Six months ago, I published my very first article on this platform. The story itself was quite simple; nothing more than a commentary on education and knowledge as virtues. I do not believe, however, I would have continued to write till November if not for the support of the intellectually-driven community. Today, I’d like to dedicate this article to Swamiji and his unwavering support in elevating my writing.

To the neophyte, the art of writing can be easily misinterpreted as nothing more than strings and jargon. Lines sear through the pages like bullets, with the words holding little substance. The reader, however, is not at fault for harbouring such a mentality; how can the appreciate the elegance of the language if it’s executed poorly by a writer? Balance and a meticulous eye are valuable skills to perfect the craft, one that doesn’t blossom naturally in everyone.

The Sichuan art of tea – as mundane as it might sound – is a perfect representation of the balance and attention a writer requires to present his/her piece. It doesn’t matter if your skills rival Hemingway or Rowling; even the most talented writers in the world are restricted within the parameters of their pages. The law of concision – pruning your arguments so they deliver within the fewest words – is fundamental in every writer’s career. It is a steady hand – free of shudders – that guides towards a seamless body of work – free of spillages. An undisturbed and logical flow of ideas, procured by apt cohesion, is an indispensable guide to any reader. Yet coherence is perhaps the indisputable determinant in the quality of a body, simply because it needs to ‘make sense’.

This platform has cultivated an inquisitive nature to pursue random, off-beat moments in history and present them as narratives. Some have been light-hearted, like President Ronald Reagan’s quirky use of comedic dialogues as part of his campaign. Others speak out on dark moments in human history etched away into obscurity, such as the Holodomer genocide against the Ukrainian people. Thanks to Swamiji’s blessings, I use my skill to procure stories that entertain, infuriate, and inspire. Words cannot express my gratitude to Swamiji and the community, a tea cup I can concentrate my talent into.

In the spirit of curiosity and intellectual engagement, happy birthday Swamiji.