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Vrushali Junnarkar Realised That She Had An Opinion And So Much To Say Once She Began Writing!

"There is only so much that my close family want to hear me ranting about, so I thought why not write so that other women who are probably in the same boat can listen to me and relate to what I feel?"

Vrushali has a love for writing about anything tha evokes emotions in her. She is a keen observer of life which reflects in her sensitive writing style. We at Women’s Web are proud to present to you one Vrushali Junnarkar, one of our top 12 most popular authors talking about her love for writing and her journey with us. 

Discovering her love for writing

It was while watching The Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago, that Vrushali realised that every person has a unique story to tell. That if we all were to look back at our lives, it could be turned into a book.

We all have a book within ourselves and each one of us has something interesting to offer the world. “I began to believe that I too had a story within me and that I would write a book one day. Why not!

That fascinating thought stayed in a dusty corner of my mind but never materialised into actual writing. Life was busy – I had a career in healthcare and a young one to look after. Where was the time to indulge in writing? Besides, what was I going to write about?” 

Vrushali’s life completely changed after moving to a new country ten years ago. She found her feet in her career and also found some free time. “Suddenly, there was free time on my hands and a restless need to occupy myself productively. More than anything, my hyperactive brain needed to work. But what could I do? I had no idea. Writing that book that Oprah said I could write?”

I had never heard of a blog, let alone written one. In fact, I had never progressed beyond ‘dear diary’ in a blank journal. The last time I had dabbled in creative writing was when ploughing through high school essays. The only books I read in recent times were textbooks and scientific journals.

One day, just for fun, I started writing about my greying hair. It wasn’t easy composing sentences, but the ideas were overflowing and I had to express them. I wrote on paper and then remembered transferring it to the computer, showing it to my family and having a good laugh over it.”

One day Vrushali chanced upon an opening for a contributor at the Times of India for their NRI section. Seeing this as an avenue to write about experiences living abroad, she decided to apply and give it a shot. “Again, the thoughts were brimming over but I had to learn to organise the thoughts and familiarise myself with Microsoft Word which I had never needed to use before. I did several things manually but slowly learnt the ropes. I cannot forget the joy of seeing my first article published.” 

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Finding Women’s Web

A few articles down the line, she discovered Women’s Web. “I remember checking out the bio of a fellow contributor for the TOI who also wrote for Women’s Web. Out of curiosity, I visited the website. This serendipitous moment opened my eyes to a whole new world. It was just what I was looking for. 

After some tweaks, she submitted her first piece about her greying hair to us. “To my utter pleasure it was published! Writing that first opinion piece proved to be a realisation that I had much to say-that I was capable of writing not just about facts and experiences, but that I actually had an opinion.”

“There were no limits to my writing from there on. Every time I spoke to friends and something controversial came up in a conversation, my ears would prick up and I would wait to get home, dissect the topic and write exactly what I felt-whether it was about what women call their husbands or why we should stop asking women about ‘good news’. 

Writing became a form of catharsis and self-expression-the anger, the hurt, pent up frustration started spilling over into the writing. Sometimes, an entire article would just spill out like hot lava and I would write furiously full of emotion and typos. Then I would iron out the article and correct the typos but never did I tone down the thoughts and Women’s Web allowed me to get bolder and confident, without suppressing what I had to say.

A keen observer of life

Vrushali is a deep thinker and an astute observer of life. “Observing practices in the family or extended family made me think deeply. Something would click when I did not agree or felt strongly about an issue. I wanted to write about it so that I could vent my feelings. There is only so much that my close family want to hear me ranting about so I thought why not write so that other women who are probably in the same boat can listen to me and relate to what I feel? 

I remember going to someone’s place for dinner, waiting patiently while the menfolk ate at the designated time, while the women were smiling and suppressing their hunger pangs (at least I was)- I could not wait to go home and write about it.

Needless to say, it made the waiting time pass quickly as I composed the article in my mind and I had the last laugh when my article was published on this topic and so many women wrote about how they experienced the same injustice at the dining table.” 

On what empowers her 

“To have other women validate your thoughts is an empowering feeling. These are women who live far away from me and who I’ve never met. Yet when someone actually presses a ‘like’ button or cares enough to comment, even if they don’t agree with you, it is so much more exciting that getting a ‘like’ or comment on a photo that I may post on social media.

To get someone to go through one’s writing and create an impression on someone’s mind through words is the best kind of compliment which I accept gratefully every single time. It tells me that I am not alone in thinking the way I do or I have touched a nerve somewhere or made someone, somewhere think. Perhaps, I have made someone change something in their life. 

I know the writings have made me look at life differently. It isn’t just about penning one’s thoughts, it is realisation of one’s own follies, prejudices, shortcomings and priorities. I would go as far as to say that writing especially for Women’s Web has been a self-discovery for me a woman which is still ongoing. Of course, I am an avid reader of other writers on Women’s Web too.

I have dabbled in fiction recently and had the readers of Women’s Web support that too. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that there is a world-wide sisterhood of readers out there who I am reaching out to with every word.”

A book in the offing?

“Well, an article that was originally started for Women’s Web, has now turned into a full-fledged book that is a surprise waiting to be revealed. I am also eagerly waiting for the publication of my contribution to an anthology titled ‘What we inherit-Growing up Indian’.”

Vrushali’s most popular article with us is an insightful piece on the pressures women face of having children after marriage Why We Must Stop Asking “When Is The Good News?” 

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