Friday, March 1, 2013

Why I Write (or Blog)?

There was a time when I was a very young man, with idealism intact and big ideas to change the world. I was formally attempting to be an Engineer, trying to "use the knowledge of basic sciences for the good of the society" as it said on a plaque at my college, but I was not at peace with the world which I was supposed to contribute towards. It was a society, which was living with decaying laws, and did not have courage to embrace what was true and bright and honest. I was not a happy young man as they say, but I was rather a troubled soul with more questions than answers. I was sad, aghast and disgusted with the world and I knew it.

A lot many things around me did not make sense, and I had a point of view, a defined opinion about those things which troubled me. Those were the things which were totally incongruous to my idea of a right world. The world which lived inside me was built around the ideas like love, trust, honour and truth. The world around, the real world everyday defeated the faith I placed in what I believed to be the building block of the world. I would retire to a corner with bruises and then try to bandage the wounds of the day with writing on a torn piece of paper, on the other side of Control Systems equations or an empty pack of cigarettes, whichever came easy to my hands.
 
I had strong views and opinions and when I wrote them on a paper, I felt liberated. I had let the spirits soar in the open skies. I felt free of a certain sense of bondage. As I wrote, I understood the world, and anger melted on the papers, sadness settled down.
 
Then much to the surprise of most including myself, I could emerge out of the college and went in for the job. The green, pleasant plant of writing slowly dried down, unable to bear the demands of marriage, family and work.
 
I have never learned or trained myself about how-to write, but still friends loved what I wrote when I wrote more than a decade ago. When we met as grown up men, they would fondly remember what I wrote. I was a sad but brash and aggressive man in my youth. When I met my old friends, we would speak fondly about the audacious adventures of those virile days, but eventually, we both with invariable end missing the contemplative young men who wrote well. 
 
Nature has placed a promise in my being which I felt, I was killing day by day by not attempting to nourish it. So I one day sat myself down to write. I used to be good with lyrical and poetic writing, with free flow of thoughts, moving like an idyllic, playful rivulet flowing through the mountain on a bright, sunny day. But to my horror and despair, in my second attempt at writing, I was stuck like the morning traffic of the city. I was not able to write. Words would not come to me. My feelings were all muddled and hazy, all the sharp edges of my opinions were blunt. I knew, I had to break out of it and so I settled on prose instead.
 
Then, I wrote and thus came into being my collection of essays, "If Truth Were to be Told" which rose from my attempt to re-discover myself. I wrote about my struggle to regain what I believed I was blessed with before I squandered it off; and self published it, put in on Amazon and I was happy about it, happy about reclaiming myself.
 
Then I went on blogging, first on hubpages and then eventually landed on this domain. It began with a view of creating what they term as a Writer's platform. But then, the book and the intent to get readers for it, took back seat. I was falling in love with writing. I read some pragmatic advise on blogging. I felt I could refine the name of the blog some way. Bryan Allain in his commendable book, "31 days to Discovering Your Blogging Mojo" suggested that one should name the blog, based on the theme, on why you write. I tried but failed, I could not make a coherent theme of my writing. I only knew, I wanted to keep on writing.
 
The pressure of quarter closure hanging on my neck will pull me out of it every morning, but come evening, I will be settling down with my Kindle, devouring great authors of the past. I was suddenly a member of a community, I was in a city where I belong. This was a different city, a city which spanned multiple continents. The inhabitants of this city were different from those who I met during the course of my job. They were noble human souls, who welcomed my ignorance with sagacious advise. Professional writers would talk to a novice as if I were one of there own, what great sense of camaraderie. I was suddenly Batman, with my secret life. Poor readership of my book, or blog did not matter, the smirk which I could sense in people's words when they mentioned that I wrote did not matter.
 
All that mattered was right around the time when the submission to slavery was almost complete, and the threat of moronic and cowardly ordinariness loomed large, I was re-discovering myself through the words. I would sit in front of my laptop and take out the sandpaper to sharpen the lost edges of my senses. I would rediscover my opinion. I wrote to understand my point of view about things happening around and in my life, and more significantly, to make sure that I had a point of view.
 
It gave me a new world in which I was once again the king, a world where I could build the castles and where I could be the valiant price to fight the evil in the world. George Orwell in his essay on Why I write, brilliantly lists out four reasons of why people write, namely, sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, Historical impulse and political purpose.
 
 I write for a mix of all those reasons, but I write for one more reason. It makes me a citizen of a world where I am not out of control, where I am not a dice which gets thrown on an unfriendly board everyday, by an uncaring player. This is not a savage competitive world where I work during the day. It is a world of noble residents like Mark Twain of yesteryear and Marta Moran Bishop and Roberta Goodman and Lubna Kabli of current times. This world is inhabited by citizens who do not thrive on my inadequacies, but rather, who are thrilled by my small steps to better writings.
 
For instance, Marta who advised me to write a short story instead, when stuck with the Novel, or Stephen King who will not know I exist but was kind enough to advised me to find a room with a door and urged me to summon the courage to close it, in order to write. This world soothes my tired soul, and embraces me as a long lost friend. This is the world I love and this is why I write. And when I write, I hope my daughter someday discover this gentler and creative world of art and beauty and kindness, and discover her father in it.
I know, we all write for all different reasons, and may be for a mix of reasons, but whatever reason may be the cause of initiation, it leads us to a nobler soul and a nobler world to reside in. Wouldn't you agree?

5 comments:

Deb Fein said...

Well the things you had to say resonated with me. I too have often been a sad person, but it seems worse in middle age - so many disappointments, but we can only take what we're given, learn to accept and move on the best we can. Yes, blogging is freeing. It is a little frustrating to find the audience but I'm working on it.

saket suryesh said...

Thanks Deb. Audience will build slowly, just enjoy the process and keep writing.

Jas said...

Totally agree. And heartening to know that our tribe ( the formerly troubled but now redeemed souls) is growing. We all take to the scrawl as our thoughts find better meaning in there as opposed to the mindless humdrum of routine.
Great start and happiness ahead...
Cheers!

saket suryesh said...

Thanks Jas, for the visit and encouraging comments. I do look forward to welcoming you more in this virtual home of mine and to drop in at your home. It is always great to find a kindred soul.

saket suryesh said...

Thanks Jas, for the visit and encouraging comments. I do look forward to welcoming you more in this virtual home of mine and to drop in at your home. It is always great to find a kindred soul.

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