The Guilt of Not Writing for a Long Time

In each of our lives there is something which is effortless, pure, and enjoyable. It is the thing which gives us real pleasure. When we are it, we are mindful and aware of our existence. It could be dancing, gardening, painting, reading, writing, or anything. We may name it ‘the calling’, ‘stress buster’, or whatever we wish. But the only truth is that it makes us forget the time and connect with our real self. For me, writing has always been one such thing, apart from reading and spending time in nature.

So the question comes is, does it really make any difference if you love reading but don’t read, love writing but don’t write, love dancing but don’t dance?

It doesn’t. Doesn’t make any difference to the world.

If you don’t read, or write, or dance, or paint, it hardly matters. The earth continues to revolve at the same speed as before.

So how does it makes any difference?
It makes difference to YOU.

It has been one & a half year since I last updated this blog. In the past also I’ve taken breaks from blogging. But at those times I had never forsaken my writing habit. I maintained a spiral journal in which I wrote frequently, if not daily. But this time it has been different. I did not write anything at all.
Guilty? Yes, highly!

Why?
Because due to change in work I had to part with my family. And the times have been challenging. Further, I chose the easiest option – not to write anything. Whereas the truth is that hard times provide that needed fuel on which the flame of our creativity feeds. I could have continued writing and put on paper my tough times, the lessons I’ve learnt, and the way I managed to go on. But I didn’t. And that is what hurts.

Nonetheless, times are still tough, though slightly improved with a tiny silver lining beginning to appear on the horizon. And I’ve dusted off my spiral journal, and I’m writing more religiously than ever before.

“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.” -Author Unknown

One thing I’ve realised is that writing is nothing more than pursuit of truth, your truth. I had a false notion that writing is about style & grammar. Writing is all about truth. And I think each one of us should write something everyday to find our truth, our meaning of existence. So, do write. Write few words a day, few sentences a week, few paragraphs a month. But those words, sentences or paragraphs should contain truth – your truth. That is all there is. May be this is what Hemingway also meant when he wrote:

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

See you in the next post. Till then, keep writing.

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A Typish Story

‘Hello, Uncle.’ I extended a greeting to the typist cum sales manager cum owner of a small document shop.

‘Haan. Hello!’ He replied while straightening his body on the tattered wooden chair he had been reclining after a lunch.

‘I’m looking for a typewriter,’ I asked. ‘Do you have one?’

‘A typewriter! Why do you require a typewriter?’

‘For typing, of course!’ I grinned.

‘See! Here!’ He tapped the keyboard of his computer and the dozing computer got back to life. ‘Does all, haan. Why would anyone still need a typewriter?’

I need a typewriter…

I need a typewriter because I’m fed up of sitting in front of a computer all day in the office.

I need a typewriter because when my family is asleep in the night, I want to creep into the next room and go rat-tat-tat, tat-tat, click! And see words forming on a paper.

I need a typewriter because I’m too lazy to write in a notebook and too fastidious to get distracted on a computer.

I need a typewriter for a better vocabulary.

I need a typewriter because then I’ll pause and think and type; rather than type, pause, think, delete, and retype – as in case of a computer.

I need a typewriter because words once typed are permanent.

I need a typewriter because hard drives are prone to errors, failures, and crashes.

I need a typewriter because it’s tangible and personal.

But, of course, I didn’t say any of this to the typist cum sales manager cum owner. Rather I said, ‘Anyways, thank you, uncle.’ And left the shop.

***

Meanwhile, here is what I found on youtube: a typewriter renaissance slowly picking up in few corners of the world. But would you prefer a typewriter to a laptop for writing?

The Devil won’t let me Sleep!

DevilI had been snoring pleasantly till that little devil – a house fly – came out of nowhere and started buzzing around my ear. The room was black, except for a filtered glow through the curtain by the window. And soon the devil landed on my nose and started singing: Hmmmm, Mmmmm, Nmnmnmmmm….

I jerked and turned and didn’t want to quit my warm quilt and my lazy slumber. I treated the fly as a harmless creature; the fly had a somewhat similar impression of me, too.

This ordeal continued for minutes, or maybe an hour–I don’t remember–but soon it was beyond my forbearance and my subconscious kicked my conscious: enough! I forced myself to wake up, determined to have blood on my hands, if only I had a gun under my pillow.

The moment I rose, the fly took off and landed on the curtain.

She rubbed both her front legs and winked and screamed at me, ‘Come on, catch me if you’ve guts!’

I shook the curtain and the devil landed on the nearest wall and started bouncing there.

Pondering over my helplessness, I sat there thinking of ways I could rid of the devil. But soon pulled the quilt and slept with my entire body covered up to the head.

The fly charged again, only with a louder chirp this time: Zzzzzzzzmmmm, Mmmmm, Nmnmnmmmm…. And I woke up in a raze, determined to not spare her this time. But my rumble had caused discomfort to other creatures lazying in the room, and the wife turned and begged to let her sleep, which spared the fly her precious life.

I was helpless: the fly won’t let me sleep, and my wife won’t let me kill the fly. So I left the room with a heart full of vengeance – for the fly, for the fly, of course – determined that the little devil won’t have a tomorrow. But then I forgot….

The Perils of the Mountains

While travelling in the mountains, you require more than a good luck. And with this ‘more than a good luck’ we traversed two hundred kilometres of secluded mountain road in a worst rain. That day it wasn’t raining cats & dogs, it was: cats, dogs, buffaloes, elephants, grizzly bears, and whatever you could think of.

Actually, the downpour had started the previous night. And for the entire night it had been like a constant flow of a rivulet by the windows of our bedroom; and the persistent rumbling of the clouds made me twist and turn and worry in the bed. In the morning when I opened the front door to peer out, it was cats & dogs still. But we had packed our bags, and the snacks were packed too, and the refrigerator was cleansed to the last morsel of eatables, so we had no choice but to start.

Traveling alone in the mountains is risky, but traveling with your mother, wife, and an infant is a different story altogether. You’ve to be the strongest – not only because you are at the wheel, but three other lives are your responsibility. So at every bend and cliff I kept my right foot on the brake pedal and peered ahead faster than the speed of the car to see if loose rocks were not charging ravenously at us, or a tilted tree about to lose hold of the ground, or a sudden gush of water making way on to the road.

the fog
the fog

In the rains the mountains are least forgiving. A single stone rolling down the slope could tear the window pane of your car and penetrate your intestines. One falling tree could neatly smash your car into two. And it takes just two landslides to trap you in between. And in those secluded faraway corners you could be waiting for hours, if not days, before you meet any other creature with two legs. In those moments you can’t do anything but sit idle in your car and leave everything to almighty, if you believe in him (I do).

Landslide
the disaster

We had covered half of the perilous terrain trembling and chanting prayers when we were brought to halt by a log of vehicles on a ‘U’ curve. A landslide had blocked the road and people were trapped at that remote, isolated spot since two hours. I pulled the car to side and walked ahead to see the scale of the disaster. Few people, who were also travellers like us, were surrounding the landslide in raincoats and umbrellas, and a few like me were soaking in the rain. Then few men brought whatever tools they had in their vehicles: one gentleman brought a shovel, another brought a rope, and one pickup driver brought an axe (?), and they started clearing the sludge, not bothering about their getting dirty or drenched in rain and sweat. They were taking turns to pull the shovel whereas a few, including me, stood there worrying that the debris was beyond the power of the men.

clearing landslide
few good men

I soon got soaked and irritated and cursed god: why, why, why were we trapped there?
Dejected, I turned to wait in my car. It was then I saw this:

jhungi karsog
beautiful, isn’t it?

Beauty in the disaster that left me awestruck, lessened my worry, and subdued my fury. Sometimes beauty is right behind us whereas we are busy cursing the ugliness. All it takes is just one turn to change the perspective.

The landslide was half cleared by men before the machine arrived and cleared it. We escaped the spot as fast as we could, but the rain was still the same: non-stop and unforgiving. The fog still covered most of the area, only sometimes it touched the front of our car. But I observed that now I wasn’t as irritated as I was before I witnessed the magic of nature. And we reached home safely. But, yes, it was a great risk that we embraced, and I would never advise you to travel in the mountains in the rains, not with the family.