A quote from Zuckerberg went viral during the year end of 2015 "Treat your employees right so they won't use your internet to search for a new job." This quote perfectly explains his attitude towards his employees.
A civil engineer from NIT Silchar has earned herself 27.3k followers in Quora within a span of just two years and eventually grabbed the title of Top write 2016. She is the most viewed writer on topics like – creative writing and storytelling etc. Five of her stories got selected for “Editor’s choice” in yourstoryclub and three as “story of the month”. Apart from these, her stories, articles have been published on other online magazines too like storypick, her own blog etc. Let’s get to know Anangsha Alammyan in her own words.
How has been you journey on Quora so far? How has Quora helped you evolve as a writer?
My Quora journey, which began somewhere towards the end of 2014, has been an extremely humbling experience, to say the least. The love and appreciation I have received from fellow Quorans have been staggering, in spite of me not being able to dish out well-written answers as regularly as I would have liked to.
Writing on Quora has helped me overcome my laziness. I did write stories before too, but they were few and far between, with other things on my to-do list always finding themselves prioritized over writing. But ever since Quora came into my life, I started writing more regularly, and keeping the audience in mind. This helped me become a better writer over the course of my 350 odd answers.
With a follower base of 27.3k in just 2 years, what do you think people like most about your writing?
I consider myself extremely lucky to have received so much love from my followers in the past two years. In the initial days, most of the questions I answered were writing prompts. An example is the question : “What is the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences?”, my answer to which was :
Her sudden heart wrenching sobs confused me, and all I wanted to do was to hold her tight, and tell her everything was going to be alright.
Only when I moved away from the scene of the car crash, did I realize that she was weeping over my dead body!
(link : https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-horror-story-you-can-come-up-with-in-two-sentences/answer/Anangsha-Alammyan?srid=nJbg&share=1)
People were kind enough to leave their appreciation as comments, and most of them said they loved the creativity and the interesting use of the English language in my answers.
When and who helped you discover the writer in you?
Way back in school, we were given English assignments to complete as holiday homework. Most of them were writing prompts that gave us a first line and a last line. It was up to us how we wished to write out the story in between within a given word limit. I loved making up incidents to fill in the lines in the best possible fashion. I suppose those were the first baby steps that I took into the world of writing.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
A long time back, someone had asked me, “What is the one thing about you that will never change?” I had to think long and hard to come up with the answer – “My creativity.” I know it may sound strange, but there have been times in my life when I was unable to smile, to get out of bed and talk to anybody. But there has never been a time I was unable to write. It is like catharsis to me; writing is what keeps me going. :)
Which writer inspires you?
J K Rowling.
Because of the hardships she had faced before she became a bestselling author.
Because of her indomitable spirit that refused to lose hope even after facing numerous rejections from big publishing houses.
Because of the stories she wrote, with magic in them to help the pre-teens like me who thrived on them to cope with their struggles.
Because she gave me the first love of my life – Harry Potter.
Because, through her books, she taught me that ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’
You favorite Indian writer and why?
That woman doesn’t write; she weaves magic with words. I don’t remember a book moving me as much as God of Small Things did. The language was so lyrical, and the picture she painted so beautiful that I could not get out of the spell it left me in for days. Needless to say, all the articles that I wrote for a few weeks after that were inspired by her writing style.
How do you manage to work towards your engineering as well as writer goals together? (keeping a 9 pointer grade at the same time evolving as a writer)
Maintaining a balance between what I love (writing) and what I have to do (engineering) gets tough at times. Mostly during exams when I feel compelled to perform well, that writing takes a backseat. That is why I try my best to make up for all the lost time whenever I find myself free.
Which book(s) are you reading currently?
Currently, I am halfway through 1984 by George Orwell, a modern classic of ‘negative utopia’.
The next books on my To-Read list are “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller and “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami.
What does your family think about your writings?
My Dad beams with pride whenever I show him something that I have written. My mom, however, holds the view that indulging in any other pursuit than studying is a sheer waste of time and is best avoided. :P
My little brother still can’t stop gushing over the fact that the views on my Quora answers have crossed the 5-million mark, and his still stand at some 6000+. Younger siblings are adorable, I tell you.
When are you planning to publish your book?
I have written a few scattered chapters, but I will stick to the solemn promise I had once made to my younger self – that I would never resort to stereotypes common in India to ensure success for my first novel. Instead, I would wait till I have a great story to tell. And of course, enough patience to write all of it down in a way I can look back years down the line on it with pride.
- Any message for people who want to follow in your footsteps?
"Read a lot before you attempt to write. And do not wait to find the perfect book before starting to read – just grab anything you can lay your hands on – the old English textbook from school, the day’s newspaper, the packet your food came wrapped in – anything and everything. For you never know when you might find a passage that would inspire you, and bring out the hidden writer in you.
Write a lot when you are happy, even more when you are sad – keep all those memories preserved, for one day when you are old and wrinkled, the long-forgotten passages from another lifetime will give you enough happiness to hold on to sanity; to hold on to life."
- How has been you journey on Quora so far? How has Quora helped you evolve as a writer?
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” - Wade Boggs.
Protection…Discipline…Concern…Sharing secrets…Having Fun…Long inspiring talks…Best Teacher…All time strength…and everything else defines a father.
Right from the day one of your gaining consciousness of this world, you came across a man. As you grew up, you didn't get to see him as much as you saw the other members of the family. He was mostly seen working quietly on something or the other. While you were young, he stole time from his busy schedule to play with you and filled our hearts with immense joy. After the entire day, when you finally saw his face, at once your heart leapt with cheers. Sometimes he was away for days. You missed him badly and were convinced of the fact that he missed we double because, the years have proved that you meant the world to him.
“Now that I'm a parent, I understand why my father was in a bad mood a lot” – Adam Sandler
He never spoke much but had his own way to expressing his thoughts. He never lectured you much on life but on rare occasions when he did he made sure that you get that right. He rarely would say that he loves you yet his small acts would very well show that.
Fathers have a singular way of dealing with us. Their tools of fixing you won’t be the conventional mommy like scolding. They dictates a different approach of teaching you. They don’t always lecture you on life but when they do they don’t fail to do it right.
Your father might not have to talk to you all the time yet by some miracle he has the information of your every step.
“That is the thankless position of the father in the family – the provider for all, and the enemy of all.” – August Strindberg
Let’s express out heartfelt thanks to the silent inspirer of our journey.
Speaking Walls recently launched a collection of designs which drew inspirations from various animal personalities and combined the essence of geometric art and animal forms to create unique designs for wall art, phone cases and T-shirts. Our collection of Animal Geometric Art is now available for sale at Speaking Walls.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly"
Butterfly symbolises the power and beauty of personal transformation. Life is a process which involves changes that may seem to be discomforting at first but they gradually unfold into something magnificent and beautiful. They change us for the better. How graciously we deal with such metamorphosis determines how wonderful the next phase turns out.
"Senstivity is a strength"
Deer represents the art of being both determined and gentle in their approach in life. The deer horns are great means of defending and asserting themselves and imply that being gentle does not being being defenseless. One can achieve ambitious goals and tackle difficult situation smoothly with a touch of gentleness and graciousness.
"You get in life what you have courage to ask for"
Eagle represents the power to be courageous and stretch your limits. To not accept the status quo, but rather reach higher and become more than you believe you are capable of. Look at things from a new, higher perspective. Be patient with the present; know that the future holds possibilities that you may not yet be able to see. And to always believe, you are about to take flight.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”
The owl guides you to see beyond the veil of deception and illusion; it helps see what’s kept hidden. It also symbolize the ability to cut through illusions and see the real meaning of someone’s action or state of mind.
"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud."
Characterised by the flexibility and agility, no matter the circumstances, a cat will always manage to fall back on its feet. They say only a cat owner knows that no one owns the cat. It represents the subtle balance between independence and togetherness and how this balance is essential to self discovery.
The night sky has always held a sense of major fascination for me. As a child, I remember spending hours by my bedroom window at night, staring at the sky fixedly, studying her, memorising her and understanding all the things that she had to say to me. I did not know much about the sky then, but I was sure that she was at a considerable distance from my home and that it would cost a lot of money to reach there. That, however, did not keep me from dreaming. I was in love with the stars and in awe of the constellations. I loved how they would come together every night to give us hope and tell us stories.
Growing up a little, I learned the word ‘universe’. They told me that this ‘universe’ included everything. They said it was infinite in size. How overwhelming a knowledge it was that every time I look up at the sky from my bedroom window I’m actually staring at infinity itself! This thought, sometimes, made me feel small and insignificant, never depressed though. Other times, I would feel deeply humbled by it.
Gradually I came to realise that the universe is not a separate entity and that I’m very much a part of it. I read books that said that my body is made up of the same elements as the stars. A star died millions of years ago and the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen it released gave birth to a few of us. The atoms in my body contain the history of the universe and I cannot think of anything more inspiring to ever say to someone.
I remember I was in the fifth grade when our teacher asked us to write an essay on the topic ‘My Aim in Life’ and without a second thought I had written down, “When I grow up, I will be an astronaut.” I wrote how I wanted to go to the moon and see how blue our planet Earth shines when we look at it from space. When school got over that day, I came to know that about thirty other students out of fifty-six had written the same: astronaut.
It has been twenty five years to that day now. I have a desk job in an IT firm in a big city. So do all of the other thirty children. Isn’t it funny how we dare to dream so big when we are so little?
The night sky and constellations still fascinate me although the city lights do not always me grant me the privilege to behold them. On most nights, I sit down on the balcony with my daughter and tell her stories of how each constellation got its name. I watch her as she loses herself amidst the stars and as infinity reflects itself in her eyes. She’s got my eyes, they say.
One night, when I was tucking her into bed, she asked me if she can be a writer when she grows up. She likes stories, she told me.