Work-From-Home Stories With Our Sr. Content Writer – Aarohi Pathak

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In the first episode of The Translate By Humans Podcast: For Humans, By Humans, our host Shifa Miyaji talks to Senior Content Writer Aarohi Pathak to get a glimpse into her personal story – her experience as a remote worker, how did she go from pursuing a career in medicine to becoming a writer and a lot more. 

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Translate By Humans bi-weekly podcast, where I talk to colleagues, linguists and experts about their lives, cultural experiences, and professions. Join me as I, Shifa Miyaji – Content Writer and Social Media enthusiast – take you on a journey through some amusing and inspiring personal stories.

Today we have Aarohi Pathak, Senior Content Writer at Translate By Humans. And we’ll be talking about a lot of things – her life, her creative experiences, remote working, and how she went from pursuing a career in medicine to becoming a writer.

Make sure you tune into the second part of this interview, where Aarohi will share tips about writing, writer’s tech stack and e-commerce localisation tips that can help brands reach the global consumer market. So let’s begin. Shall we?

So for those who are listening in on this conversation, Aarohi works remotely from Bangalore (in India) and coordinates with the rest of the team based here in Ahmedabad (India).
So Aarohi, how are you liking it?

My desk is literally a stone's throw away from my bed. However, there have been some dull days when I crave meaningful conversations with my colleagues. I do miss not being with the entire team for birthday celebrations and tea breaks. I love tea. Also, I miss dressing up every day to go to the office.

- Aarohi
Well, there are some pros and cons. I started working from home right after I got married in November last year. So I was adjusting to both – the new working style and being married. I remember being quite pumped up about having the perfect desk set up. Since I have more responsibilities now, it helps to cut down on the commute time.

Oh yes. We miss having you here too. So now, that it’s been a couple of months since you started working remotely, have you optimised this new working style?

Yes, there are some tricks I’ve learned along the way. For instance, I ensure that I take 10-minute breaks in every two hours or so. Also, I have acquired this new habit of taking mid-afternoon showers.

This way, I get a chance to break the monotonous flow of work. It increases my productivity quite concertedly. Creative inspiration, on the other hand, can be a bit of a challenge. I watch a lot of movies, read books, listen to podcasts, meet people. If you’ve noticed my blogs on Translate By Humans, you realise that I use many examples of these movies and shows to explain various concepts.

Yes, yes. I have noticed that. That is wonderful. Do you have any pro tips to share with our listeners?

Yes, I have two. One, if you’re working from home, you’ll feel the urge to eat something every hour or so. Keeping some healthy snacks by your side always helps. Plus, create a schedule that suits you and includes some form of physical and mental exercise. I like doing crosswords, and I try to walk at least five kilometers after dinner every day.

I know. Right? I mean, since the lockdown, it’s been really difficult to keep ourselves active, both physically and mentally.

That’s true. All of us will need to make a conscious effort now that we are adjusting to this new lifestyle style.

True. True.
So Aarohi, I and our listeners would love to know more about you, for instance, how were you as a child?

Oh, pretty much the same as my current self. Curious, logical, stubborn and sarcastic, coupled with a weird sense of humour. As a kid, I had terrible social skills. I was quite straightforward and never minced my words. So there is this custom in India where adults bring gifts or money for kids whenever they visit their friends or family. I was six years old. My grandpa’s friend gave me some cash in my hand. After inspecting it for a minute, I announced that the 500 rupee note was torn and that he should give me another one.

Oh, my. Your parents must have been so embarrassed.

Yes. Yes, they were. But they always sympathised with the fact that I had difficulties understanding what’s appropriate to say in a social situation. Over time, I interacted with many different kinds of people and learned that there are certain unsaid, undetermined social tools that one must follow.

Oh. So, am I correct to assume that you had difficulty in making friends too?

Yes. Yes, you are. Correct. My mother used to pack my tiffin (lunchbox) with extra food and remind me to share it with my classmates, hoping that that would get them to talk to me and become my friends. This worried her initially, but as I started finding like-minded peers to hang out with, she understood that I’m just selective about who I interact with.

Yeah. Sometimes kids need a little bit of time to learn who to engage with and how to engage with them. I agree with you. So how was your school life? Were you interested in writing even then?

Well, many people find this difficult to believe, but during most of my schooling, I was working towards becoming a doctor.

Oh, really?

Yeah. It started sometime during my childhood when I got a doctor’s set to play with. I remember walking around the entire house with a stethoscope around my neck, pretending to check everyone’s heartbeat. My parents thought, well, the girl wants to become a doctor. As a child, you believe most of what is said to you. So I grew up firmly believing that I wanted to become a doctor.

So when did you exactly develop an interest in writing?

I would say the interest in writing has always been there. Usually, I used to score very well in my language exams – English, Hindi, Sanskrit. I actively participated in state and national literary competitions – extempore, debate, declamation, creative writing, and more. I borrowed a lot of books from the library and my friends. My mother used to school me when I used to read past my bedtime. So I borrowed a Torchlight from my dad to help me read at night. A couple of months later, I got my eyes tested, and as it turns out, I had to start wearing spectacles. So my mother finally gave up and said that as long as it’s not affecting my academics, I can read for as long as I want.

That is relatable as a bookworm. So how did that pay off after school?

By the time I completed high school, I no longer felt motivated to study or practice medicine.

Oh, okay.

Yeah. My teachers helped me differentiate between my interests and dreams and those of my parents. So I understood that what I really wanted to do was study literature and write, but I still went ahead and gave my medical exams. I told my parents that I wouldn’t like to invest seven years of my life unless I’m getting a seat in either dental college or an MBBS college. But as it turns out, my score did not meet the cutoff. And they were giving me a seat in optometry. So I refused, turned around and never looked back. The next day, I filled the form for Bachelors of Arts in English Literature at St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad.

Wait, wait, wait! So you changed the entire course of your academics and career…in a day?

Yes! And it was a gamble. My parents were quite disappointed. They thought I would be one of those confused kids who pursued art for fun and would never be able to make a career out of it. I had two rounds of interviews at St. Xaviers. In the first interview, the professors seemed a little apprehensive about me since I came from a science background. She wanted to ensure that I have a serious interest in writing and literature. So for my next interview, I carried a bunch of certificates I had received for all my wins in literally competitions over the years because I wanted to show her that I have always had this inclination towards writing since the very beginning.

So was she convinced?

Fortunately, yes. That followed three amazing years of being taught English literature by professors who I greatly admire. Plus, I also met like-minded people with whom I had many memorable, intellectually stimulating conversations.

Great. You probably get this question a lot, but who are your favourite writers and poets?

Off the top of my mind, JK Rowling and Jeffrey Archer. I recently read ‘Becoming – Michelle Obama’s Memorial’. I liked that as well. I am currently reading ‘Ikigai – The Japanese secret to a long and happy life’. It is quite enlightening. And, um, as for my favourite poems and poets, there is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson. And I can also tell you my favourite play! It’s Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.

That’s quite a list. So your character development and education till now have been really interesting. Tell me more about your college life and your Masters.

After I finished my graduation, I applied to various journalism schools across the country, and I got admission into the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media – IIJNM in Bangalore. It was a one-year course. They prepared and trained us to become hardcore journalists. But during one of my campus interviews, a content startup caught my eye, and I was interested enough to apply to join the team. That is how I got my first job.

That’s interesting. So the first job is generally really special. How was it for you?

That is true. Yes. First jobs are always special. And so was mine. I learned a lot. I learned how to interact with my peers, how to interact with clients, how to keep deadlines and a lot of other things. So my role as a content specialist required me to create and manage content for many popular Indian brands like Avon Life Insurance, World Gold Council, HDFC, ICCI, TATA Capital, GSK and many other brands. I created content in many different forms, quizzes, infographics, short videos, articles, etc. And I also managed a team of freelancers. It was a great experience.

That seems fascinating. So if you don’t mind, can I ask you the reason for switching jobs?

Well, yes. Uh, my first job was based in Mumbai. I wished to relocate to my hometown. So I decided to return to Ahmedabad. And that is when I joined another product based SAAS company as a content specialist. I managed all their content processes right from editing blogs, writing blogs, writing website copies, social media posts to creating newsletters, product emails, and case studies. This was a very different kind of writing from what I had done earlier. So here as well, I learned quite a lot. I learned how to write copy for the product. Finally, I ended up at Translate by Humans.

So your journey till now seems like it’s been a lot of learning and a lot of amazing experiences. How has your journey been with Translate By Humans?

Working here at Translate By Humans has been amazing. They've introduced me to a new and fascinating industry of language services. I now possess a great understanding of the essential role that language and communication play in our lives. Also, I like our diverse, small, but growing team. They've have helped me immensely in adjusting to remote working.

- Aarohi
Well, working here at Translate By Humans has been amazing. They’ve introduced me to a new and fascinating industry of language services. I now possess a great understanding of the essential role that language and communication play in our lives. It’s given me a whole new perspective. Also, I like our diverse, small, but growing team. They’ve have helped me immensely in adjusting to remote working.

That’s great! It’s been really nice knowing about your childhood, the journey of your writing career and everything that brought you here to the team.

Thank you. Likewise.

So listeners tune into the next part of our podcast to get some actionable tips and hacks from Aarohi about writing, productivity and e-commerce localisation as well.

But before we end here, I would just like to ask one last question. Aarohi, is there anything that the team doesn’t know about you?

Yes, there is.

Please tell us.

Um, this might be an interesting piece of information for all of you, but I have actually done some subtitling work in the past.

Okay, really?

You might know about Mallika Sarabhai. She is a very well-known figure in our country.

Yes, yes. I do.

She had a Gujarati chat show; she was the host. Her team was looking for college students who could speak, read and write English, Hindi and Gujarati because they wanted to create subtitles for the Gujarati chat show in English and Hindi. Hmm. So I was chosen by their team, and I worked on the subtitles for a couple of months. And that time, I think they used to pay us 500 rupees per episode.

Okay. That is really interesting. Thank you, Aarohi, for sharing that with us.
So listeners, stay tuned, and Aarohi, it was great talking to you. We look forward to talking to you again in our next episode. See you soon.

Thanks, Shifa. It was great talking to you too.

About The Translate By Humans Podcast

Made by humans, for humans. The Translate By Humans podcast takes you through some inspiring personal stories and cultural experiences of people working in the language industry.

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji is a Content Writer at Translate By Humans. A former student of Mass Media and Corporate Communication, she conducts intensive research for her blogs and articles and keeps tab on all developments in the language industry to curate interesting & trending content for all our social media platforms. Learning about new languages, cultures and cuisines excites her and when she isn't engrossed in the newest fictional hardback, she can be found fantasizing about her next solo trip.
Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji

Shifa Miyaji is a Content Writer at Translate By Humans. A former student of Mass Media and Corporate Communication, she conducts intensive research for her blogs and articles and keeps tab on all developments in the language industry to curate interesting & trending content for all our social media platforms. Learning about new languages, cultures and cuisines excites her and when she isn't engrossed in the newest fictional hardback, she can be found fantasizing about her next solo trip.
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Comments

  1. Beautifully Expressed the Real Aspects of Self Life…
    Keep Spreading Positivity Aarohi Bitiya…

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