The other day when I told Ro that I write, he seemed really shocked and that stunned me. Yeah I know that not too many friends of mine know that I write and I dont want them to know. However Ro’s reaction got me thinking. Why do I write? Why do I write and not make a fuss about it? I write because I don’t know any other way.I write because my fingers hurt if I don’t and my mind doesn’t rest till it’s penned down(virutally). I don’t care whether it will please my people, or whether it’s going to win a Booker or whether it will truly be the best piece of writing I’ve ever done. I write because it makes me human. It’s my heart’s way of expressing itself.
I remember Das telling me that when I was really young, I used to take Readers Digest and read and laugh at the jokes. Mind you, I was hardly 5-6 years then and there is no way I’d understand what was written! I still laughed. I wrote essays and cut out pictures of important news and wrote about them in my own style. Like my own personal newspaper. I think Das has all that kept away safely. I used to draw too. Artist A. Ramachandran, a friend of an uncle used to term it as modern art then. It used to be window, lines, circles and god knows what shapes. But I remember Ramachandran uncle slowly deciphering it and asking me if I thought while i painted. He, dad and my mother were pretty sure that I’d be a creative person rather than a geeky person. I could not have cared less abt what I’m going to become. I wrote because I needed to. I wrote poems that didn’t make sense to anyone but me. I wrote books on spiral pads about people/incidents who meant something to me. My brother used to make fun of it saying i’d copied it from somewhere. But you must know that i am talking about an era where the internet was still unheard of.
I was someone and I felt something because I wrote. I would get up in the middle of the night and write thoughts that came into my head, dreams that were disjointed, rhymes that came from a consciousness I didn’t know existed. I wrote a diary for years. Everyday. Things that made me smile, things that troubled me, things that could be better.I wrote fiction. I wrote about things I thought about would/could happen and the emotions that I’d have if it did come true. I made a diary after diary of my life. I kept it locked away. Like all my other writing work. I didn’t want to show it to the world…not even the people closest to me. It was mine. It was private. It was not meant for public scrutiny. I didn’t want the criticism on it. I didn’t need the feedback. Until my brother stumbled upon it one day and made a hue and cry about it! Thats the day I stopped writing diaries and to this day, I havent written an entry.
I went on to study human minds. I thought it was the most fascinating thing. I still think it is. I wasnt too keen on learning psychology but as I read, learnt and wrote more, I realised how amazing the human mind was. I would come home numb from exhaustion, bruised from the reprimands and broken from the penury and that’s when I could do only one thing. I wrote.I sat down and filled the virtual world with stories of people and places and my feelings to all of it. Till I went to sleep. Till I knew my heart was happy for a few hours.
And then it happened. I decided…very hesitatingly…that maybe I should show something to the world…And I wrote an idea out. An idea that came from a conversation. An idea that had bearings to my own life. Something that a few people might be able to identify with. And I wrote my first post.It didn’t have a title then. It was just this idea. And it developed, like my life into something larger. I kept it closely guarded. Afraid that if I show it to someone they will bring it down. Afraid that people might think this is my life or that my life would turn out to be the way i wrote here. But I wrote, concentrating on just the feelings of the fictional incidents and events I created. The actions would come later. The mind doesn’t really know Love. Only the heart does. And that was my beginning. I deleted more than I wrote. I began to think that unless it was the best piece I’ve written, it should be trashed. I researched and the feelings turned into style.People who were regular readers commented that I was changing and that my style was improving. I became confused. That was not me.I always wrote because no one was looking. It was my secret place. And now it had to be all those things that I could not fathom I would be.
And it finished.I sent it to the recycle bin.I say recycle bin because I started again. Yet again. Being true to myself. I wrote with a passion that came from knowing that I had a gift. I could imagine really well and I knew it had to be given due credit. So I wrote. My soul was out there. For all to see. To criticise and hate. This was it. And now as I wait for the reactions to come back, I know that my heart will not be able to take the dissension yet I will be strong enough to live another day.To write more.
No looking back. After all I have the gift.
Today, when I see the recognition I get, be it likes, shares or comments or just clicks/visits, I know and I am assured that my gift is real and not imagined. Not fiction.