A true human being, have spent around five decades in this mortal world. An old soul, born in oldest city alive on earth, in northern part of India, in ancient city of Varanasi. Second born, to wonderful practical and intellectual parents, and sibling of two Doctors of Philosophy in Chemistry and Biochemistry respectively. I became a Biochemical Engineer and later shifted interests to man made machines and became COBOL Programmer, as was married to a Software Professional and wanted to be on same page and share common interests! Data is part of my life now!
I am Shikha Saxena, mother of three, two adult daughters and a teenage son, who keep me engaged enough in their varied topics and keep me connected to changing world around me.
My hands are full in juggling duties of home, family, work and writing — my passion!
Grew in city of Varanasi also called Kashi or Benares or Banaras which is also known as city of temples established by Lord Shiva Himself on the banks of river Ganges!
This city which never sleeps and the cycle of life and death, continuously goes on… people seek moksha- the salvation…. if they breath their last here!
People from all over India desire to reach Varanasi, at least once to bathe in Sacred river Ganges and wash off their sins, before they present themselves to Lord in Heaven, whom they are answerable ultimately.
I belong to this city where great scholars as Kabir, Tulsidas, Buddha created and presented their work for generations to follow.
The famous Banaras Hindu University, is the biggest university in Asia with Institute of Technology, Medical Science, Agricultural Science, Faculties of Science, Arts, Commerce, Law and Management and numerous Departments of all the streams one can imagine, are all under one umbrella.
All the faculty, Staff and Student’s residences and hostels within university campus, study halls, libraries, create a unique harmony among Teacher and Student relationships, cherished forever, by both.
I graduated in Chemistry and completed my two Masters in Biochemistry and Biochemical Engineering from Faculty of Science and Institute of Technology, of esteemed Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
In addition to Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi and Punjabi languages, I can speak in local Bhojpuri dialect, which I learned being a local to Varanasi city and due to my ability to copy dialects.
During my school days I had this hobby of speaking Hindi in all different dialects, present in different States of India. On top of it fluent Benarasi accent comes naturally to me.
If you happen to visit India, visit to Varanasi and BHU Campus is a must!
Choose me as your virtual guide and translator! I will help you bargain some interesting finds as silk sarees, scarves and golden yellow Brass (alloy of copper and Zinc) metal antiques in famous Vishwanath Gali : ) And If you are a food lover, local Samosas, Chai, Poori-Bhaji and Kachoris, Lassi will make your trip a memorable one! (Here would like to make a Wish — May Lord pull us out of present Pandemic, forever and let us enjoy small joys of life, like earlier days!).
Growing up in a city of people with tremendous art, culture and literary taste, I got chance to attend painting exhibitions, cultural classical dance and classical singing events.
It helped me in learning water and Oil color painting, Embroidery, Crochet, Sitar recital and Ghazal singing and Bharatanatyam (cultural dance form of South India), Bhajans (religious praise of Lord) and folk songs. Was also impressed by student — western rock bands of Institute of Technology festivals.
So, after completing my studies, got married to a wonderful person, in software profession and was introduced to western part of world. I started my family life, while learning programming in Pennsylvania state of United States.
Spent initial years of marriage, raising family and had best time of my life with kids and their initial school days. Got chance to travel USA, Australia, Thailand, Europe, back to India with my better half and children.
Recently celebrated our silver anniversary arranged by our kids! First milestone of a wonderful journey of married life!!
Throughout these years kept writing, learning and sharing events and journeys with my parents and siblings, friends and enriching my knowledge through exchange of ideas. Learning should never stop! It is an ongoing process.
Sometimes consider myself a Global Citizen, a Globe Trotter a Nomad with different stopovers.
During stopover in New Delhi, I started my professional carrier as Teacher/ Guest Lecturer of Chemistry, then Lecturer of Biotechnology in NCR region of New Delhi. I mentored and taught talented young minds and budding Biotechnologists, now established professionals in India and United States. I have tried to maintain same student-teacher bonds with them, which I learned and experienced, during my BHU days in Varanasi.
All my students, now with their respective young families and great careers have reciprocated in the same way. I wish them, all the best, in their personal and professional life!
Next phase of my career trained me as software developer and tester in banking domain where I learned nuances of programming, sitting next to new budding software engineers.
It was a hectic, fast paced and wonderful experience. I spent training and working in Bengaluru away from my family. Talking to my three kids over phone, made me question myself as “What is the use of this tough ordeal, I planned for myself? Support of my better half, my in-laws and parents kept me moving in the right direction.
It was different life in Bengaluru! Studying, learning and discussions with software engineers, fresh college pass outs and trainers, far younger than me, was an experience in itself! However, as I believe in Motto- One life to live, I wanted to learn each and every new technology and proceedings in software world.
Was trained as Mainframe programmer and Vision Plus developer/tester for banking domain and got chance to work in multinational software firm in Bengaluru and then in multinational banking giant, based in Pune, India.
Passion for reading and writing made it easier to serve in the area of Technical Writing.
While shifting from Waterfall to Iterative to Agile mode of software development, also shifted mode of Technical Writing to Agile Technical Writing, User Stories and Business Writing.
Started attending national and international conferences as participant and speaker.
Acceptance of proposal on “Art of Writing in Agile” and receiving the invite to attend and speak in international STC Summit in Washington, DC in May, 2017, was an ultimate moment.
Recovering from Thyroid surgery and ailment besides preparing for International Conference, gave a boost to my health and career. A new zest to life. I was extremely happy, though I regret that, I could not share this great news with my learned, aging father, a Scientist himself, who slipped in this journey of life. He was my inspiration!
I attended the conference in Washington, DC in May 2017 and presented my work to talented Technical Communicators of the world. I felt like Alice in Wonderland!
And the same year, in last quarter, my better half got an assignment in United States and we came back on duty, to this wonderful land of opportunity, away from our motherland!
Residing here in Buffalo, NY, I am working as Digital Marketing professional, and sharing my story through this wonderful Medium Publication!
Hope you all keep safe and sound and keep writing and sharing your work!