In Conversation with Roger Ebert

I am in conversation. When you think about it, Twitter is something like a casual conversation among friends over dinner: Jokes, gossip, idle chatter, despair, philosophy, snark, outrage, news bulletins, mourning the dead, passing the time, remembering favorite lines, revealing yourself.”
 
“I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi.
In the morning, I’ll find a poetic tweet waiting from the wonderful @natashabadhwar, who is a filmmaker and photographer in New Delhi and most of all a mum of three….
I picked up paper and pen in Village Adilabad, District Ghazipur, India and wrote him a reply. It is posted in the Comments section of the link mentioned on the top of this page. It goes like this:

Dear Roger,
Hi, this is the mother of three from New Delhi. We are far away from Delhi, I am typing from a borrowed internet connection. It is late in this hot, dusty, quiet village in East UP. We are in one of our homes. Summer holiday.

I came to Twitter to find a quiet private place where I could put back the pieces of a self that felt broken and bruised in many places. To climb out of the dark hole in which I found myself.

I had turned away from the wonderful world around me, a world that I thrived in, succeeded in, and one that I was hooked to. Yet it was also a place that was superficial and hollow; where truth had been painted over in dark colors. Where it seemed forbidden to raise questions, make inquiries and seek change. (Among other things I had been working in news television for longer than necessary.)

I found that I could not be a mother to my children in this world. I did not know how to nurture myself and those I loved. I did not know how to reconnect with the God who had bailed me out so many times in my teens and early youth.

“Lie fallow. It is vast, empty, raw and sore. But it is fertile.”

Everything seemed alright and yet it did not. Beauty ruled our senses, yet it was not enough. I missed my friends, yet I needed something else more urgently.

“The only way to begin to hear my voice was to walk towards the silence. http://twitpic.com/1jn9jr
“The view from the surface was fine, it was even beautiful. Yet, for reasons unknown to herself, she took the plunge.”

Tweet by tweet, update by update, I began to create a world that I could live in, that I did live in. I wrote to console and entertain, to live in the moment, the moment that in itself was the meaning of my life. I wrote dreams and memories, I began to share and expand my world. I sent out, I received.

“Baby Nam sleeps in my lap, her cheek listening to my heart. Good night for now”
“Mamma, there are many different worlds out there, but the same one sky for all. Aliza returns from her travels.”
“The little girl was very attached to things. She realized that it seemed silly. She transferred her love and loyalty to imaginary people”

For a while I lived at home with myself and met the outside world via internet. I needed to build spaces where love, beauty, humor and inspiration would dominate. I needed to replenish and nourish. To shed my defenses and rip away the cloak of timidity. And bring to the fore everything that I know matters.

“Confidence is a paper plane. It soars, it crashes, I fold a new one.”
“I know anger, I know hate and sadness. I don’t bring them here, they’re useless on stage. Here I practice alchemy, I come to meet alchemists”

Eventually, my alchemy began to work. Eventually, I found other alchemists on Twitter.

Thank you, Roger Ebert, for your smartness and generosity, for your childlike wonder and joy in the world around us. Your confidence in your sixth sense is so inspiring, I’m afraid I’m going to end up doing some very foolish things soon as I resolve to follow my own sixth sense.

“6 year old’s today what-to-do list http://twitpic.com/1iormg
“Ask Baby Nam what Papa did when the monkeys sneaked in today, and she will raise her arm and throw imaginary shoes at you”

Love,
Natasha

Ebert: Natasha, you are my shining light on Twitter. You showed me what could be done. You make 140 characters into a universe. I am not surprised that you could have had a period of unhappiness and discontent. Anyone who evokes the joy in what you write could not do so without a deep sense of gratitude.

Readers: I know what you’re thinking. It is:

http://twitter.com/natashabadhwar

About Natasha Badhwar

"Because I'm a Tinker. That's who I am. Tinkers fix things. But I can't do it alone." (Pause for lots of action. Group Action......) "You did it, Tinker, you saved Spring!" I also have three children, one marriage, a million friends and one life.
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9 Responses to In Conversation with Roger Ebert

  1. we have spoken on twitter, we have spoken on the phone. we've done things in reverse, from the ways we would have in the past, when facetime first would result in such secondary and tertiary conversations. now we have to meet

  2. Natasha says:

    Shubhra,That's why we got 30 mangoes for you from the village orchard. Banarsi langdas. Now we have to meet before the mangoes ripen. Right now they are resting from their journey on a dhurrie on the kitchen floor. Using newspapers as bedsheets

  3. aaaaah. for those that love langda, there is no other mango. and you will let them rest on their bedsheets till we come to claim what's ours. off to the hills early tomorrow morning, back in a couple of days, at your doorstep after

  4. Your tweets make me happy to be alive. (And to have eyes and the Internet. And to have remembered my Twitter password that time I forgot it. But chiefly to be alive.)If I were a publisher there would be a book of them.

  5. Natasha says:

    Scott Jordan Harris,The Universe loves you. I hope you feel beloved.Natasha

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is very helpful!

  7. anand pandey says:

    " Dil ko dil se raah hoti hai " You deserve it.And more.Jai ho!anand.

  8. Vrushali says:

    A heart felt thank you Natasha.. Your words bring a sense of hope and peace to me. Thank you, again, for your tweets and posts.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So lovely. You, him, how you found each other. I miss you, chica. All love,Sona.

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