Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why can't I write?

It was in third grade - in Sr Gracy's class that I discovered my love for writing, ever since it was nurtured by many good teachers that crossed my path and of course with my own appetite for writing. I used to look for topics to write and ponder upon, often getting cues from my older sister and her home work. The first time I learned about picture essays - I was thrilled to no end. It just intrigued the thinker in me to weave words around a picture. Often in mid term exams when we used to be shuffled to different classes to write our tests, I used to find myself amid seniors - and then, peep into their language question papers to see what they were asked to write about. I knew it as a child, that I was born to imagine, to write and to articulate the many thoughts that crossed my grey matter. It was easy back then, almost effortless to write, since I was borderline over confident, considered myself an ace writer and had an immense interest for books. I would write limericks on the go, amuse my friends with my verses and boy was it great for my ego when the little girls and boys clamored around me before language exams to get some jump- start openings for possible essay topics that would be asked in the exam. I was a celebrity in my own right - a little soul that basked in the glory of self love.
When my sixth grade language teacher asked for me in the class after reading the original essay that I wrote in my mid term test, it put a whole new life into my love for being original. "except for a couple of spelling mistakes" she said "you did so good on the essay" - it was about books that I pondered upon, keeping the words in the limits of good grammar and structure. It was in a class of 54 that I alone wrote this essay, the rest of them wrote what they committed to their memory form the notes the teacher gave.

Then the yearning to describe, to write more and to express emerged. I used to describe faces - from Albert Einstein  to Amithab Bachchan. I used to write essays about fur babies and summer vacations. In that phase, I used to collect quotes - examined them and tried to give them my own take. I was greatly influenced by the excerpts from classics that unfolded in my English texts. Character analysis was my forte. I remember writing in detail about the introspection Dr. Christian Bernard goes through while performing the first heart transplant surgery. The line between thoughts and words was obliterated and to an extent, I guess, the line between words and wisdom. I used to interpret poetry, write my own utterly crappy lines in an effortless, incessant flow and somehow, it all seemed to be nothing less than masterpieces.

And then, I grew up - I majored in Literature and owing to a full time job, never really had a chance to attend any of the correspondence classes that were conducted by the university. I took aid of school teachers, study guides and my own language intuition to face the tests of knowledge. Somehow, miraculously, I completed my undergrad in literature with decent scores. In the meanwhile, my writing was confined to letters - the snail mail version of the nineties. Letters to my high school from another city, a few to my local friends (I think it helps when you are a teenager and you love writing) and to a cousin that was a pen friend of sorts. Writing letters was a ritual that I took immense pride in. I would buy eclectic note pads, use fine felt tip markers and etch my feelings in perfect cursive - another part of my writing that I loved to pieces. I know, I am probably sounding like a borderline egotist - or may be a full fledged one - but all in the name of "love for writing"

So, the blog came into being post matrimony. But somehow the spontaneity to write depleted as I grew older. I would wait for the perfect idea to cross my mind - sometime for months together  - since I became more conscious of what I would write about. May be it was lack of confidence in my own thoughts or an ambition to sound sophisticated, I looked to write about profound, thought provoking things. Often, ideas come to me in the most unlikely moments - the short phase of semi consciousness before sleep, while backing up my car in a school parking lot or while shopping for green groceries in the local store. Something totally unrelated would come and hit my mind and then a wonderful idea would bloom - "Today I'd write about parenting" I'd make a mental note "Today I'd write a steamy love story filled with passion" "Today I'd write about negotiation" -  my mind would jump from one empty thought to another and finally when I log into my virtual space to record my thoughts - an endless abyss of emptiness shrouds my mind. In the meanwhile, the love affair with the word building blocks continues. Finally, after hitting a good two and a half decades of calling writing my passion, I think, I am making an attempt to give it my best. A thought might hit, and the thought might not really be a hit but I still vow to write - be it about endless egotistic chatter in the name of writing, or just meaningless words, strung in a desperate attempt to look lovely. "WHY CAN"T I WRITE?" my mind shouts back at me - I'll shut that question off for now - and for a good time to come. Here's hoping, while drifting into the infinite loop of thinking, that, this question would always find an answer when ever the non-writer attempts to over come the writer's block.