Happy Birthday, Womaning! 🎂
The origin story and a birthday podcast!
I am beyond excited to be finally posting, as promised, the official one-year anniversary special kamaal dhamaal grand golden bonanza post of Womaning in India.
The origin story
One year back - on December 4, 2020 to be precise - I hit ‘Publish’ on the first Womaning post. It was my birthday and the husband convinced me that it was as good a day as any to finally take the plunge on this idea I had been blabbing to him about for years.
‘Womaning in India’ originally germinated as a book idea in my mind. And then, like most good ideas, it gathered dust right there in my mind for ages and ages.
One day, I gathered the courage to share it with Amit Varma - a man who needs no introduction in podcasting and writing circles - and who I am privileged to call a friend. Amit suggested I start it off as a weekly newsletter, just to get the writing done.
Indulge my vain trip down memory lane a bit more, because the origin story of Womaning does not end even after I get this incredible dose of inspiration from someone who is a writing role model to hundreds of his students, and then some.
I opened a Substack account and started typing a ‘Welcome’ post to my brand new newsletter. And there it sat - in my drafts folder - for two solid months.
You don’t have to take my word for this. Check out the date on the first post which was published on December 4 but will forever carry the date October 6 - proof that that is how long it took for me to go live with this thing. (Fun fact: This date discrepancy was something I realized only recently when an observant reader wished me Happy Womaning Birthday on October 6 this year.)
I got my first 100 subscribers the very day I finally managed to publish the Welcome post. Which is a true testament to how crazy my friends and family really are. These were the 100 people who loved me truly and blindly enough to hit ‘subscribe’ to anything I was promising to churn out, without care for quality or credibility.
It might sound like a great accomplishment to hit the 100-subscriber milestone on Day 1. But it also felt like a daunting responsibility. I had shot an arrow in the dark, and now I had to follow through on it with actual content. Week after week.
By Week 3, the entire format of Womaning had changed drastically from what I had originally imagined it to be. I have lost count of the number of weeks I dragged me feet to the finish line. At least twice a week, I rue the day I committed to a weekly publishing frequency instead of a fortnightly one.
To this day, I cannot say that I ‘know’ which post will work and which will not. My most widely read post - which has crossed 11,000 views today - was something that I thought ‘was not my best work’ when I wrote it. And then there were posts that I was exceptionally proud of, but which vanished rather quietly into the void of your inboxes.
Now that we have established that I am as clueless as you on this entire shindig, let me move to the second part of the kamaal-dhamaal Birthday post.
The Womaning birthday was aptly marked with the release of a StoryRules podcast, in which the host, Ravishankar Iyer, and I talk about all things Womaning and all things storytelling.
Here is the complete episode which Ravi released on December 4 2021, and is available on all popular Podcast apps.
Also available on
For those who would like to read a glimpse of the transcript before committing to listening to it, you can find it on Ravi’s original post here.
The chat with Ravi was genuinely one of the most thought-provoking and interesting conversations I have had in a long long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
More parting love
Even as I conclude this one-year post, I cannot believe that we are here already. Not that the message has reached anywhere close to where it needs to, but I am humbled by all the love Womaning has received from all of you so far. Over 1500 subscribers. Over $2000 in coffees you bought me. Thousands of views week after week. And most touching of all - your personal messages to me describing how something I wrote touched your heart.
Of course, none of this would exist without all the amazing women who have opened up their hearts and shared their stories with me - you give me the building blocks on which Womaning stands, and for that I am going to be eternally grateful to you.
Much love and adoration,
This newsletter comes to you free of cost. But that does not mean that it costs nothing.
Womaning in India is a physical, mental, and emotional labour of love. If you appreciate the work I am doing with it, show me your love by buying me a coffee.