In 1992 during the June 12 political crises and debates in the country, I wrote a letter to the editor, which was published in one of the dailies. It was my first published write-up and its publication encouraged me to write more and utilise my little writing skills. But as a role model in the family, late Salihijo Ahmad played a major role in my decision to write more often. He was the first to speak to me about my published letter, and spent time encouraging me to always put down whatever I feel strongly about, not necessarily for newspaper publication alone. He told me that many successful writers the world over have positively or negatively influenced decisions in their places and that if I can sustain ‘this gift’, I can make a lot positive contribution to the betterment of my society and country at large. That little sermon remains etched on my mind till date.