Maya Angelou said there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story. Playwright Girish Karnad dramatized this in play Nagamandala.
Why do I write? Because I have a song to sing, a story to tell,
Somewhere between being everyone’s scullery maid, doctor, nurse whatever, the soul cries FINIS and FINITO and in my case I was not even sure where I wanted to go. The regimentation, and pressure to confirm had totally subjugated my free soul and spontaneous thinking, I reached a stage where I knew I was not authentic to myself but did not know what my truth was!! That’s when I read the act of writing is the act of discovering what you believe in.
To me to smile and listen to the story of the person who wanted a listening space were natural and more a common courtesy. To my family it was scandalous, “you will be seen with people who have a bad reputation, it will be assumed that you are like her, (no question of him, girls did not have friends who were boys)” dowdy dressing, morbid faces, secret boyfriends were all respectable. Girls with trendy clothes and spontaneous smiles were fast, kids with a cheery hello to others were the brainless shallow beings.
Like all escapists I found my escape, the secret world, as propagated by Guru Walter Mitty, the world of the pen, a book—a pen – a story! Written, and at the end of the week cremated with due funeral rites for if anyone read it I would be ridiculed, taken task whatever depending of the discoverer.
“Either you can write, or you cannot, “my grandpa had declared when papa suggested journalism as a career option for me.
“Anyone can write one does not need to train for it” was another well wisher’s contribution.
“What does one do after journalism” become a reporter in Udayavani (then a small town paper)
Now that my blogs are popular, and I even get paid for writing, the usual look I get is the one given to a good performing animal, -- very indulgent. Then there the usual comments,
“Where do you get such ideas from?” if only I had patented this the first time I ever heard it, I would be a millionaire God knows how many times over. The temptation is to say; well the supermarket ran a discount so I picked it up in bulk. Unfortunately the etiquette lesson that I pretended not to learn when I was a sensible teenager rears its head with vengeance; I give a very watery apologetic smile and flutter my eyelids.
Then there are those “oh! They are so mundane, even I could have written about it” – so why didn’t or why don’t you? Would have been the logical retort. Again social graces raise their head and I come up with a very polite”oh! You should it is so much fun.”
The most frustrating one “You know you do so many things you should do any one, and you could really reach the top.”
Well writing is not what I do for a living, creative thoughts that manifest has writings are something that enters the psycho-physiological system like a virus and gnaws finding a way to manifest sometimes it is words, sometimes it is doodles, sometimes it is movement but the idea-virus infests, infiltrates, inflames until it manifests as an expression.
One does try to overcome the torture but sometimes it is compelling to express for that is the only way to release the agony, the consequences are hell for it would mean treading on traditions, questioning belief systems and breaking boundaries. But the catharsis is worth it, the soul is peaceful until the next infection.
There is another side to this, people judge you by your writing, I mean the persona, if I write something that I appreciate about Dr.Quadri, I am must be Islamic in my inclination. I don’t feel the need to hide or justify but just to make things clear one can comment, or mull upon only when one can view things objectively.
Sometimes the writings are shear gossip, and to quote Hugh Prather ”gossiping is a way of saying look I’m not like this”,