Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why Writing Matters and Stories Too

 I started writing as an awkward teenager, when the arduous journey of going to school and back, multiple tuitions and the ordeal of having a few classmates who used to come and ask me to make them read the “dirty parts” of a Sidney Sheldon book, seemed too much to handle.
Neither was I a class topper, nor a back bencher, floating through lessons as if they didn't matter. Of course, coming to think of it, calculus didn’t actually matter, but 2+2 sure does, even today. But I used to be perpetually excited about English classes, ready with my fancy mechanical pencil and eraser, to copiously scribble down what Shelley, Yeats or a Wordsworth thought while writing those beautiful verses, which still make me regret not pursuing a degree in English.
Anyway, getting back to how and why I started writing. A few months into my menstrual cycle (of course you did NOT need to know that), I was head over heels for a guy, about whom I knew nothing. I used to text spam him, bombarding the poor lad with a zillion messages from my landline number. It's not something I am acutely proud of, but when nothing worked out, I started writing. And it wasn't any of your morbid, sleazy passages about getting my heart broken. Instead, I kept recollecting the night when he danced like a dream in front of me, while I was PMSing and writhing with cramps. Those few hours, they were perfect. And the reason I remember them so vividly is because nine years back, I choose to write about it. (Man I feel like an old dame no!)
As I moved to college, my writing slowly changed from being like an acoustic cover of a Taylor Swift song, to something which slightly reflected the kind of person I was growing into. Instead of stalking random strangers, I started stalking strangers who also happened to fantastic journalists, writers, activists, and yes, feminists.
During my first college internship, I briefly worked with an organisation which worked towards eradicating prostitution. I was scared for my dear life, when I stepped into a red-light area for the first time in my life. The dingy alleys, the dark staircases, men strewn on floor. All of it made me acutely aware of the fact that struggle is such a never-ending process. And of how it is possible, to take charge of our lives, bodies and most importantly our souls when we want and how we want.
Three years have whirled by, I have written about bird hospitals, distressed jeans, spoken to authors whose books I love, some whose novels I have never read and plays which make me laugh alongside an audience of whom I know none.
I have enjoyed most of it, but at times, writing too feels like an obligation for which I am paid, and hence expected to churn out pieces which can be suitable for the palette of over a lakh people. That's why, when you do a fantastic story at work, mostly nobody notices, but one mistake and chappals are out, ready to dismiss your sheer existence.
The struggle these days, however, is mostly to catch up with the kind of writing, which I once couldn't do without. Exploding into a piece of paper, but never dissolving with it. Even if page gets lost, the essence of your inner exploration never does. So as I write this, during peak production hours, I wonder what if I didn't meet that pimply lad in a black blazer dancing on a Himesh Reshammiya song, would I still write?
I guess I still would. 

One of the most cheerful and nice authors whom I came across recently told me, "The act of writing is a joy in itself. It’s a very intriguing process of creation where ideas and incidents take over. You start with nothing and something comes out of it and you become a medium to write a story, one that needs to be told."
And even if it's your own story, especially if you write a blog like I do, you would be surprised to know how one's life stories can resonate across countries. Even if it's a nonchalant view alert from a country, whose name you hadn't heard of before, you realise how we all are but stories, and that in spite of wars, heartbreaks and separations, a moment which was once felt, observed and lived through, will float around as molecular tales, waiting to stumble into and happen in someone else’s life. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We often tend to oversimplify love, placing it at the top of  to-do lists, our brains and our hearts. It feels utterly bitter to like someone dearly and have them do the lamest of things to get rid of your nagging presence in their otherwise perfect lives. Like establishing the fact that they are rather solid with someone, and meeting them sneakily behind their mother's backs. Or telling you that they don't know where their life is headed. Better still, pinging on gtalk to inform that they are not single anymore. 

You could whack them across their faces, but you retain your calm and composure and utter the sanctimonious words, "I deserve better." Nope. Not true. Because there must be a time when you also have tried miserably to communicate to someone, "Look, You and Me. Never going to happen." 

And it's okay, to not like or to like someone because attraction is fleeting and so subjective. You either like someone or you don't. But just because the other person is unsure of his/her feelings is it okay to ostracize yourself for it? You know, it's not.

It's a beautiful feeling to admire someone but we must try to not base it on the bleak prospect of getting into a relationship with them. Instead initiate a friendship, and if that feels awkward, sit back and see where things go. But don't give up on that fleeting emotion, which makes you dizzy because you yourself can't possibly fathom how this one person makes you lose control of your otherwise brilliant memory and mumble gibberish whenever you see them. 

Yes, this post is dedicated to a friend because I relate to the dichotomy in her life far too much. It took me most of teenage and adult years to isolate admiration from reciprocation because it feels like crap to get your heart broken by someone and it does wonders to your self esteem!  

It's not easy, and maybe one of those jerks will turn around one day, and say, "It will be a pleasure to have my heart broken by you." Till then, love yourself, love your ability to not get shattered, even when someone dismisses you and do let go, when you have to. How else, would you finally meet the atrocious monkey, who thinks you look the best in the morning, with your tousled hair, horrible breath and red eyes. 

And remember, even when you don't, a nerdfighter called John Green once said, "We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken."