Saturday, January 31, 2004
Livinghigh was here at 3:37 PM /

The One about 'the write kind of man'

This is turning out to be like the labeling of 'Friends' episodes - you know, where they say "The One where Rachel gets a boob job done" or "The one where Joey and Phoebe hook up".... yeah, yeah... dream on for each of those things... anyway, this is the one about the write kind of man. This is actually something i'd written a loooooong time back, when I was in St Xaviers College, in good ole Cal. I suppose you could also call this entry "Another dose of corn" - slightly long though, so be patient...

I'm supposed to tell a story. They say that it'll make a writer of me. I'm supposed to spin a yarn out of thin air. They say that even air is composed of myriads of invisible jewels that glitter in your palm once you catch hold of them. I'm supposed to sit back, and think - about my life, and what it has meant to me. Think - about my family and their experiences, and how it has changed them. For people change - and I'm supposed to be the one to capture it all down for posterity.

Posterity can wait, though. The present occupies me for now - as it well should. What can you or I or anybody else for that matter say about this world? That it has problems, that it is flawed, - that in spite of all the chinks within, any of us would give anything to hold on to just a few extra moments of it when our time is done? Somebody once wrote, there are no new things to write about - everything's already laid down in black, white and the underlying shades of grey... What's left is for us writers to supply the patches of colour. It's the same old description of a weaver and his contribution to a piece of tapestry - if I haven't used the expression at least a million times, I've thought about it in my head ten million times! But it's the old tale that keeps on reinventing itself for me - and keeps on achieving different shades of relevance for me. Something like that old fairy tale that my grandmother whispered in the dead of night to my mother, and which my mother repeated to me when the sun closed shop... the chain probably goes back for generations, and each of those conduits experienced a slightly different if equally enchanting thrill to it... I can hardly wait to assume my own position in the chain sometime in the future.

They say that everyone has at least one novel within him. It could be a story of greed or unassuming innocence. Wars that might have been waged and battles that might have been lost. Victories that might have been won and perhaps, lives that had been saved. Loves that transcend time, tragedies that remain family heirlooms. Idealist that I am, I'd like to believe that each man has a hero lurking within him, waiting to be discovered. Perhaps that hero surfaces only once in a lifetime, during some horrendous calamity, and then slinks away - perhaps, the hero manifests itself in simple daily things like being with your son when he needs a father more than ever, or helping that old lady across the street - but its very existence means that my faith is not in vain. Perhaps, there have been cases where we have not been able to galvanize that hero adequately or in due time, but then, that's a common enough case as well. This is to the heroes then, - those that have manifested and those that remain waiting till the next opportunity comes wafting by. This is to the lovers then - without whom the world would simply cease to exist. When you come to think about it, the greatest stories of all time are those not on extraordinary feats, but the simple facets of life - the simple deeds of courage, the simple acts that carry you onwards in love. These are the stories hidden away within each person - waiting to be told by one who can see through you...

This burning desire within me to tell a story is probably not something new - it's probably always been there. I say 'probably' because it was my delay in noticing this facet of my life. But then, that's no criminal charge really - as human beings, we grow every day, learning so many new things - chiefly about ourselves. You're not meant to wake up one fine day and realize that you're the twice-removed descendant of Houdini, or that you're essentially a Nobel laureate. You walk the walk and talk the talk, and gradually, if you're lucky, you come one day to chance upon a hidden part of you, smile and embrace it. I suppose that sounds utterly simplistic, but then I dare say that I think even the Sensei will agree with me on this one - we have a tendency these days to harp and complicate the simple things in life. Live And Let Live need not be this gigantic philosophy on World Conservationism after all.

As for my desire to be a writer, I can ascribe it to my ego - as any egotistical lion like myself would. (You see, we fully acknowledge our faults - but instead of doing anything constructive about them, we flaunt and explain away our deficiencies - love me or leave me, that's the way I am, so accept me!) I have this urge to see my name up there - somewhere - and hear people praise my work. Does that sound pretty ordinary? In reply, I can only point towards the earlier paragraph where I harped on simplicity - I'm being honest here, and honesty and grandiosity rarely match together. I feel I have this great cauldron of feelings and emotions to share with you people out there, some of you whom I haven't even met before. I can't justify to you my own swollen head - and yet, I feel that what I have to share with you is important - that it matters. It's nothing earth-shattering - it tells you about my highs and my lows, my desires and my debacles, my hopes and my failures. I like to think of myself as an open book - even though that's not strictly true.

I'm supposed to talk to you. I'm supposed to weave stories for you that will mystify and enthrall you. Forget about building fairy-tale castles in the air with fairy-tale characters inhabiting it. I'm talking to you about real people who've fallen down the sidewalk one day, and sprinted on Cloud Number Nine the next. It's all part and parcel of the same package. There's simply no need for inventing strange little men and women with their strange little lives - all the inspiration any writer needs is lying right in front of him - within him - it's called Soul.


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