Monday, December 21, 2009

Writer's (Un)Block!

In the last three months that have elapsed since my last post, there have been times I endeavoured to pen down something for the sole purpose of posting on the blog. All that I came up with was either too personal, too much of a give-away, sometimes my thoughts would be incoherent even to myself, sometimes I found it too difficult to express and at other times it read as something plainly forced. And of course, there were times when I was plainly just...stuck. With the first paragraph written and an ending in mind, I would just stare blankly at the screen, reading what I had written, repeating what I had in mind and struggling to find any way to connect the two. The result is that I have seven unfinished posts and innumerable are the occasions which I thought would find a place of honour on my blog. Well, what actually happened is all too evident. My blog speaks for itself with nine posts in all!

I remember the day I put in my first post there. It was a big day for me, with everything typical of all these so-very-important days. I envisaged myself entering into an arena swarming with whom I had always considered, The Bloggers. The present looked agreeable and the future held a lot of promises. Oh yes, I was now one of Them. I could just see myself typing feverishly; I could hear my brain whirring inside me. I made a firm resolution to live up to the expectations from a great blogger and to dish out articles worthy of such a great place. That I would be regular was oh-so-obvious! Was there a doubt in that? Nope, not one in sight. Yes, I had made a good start at what I foresaw as a most fulfilling journey. I aimed at emerging a better writer and it goes without saying, a better person! Naive? Well, who is not at the start of anything new?

That was the day and today is one. With a year elapsed in between, there are only eleven posts on my blog including one which I did not write myself, minus one which I deleted.

What I then failed to take into account amidst my ecstasy was a fundamental flaw in my plan. I have the innate trait of being impulsive enough to send me typing at all random and required times but lacked what it needed to keep me at it, what they all popularly call patience and perseverance.

Though, in all fairness to myself, my diary has certainly seen better days than my blog! But that is another issue altogether....

I have now fully realized the difficulty of writing for a purpose. Most of my posts (Yeah, I know there are not many) have been a result of immense emotional strain and an urge to get something out of my system quick. There have been more of those, but as is proper, they are safe in my diary.

My writing skills, as I’d like to call them, need polishing, a job which I thought could be achieved to some extent with the highly looked forward to and now resentfully looked back at, creative writing(an elective) course. I was not completely in an illusion after a rude awakening to the truth of the HS department by a research scholar there. Still, my hopes of learning something were at least alive if not high. They were crushed after the first class.

It was evident I would need a lot more than what I previously thought would suffice, to sail through the sea I had thrown myself in. (I am bad at symbols I know.) The demon reared up its head. (Pathetic) Behold...the beast of a phoem! (Speechless with shame) As it turned out, that is all creative writing is about, poetry. Prose? Oh a child could like a story. Humour? Huh! Substandard literature! Poetry is the highest form of literature, the most respected, the most honoured. The poets occupy the pinnacle of literary achievements! They must, seeing as they are always least understood.

Poems have always been a wonder for me (frustrating too if I might add.), a mystery where anything could mean everything! I remember when in a class the teacher read out some lines of a certain person always having to smile for others, leading a fake life and of being tired of it. I took it to be a poem about a receptionist or an air-hostess but as is proper for a poem it turned out to be lines for an old man tired of his life!

It was a double whammy of writing as when required and commanded with the additional compulsion of it being a poem! Even during my four years of studying poetry as a curriculum part, I tried my level best to avoid them as much as possible. I always experienced tremendous difficulty in reading ‘between the lines’ as they call it. I don’t recall being able to comprehend what was there ‘in the lines’ for that matter. There is always this much-more-than-what-meets-the-eye aspect to poetry, a behind the curtains of words meaning which I inevitably fail to grasp unless helped by a teacher or a guide! I attribute this to my naivety in the subtle and gentler forms of expressions and a rather annoying, uncomfortable though rather convenient habit of being point blunt! The metaphors which poets derive from everyday life, the all time favourite moon, a rock, a leaf and what-not, always leaves me flabbergasted! In a habit of always seeing things as they are, it never occurred to me to personalize something as some other thing! Not that I haven’t tried, being able to write poetry is a privilege and lately more like a crucial survival exercise now that significant portion of my grade in the subject depended upon it.

They said it required strong feelings. Well, I certainly have a lot of those. Maybe it wasn’t so tough after all!

And so it came to pass that in a tutorial class, being surrounded by blossoming and established poets with the monotonous drone of our mentor ringing loud in my ears I wrote my first ever poem. That I was sitting next to a person well accomplished at writing this stuff wasn’t helping matters. It was with tremendous trepidation that I handed it in and with a critical eye passing over it a little too was proclaimed...good! I heaved a sigh of relief even when I was sure he had not understood it. But wait, there was more to come, there was a nonexistent flaw in my grammar in the very first line and I had to go through the trauma of explaining what I meant by its usage which was by the way, supposed to be obvious.

Anyway, the history repeated itself again in the end semester exams when in fifteen minutes I managed to write 10 lines which actually rhymed on a Child’s innocence.

So here I present...the silliest lines ever to be written by a 21 year old...

The Lost Innocence

To watch the world with wonder;

To trace patterns in the clouds, gaze at the horizon,

And imagine what's yonder;

To feel the warmth of sun inside,

To play with birds, frolic with friends,

And nothing bad enough to deride;

To forget all pain with the mother's kiss,

The time when ignorance was sheer bliss!

Growing up has left me with little to gain,

Oh! How I wish to be a child again! my defence I would say that they rhyme atleast albeit like a nursery rhyme! In all honestly, it wasn’t all bad...the classes were fun with feelings escalating being those of ultimate elation and depression in tune with those of our legendary teachers!

With fond reminisces...I sigh and sign off here....

Happy 10th dear blog!