Oh dear! This is painful. No one told me I would be this nervous, so unprepared and so worried. I am worried about how it will go, if I shall get through it smoothly and one last chance to hold on to this thing that has been a part of my for the past 5 years!
The PhD ladies and gentlemen is about ready to be born. I am ready for a final colour print and 5 copies, glued and bound to be submitted for examination. And I am nervous. Yes I have presented papers, given lectures and published my work. Yes I have done over 7 drafts of it and can recite forward and backwards in my sleep. Its been the pain in my life. The never ending work of writing and re-writing. Of traveling to Kashmir and back, transcribing interviews, asking pointed questions, lying or sitting still contemplating. Worrying about the end results. Thinking about word limits and the use of subjective opinions, of reading lists and reference formatting. It has been one long painful process of regurgitating my thoughts into text. Writing a linear story of a circuitous route of research. Mind maps converted into chapters and text. That flows, in terms of structure and content.
And now I have been given the go-ahead by my mentor to submit it for examination. No more edits, nothing. Hand it in and let the baby be. The baby shall be up for examination sometime soon and I am so nervous. I am not worried, I just wonder if perhaps I could improve it in some other way, give it yet another once over. Edit and edit more. Make it more perfect.
Which is why its my baby. I wonder if people (who examine it) will understand it, look after it, care about what it says and understand the painful process it has been, this journey of birthing it. I worry if I can make it a better baby and if I have been as good as I could have been to it.
And once it is out of my hands, it shall be out there in the world, to be read, used by anyone who wants to know about Kashmir, women, crafts, post conflict reconstruction, Islam, NGOs. It shall no longer be research close to my heart. It shall be a baby on its own. And then I shall get tested on it!
I feel like saying Boo!hoo! and Yipee! clicking my heels together midair. I never thought this point would come, I have dreamed of finishing, I have felt like finishing it, quitting it, getting rid of it, not thinking about it, trying to ignore it. But no more! Life as I know it, shall be different from Wednesday onwards!