The constant blinking cursor always reminds me of my dog’s wagging tail. In anticipation of the belly rub and our daily conversations, the tail’s speed reduces as he sees my tired face walking to the door and he just vanishes. After a point of staring at the screen, the cursor also ends up merging with the screen. The screen switches and I see that blank expression in my face.
The colourless screen however becomes a theatre about the stories in my mind I can write. The mind dilly-dallies into writing how I met one of my most favourite people to a random thought that sprang upon while driving. But just as most of the movies, the thoughts do not translate well into the screen. And it is the ever faithful demon backspace button who has the sole rights of whatever thoughts and incidents and people I want to talk about.
Z always frowns and shouts at me for deleting before even asking someone on how it is, and Z is right. An old idea in my mind got resurrected thanks to an uncle who didn’t use his earphones and was watching Republic TV in the loudest volume. So much so that even Arnab Goswami could break the phone (Who am I kidding he would be happily listening to it). It is one of the only few blog posts I am extremely proud of because I managed to convey that emotion to whoever is reading, wherever they are.
I am thankful to a lot of things last year, some unexpected while some needed. The realisation that my writing isn’t as great as I thought it to be was much deserved. Because few years back some friends were impressed that I can write few lines and has the structure of poem. A friend enthusiastically opened an Instagram page for it while other made a logo. But as I continued exploring different blog posts and news articles, short stories and long form essays, anaectodes about cities and relationships. I realised how I might not be using my privilege of knowing the language, the access to various tools very well. That thought was made clear when I read Prof VJ’s essay. I still continue to go back to this and read it till the inclination to postponing my work runs away to get an asylum. The writing process usually fails and guilt seeps in. It seems like it was hiding under the bed and lofts that it suddenly makes itself present all over. As Z said in one of my favourite pieces she had written, “It’s annoying, leaves you with a fluttery head and sometimes it hurts too. It’s biting into an egg shell in your paneer roll’.
Passing over this phase is annoying as it invariably finds an off button which makes me a zombie just short of eating people’s brain. That I do on a daily basis so I ignore the necessity to do it at this state. Over the course of 2018, I have tried overcoming this effect on me. Evading the guilt which lurks around, I continue to unwind by listening to a podcast of a random dude saying something meaningful but it only adds some background noise as I think.
My writing process can be best described as the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It was my ultimate favourite movie once but now I can’t even watch a scene of it. As Karan Johar said he wouldn’t have probably made the movie now and he didn’t understand the scenes he had written then. But the writing sounded convincing enough. The same way I wouldn’t have written few articles on my blog and journals. But if there was no movie then his life would have been different same as how my writing has evolved.
From rushing over to spending time with my writing. Some things have changed, I was glad with this Open Dosa piece I managed to write mainly because Acha said that “felt like I was sitting there” The only thing I was looking to bring to a reader. Credit for this goes to poor Z who has to listen to my whining and pointing out mistakes even before she read what I had written. Her honest review and suggestions helps me calm the dancing ostrich in my head. Credit for this mainly goes to Prof VJ who just allows me to write whatever the hell I want to and patiently suggests how I can improve. Once confronted with the doubt about my writing, she lets me know on what Prof AM said to her once “Write whatever the **** you want to”. That I have decided to follow.
I spend a couple of minutes on my blog everyday and refresh the Twitter feed like a frustrated achacha with a touchscreen phone as I am always looking for places where I can perfect it. Things to read and know about, use the different writing styles I come across for ideas in my head. When I joined a writing intensive course I would have said good things about my writing to you. I take it all back. But now I don’t and I give a neural reply.
I find writing to be like travelling in a train. You have to adjust and fight with the conflicting thoughts. Hope you find the right words for a peaceful travel. Constantly worrying about whether have you forgotten to say something which everyone has to know.
I realised writing isn’t the destination where the final edited article comes to but the editing of paragraphs, grammar and spell checks. Using little words to convey big ideas . For me, it is a journey. An intoxicating one with a combination no one has an idea of. But when it drops you at that destination, it leaves you with the right amount of adrenaline and serotonin.