Eventful and memorable- The week that was

We skipped Soulful Sundays last week, mostly because I was unable to type, but this has been one of the most eventful weeks of my life!

For the most part, it was a week of ups and a couple of downs; the thing I am most grateful for is the lessons I’ve learnt about myself as well as the people in my life, thanks to just this week alone.

Shailaja V, The Moving Quill, Eventful

The whirlwind week started last Saturday as a group of bloggers set out to meet for an outdoor adventure trip.

Bloggers group
Picture credit: Sid Balachandran

This was soon followed by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the SURGE Conference in Bangalore. A post on that will follow soon.

Surge Conference_Shailaja_Rachna

It was also the week where I was interviewed on video by the White Swan Foundation for Mental Health on my experience with clinical depression. A prior interview with them can be viewed here.

Shailaja white swan interview

This is more traveling and moving around  in one week than I have done in 5 years put together. Yes, I live a quiet life, for the most part.

What also happened this week was something online. A large part of my professional and personal life is online and I have no qualms admitting it. However, on Friday night, I almost gave it all up, because I’d become tired of justifying myself, my fight with depression and  my social media presence to my naysayers. Fed up, I put up this post on Facebook, saying that I’ve had it with those who chose to draw me down with their negativity but that I’m here to stay.

Facebook post

Yes, it was an eventful week. More than the events themselves though, I’m grateful for the life lessons I gleaned from each incident that occurred.

  • Stepping out of the comfort zone can be scary but it’s worthwhile if it means it helps you overcome your inhibitions and try something new. A walk on unsteady logs suspended from ropes can put things in perspective. My daughter was awed by the way I pulled myself up and continued walking to finish the challenge. The shine in her eyes as she looked at me and said, ‘Amma, you’re very brave’ was enough to soothe the purple bruise on my arm. (That and a few painkillers, of course)
  • Attending the conference made me realise why I fell in love with blogging in the first place. It was a thrill to network with so many people who had decided to follow their passion: start-ups, entrepreneurs, eager businesses looking for investors. The passion that drives us all brings us together and binds us all the time.
  • Speaking on video, by itself, is not new to me, although it’s been many years since I did it last. However, speaking up about mental health in public made me realise that this is a big step forward for us as a society, where we consciously work towards removing the stigma around mental health and make the narrative an easy one for people to identify with.
  • The biggest lesson though was the one which came from my online support group. I am still incredibly touched by the flood of good wishes and love that my status evoked. It’s also an affirmation of the fact that for every naysayer in this world, I have a 100 people who will back me up.


It’s not easy to do the things that challenge our boundaries. But to do so and walk away with our heads held high, knowing that it makes a difference to someone somewhere, now that is a takeaway that I can both live with and look at with pride.

How was your week, dear reader? 

Was it one that you will look back upon with gratitude?

40 thoughts on “Eventful and memorable- The week that was

  1. So much has already been said. I’m sorry you went through this. It’s no secret I have a love/hate relationship with all things online. Social media is a magnet for horrid behavior. But, also, like you said, support. ?

    1. You said it. I’ve learnt to take all the good and consistently ignore the bad. It’s hard on some days but I’m learning. Thank you so much for stopping by, Sarah ?

  2. Adventure trip! Why am I not in Bangalore? 🙁

    I don’t want to bring up sad memories by commenting on the Facebook post, but yes I do want to say something: You are a strong person, and the nicest blogger I’ve met. You’re allowed to break down sometimes, and take some time off for yourself. I do not want to pretend to know everything about depression, but the little brush that I have had with it makes me understand the reason behind that post. Just hang in there godmother, your 100 supporters are always gonna watch your back! 🙂

    Take care, and yes I’m gonna catch up on your posts as soon as possible. I’ve missed the MicroFiction so much!

  3. Reading so many of your posts and seeing you in all the meets, I wonder when I am going to meet you? I couldn’t put up anything on your social status, but my heart is with you. Everything that you need is already said. You week was terrific indeed.. quite a lot of emotions in one single week! It will be really nice Shailaja, if I could be of any help, in any way. It will only make me happy 🙂


  4. First tell me is that your handwriting in the first photo? So neat and careful!

    Yes, very eventful week indeed! I’ve been stalking you or have been with you for the most part.

    So proud of you over your achievements and accomplishments. I am looking forward to seeing your video interview – do let me know when it is live.

    That Indimeet was wonderful!

    I was really sorry to see that Facebook update – a big warm heart hug to you! Just ignore the creeps and focus on those who love you, you know? I’ve learned to do that and it is very rewarding – health-wise and happiness-wise.

    Stay blessed!

    1. Thank you so much, Vidya 🙂 I know that Indimeet was wonderful!

      Handwriting? Mine? You’re joking, right? Mine looks like a crow scrawled something on paper. No no, this is a font using a photo editing app. Thank God for those 😉

      I will definitely let you know when the video is live 🙂 As for the creeps yes, I have begun to practise more self-care today. It helps.

  5. That was an exciting week for you! 🙂 As for the assholes online, they likely lead pathetic lives and hate themselves. Don’t let them get you down, because that’s exactly what they want! You’re smarter than they are. Just dazzle them with your intellect and let them eat your dust. 😉

    1. It certainly was far more than I’d bargained for in one week, Debbie 🙂

      I am surprised that people can be so vindictive online. Isn’t it sad? I like how you made me sound like an intellectual unicorn in your comment (yeah folks, eat my dust!). Hey, maybe that should be my logo 😀

  6. Dearest Shailaja, I am glad to have discovered your blog, and I am already loving it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It really was an eventful week. I am happy that you met interesting bloggers.

    May I also leave a note on depression? I understand you are writing about it. I wanted to request you to finish your work on depression. India has to understand what clinical depression is, and they should know that it is just not about snapping out of sadness. There is so much I would love to share with you — my mum’s, and my experience with clinical depression and anxiety. I hope to interact with you more here.

    Have a great, peaceful week ahead!

    1. Thank you so much for finding this post, Deepika! I am touched that you chose to share your story with me. I agree that India needs to take giant strides in the realm of mental illness but the last year has given me hope. With more people- common folk as well as celebrities- making it a key note of their social campaigns, I am hoping the stigma around it will reduce. It is going to be a long road, but I am willing to walk down it for as long as it takes me to get there.

  7. How did I not see that FB post of yours! (But then again, it’s been brought to my attention that I miss a lot of posts)

    OK, I could either start off with “Why do you wanna listen to the naysayers at all?” OR the more truthful, “Yes, I know how that feels.” In fact, I did delete all my social media profiles once, because I was just so angry with everything, and everyone seemed stupid and I wanted to punch their vacantly happy faces, while I was being advised to take medication for a condition I wasn’t even allowed to talk about. So yeah – people are always going to be mean, but what you must know is: You’re one of the best people I know, and I care enough about you to throw anyone under the bus for you. And you have my support, as well as the support of SO many others. Next time you feel like deleting all your profiles, you come to me. And I’ll show you a nice little pic of Hemsworth 😉

    Love you loads :*

    (And still cursing myself for missing SURGE)

    1. Ah see? I knew I should have come to you first 😀 Hemsworth and people under the bus would have perked me up instantly!

      Thank you, Sreesha, for being you. I completely get what you mean about not being allowed to talk about it. Sigh, I wish more people would, actually.

  8. I spoke my mind on your Facebook message and from there I will repeat – I look up to you for a lot of things. You are an incredible woman and I am always there for you. This weekend I was this close to calling you and then later read your status message. So, know that you have a friend this side of the city 🙂

  9. I’m not quite sure what’s left for me to say.
    So I’ll sing you a very ‘off-key’ rendition of the FRIENDS theme song – ‘I’ll be there for you!’ 😀

  10. Oh my God! I had no clue that so much had happened. Hugs, my dear. I am so glad that you decided to stay on. Having been a target of nasty people in the past, I know the turmoil one faces and how desperately you want to give it up. It hurts even more when someone attacks your family. Stay strong. There are all kinds of mean people. Thank God for blocking. Please don’t stop doing what you do. It will benefit a lot of people. We are standing behind you and cheering you on. Take care. Lots of love.

    1. The comments on my daughter were what irked me the most, to be honest. Anything else I can take. But to live in perpetual fear even when we do everything right is so ridiculous that I just put my foot down. What business is it of theirs to ask for information that is not pertinent to them?

      I am so glad I have you all in my corner,Rachna. And you know it. I know I will continue to do what I do because I think it is the right thing to do. Thank you 🙂

  11. Coudn’t comment on your status in Facebook..What you felt or were feeling in social media , I was made to feel in college when S and I got together and I said to hell with you all 😀 So, dear fairy God Mother, continue being awesome and share more and annoy them to their core…They are just jealous and it also means you are doing something right which is bothering them..So, keep going

    1. I am not sure if it is just jealousy or a more dangerous form of ill-will. Either way, it was very unsettling to go through, both in private and in public. I do agree though that we cannot let them control our lives. We deserve better and the ones who can give us that are ourselves as well as our staunch supporters.

  12. Woaa you have your hands full… The last week does look pretty exciting… Saw the epic video of your log walk… Apart from bruises and painkillers, i am sure it was a cool experience . Your daughter will get all her inspiration from you. Take care Shailaja… You know we love you… Out boot kicking Godma ???

    1. He he, the log walk is nothing compared to your daring head and hand stands, Raj 😉 I think I get a lot of inspiration from her to be honest. She has this no-holds barred approach to life which I find simultaneously admirable and a tad alarming.

  13. Shailaja, you are one of the strongest people I know if not THE strongest and I really mean that. Trolls will be trolls, and though I know how tough it is to ignore them, you must put them and their hurtful words behind you and continue on your path. Your updates touch so many hearts, and fame will always be followed by the few naysayers. Remember, you also have to prepare for all that popularity as an author soon ;), so consider this as practice.

    1. Trust you to put a smile on my face. You know how much I hated not being able to pick up the phone and speak to you that night? It’s one of the things I HATE about you leaving the country. But you’re right, trolls will be trolls. Cannot be helped.

  14. Looks like too much fun in a week, Happy to see you smiling. Mine, on the other hand was most uneventful week of the year or I can say dullest of the weeks in months.

  15. How on earth do I always miss the important stuff. Hugs Shailaja and hugs again. Like I always tell you it isn’t easy to put yourself out there for scrutiny and criticism. That you’re doing that again and again is a sign of bravery. So keep being exactly what you are. That facebook thread speaks for itself. You have a hundred friends for every troll.

    1. I know what you mean, Tulika. The flood of support on that thread is testimony to the kind of people I know online. Those trolls don’t stand a chance now 🙂

      Thank you, my dear <3

  16. You are an inspiration to me and I am so grateful that I know you. You bring such positivity and strength into our lives. It hurts when people don’t understand you or worse mock you for an honest effort. So proud of how you rose above all that.

    PS: I spent the last two weeks without my laptop (the old one died on me), and a sick S, (He was unwell even on his birthday). The good part of it was I finally realised the benefit of having your priorities right when it comes to managing time.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about S! I do hope he is better now.Maybe a surprise party now will help cheer him up more 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words, Jaibala. I am human, after all. I have tried my hardest to stay away from these barbs and at one point, it got too overwhelming. Glad I didn’t leave though. I don’t think my work here is finished.

  17. Don’t worry about people backing you up or pulling you down Shailaja. Just keep doing what you do. Eventually, the people pulling you down will say “they always knew that you were someone special.” I’ve been there.

    Whenever you feel like giving up, just change 1 word. Instead of “I have to”, think “I get to”. This single piece of advice by blogger James Clear has filled me with much more gratitude and helped me push my limits.

    Stay strong!

  18. You are an inspiration, Shailaja.
    In the short life that I’ve lived so far, I have met more negative people than positive. I grew up with a severe inferiority complex as I was mocked for my thin and ugly frame wherever I went. Result: You can term me an anti-social.
    But in my painful journey, I also realized that I tend to spot and absorb the negativity around very quickly. Well, I figured the reason after a long span of observation and analysis:
    Those who want to spread hatred pop their heads everywhere, because that’s how they can affect more people! The positive ones, on the other hand, are silent and hidden, because they want to send you good wishes without the pomp and show. So you can never know who is wishing well for you, but will always find the ones who want to pull you down.
    Long story short, when someone mocks, I know there are many who I can’t see or do not know who love me for what I am. Like we don’t know each other, and you probably do not know that I admire you and your strength of will that reflects in your writing. Better yet, there may be so many like me you don’t know about! 🙂

    1. ‘The positive ones want to send you good vibes without pomp and show’. That’s so true, Neha. My parents are my strongest supporters and yet they are not the kind to read my blog posts or send me daily wishes and adulation. In some sense I appreciate their silent support because it is sincere.

      If there is one thing I am very very grateful for as far as the blog is concerned, it is the love I have found through my blogging circle. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so touched. So very touched.

  19. Proud of you, my dear! Proud of you for not only fighting the demon of your illness, but also the demon that resides in some minds in our society-online as well as offline.
    Keep going ahead bravely, S! Remember, we are with you! ♡
    And, do excuse the language I used for commenting on your status. I am not the fighter sort, but i do lose it if someone says anything offensive to/about my dear ones! ❤

  20. Sad to hear about the depression part…I feel we all have ups and downs but we need to come out of it by doing what makes us happy.

    I am sure you would have heard this gyaan earlier too ☺️

    1. Clinical depression is very different from regular depression, Alok. It is an actual physical illness where the hormonal imbalance in your brain causes you to undergo behavioural changes. Doing what makes us happy is always important of course, but empathy for those who suffer from depression is very important. Always happy to listen to anyone and always glad to see you on the blog. Thank you 🙂

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