls who arrive at the capital, was full of ambition and awe but it didn’t take long for the disillusionment to set in as the days went by. Arriving from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, she was lost in the hustle bustle of the capital, her eyes full of dreams. Meera had always wanted to be a content writer and live in Delhi. The experience of a content writer, especially when the person is a young beautiful woman, can be tricky to say the least.
Finding a place to stay
Firstly, Meera does not have enough money to afford the kind of tranquility that writing demands. Instead, she finds herself in a miniscule paying-guest facility that is swarming with girls who are so loud that she can scarcely hear her own thoughts. A feeling of being destitute envelops Meera considering the food she is made to eat and the lack of privacy in the room she is made to live. Meera succumbs to these, citing them as just experiences of a content writer, that she has no choice but to go through. Gone are the days when Meera owned her own room- a four-walled block of comfort and privacy. It comes to her realization that Delhi is an expensive city, compared to the small town she had been raised in.
Working as a content writer
Writing is a completely different story. In another life, Meera had wanted to write about the transient quality of human life and existentialism, but now her work revolves around stats and keywords. Every sentence is calculated and recalculated to fit the bill; to please the client. In this world, there is no place for the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings and as a content writer in Delhi, Meera knows she signed up for it. But why does that make her feel like she is living in boxes? Meera almost feels like an inanimate object; pleasing her boss, the clients and all the people who see right through her.
Was creativity ever meant to please other people? What happened to art for art’s sake? It is a constant reminder that she is not special or unique and very repacable in her work, owing to the severe competition. If she cannot escape the box, can she make herself comfortable inside it?
Meera dismisses these misgivings with a penchant for optimistic rationality that she has always had, telling herself constantly that everything is alright. She reminds herself of how lucky she is to have escaped that little town that tried to rein her in. It is vital to compare her life with that of her friends from back home; mediocre girls who lack willpower or ambition; content, living their little lives in little towns. Meera is better than them. She shines with the fire that they do not possess. They are not dreamers like Meera.
An affair to remember
Maybe it was this thought. This semblance of belief that Meera was not ordinary, that allowed her to indulge with a copy editor in her firm. She was lonely, living away from home, and a copy editor in his late 60s seemed like a good idea at the time. The old man was charming, kind and knew a little of John Keats. Of course, Meera is not foolish enough to believe that it is anything serious, but just something to add to her content writer story and experience; something to laugh about with her friends when they go out drinking. So she flirts with him while getting coffee in the morning and sends him smutty emails, while pretending to work on a computer. At times, when Meera looks at him, she is filled with disgust as he reminds her of her father. She does not exactly look at eye-to-eye with her father; her father had not exactly approved of her decisions to move to Delhi. What would he say if he looked at her now? Is this what it means to be a content writer in Delhi?
The doubts that arose
At times, Meera catches herself second-guessing her decision to be a content writer in Delhi. She feels herself surrounded by sharks, stranded in a company that is already drowning in debts. Everyday at work, feels like the one before. She learns nothing, she feels nothing.
Wanting to leave the job as a content writer is the only way out, but maybe it is her copy editor love or the doubts in her mind about her own abilities that hold her back. Meera is seen having frequent fights with her boss and her coworkers because they do not understand her ideas. They say she is too abstract, too flighty. Her mind is not in her work. Could they be right?
Sometimes Meera has dreams about her home and the people at home. As a child, she had these fantasies about writing and being a great author, but what happened to all that? A couple of rejection letters from a couple of publishing houses made her feel hopeless with her talents and urged her to settle in a content writing job. Meera imagines the box again; will she ever be free from it? She does not miss the people at home or the town she grew up in, but what she is after is this abstract idea of ‘home’; a place of recluse from the mundane job. A place of comfort, self-satisfaction and self-love. Is she brave enough to find it?
Ways to forget
Meera has taught herself to take comfort in little things; her morning cup of coffee, an enjoyable book, a good laugh, and alcohol. She has been awe-struck by the miraculous powers of liquor. In order to forget the mundane, her own ordinariness, her cowardice and her dreams, she resorts to drinking. Drinking is like a mirage that takes her back to that place of comfort; the place she calls home. Far, far away in a small town in UP. Meera becomes a little girl again, dreaming of Delhi. How far is it? Is it a city or a mirage? Why does it slip through the cracks of her fingers every time she tries to grasp it? Was she even reaching out in the first place or was it the city reaching out for her? She tries to remember her dream to become a content writer in Delhi, but it is already fading, out of reach!