I am not a writer. Well, at least not in the strict sense of the word. I do not have a room with a door which I would happily be willing to shut (to quote from Stephen King, who wrote, well, On writing, a pre-condition to be a writer is to "Have a room with a door and be willing to shut it) ; My books are not largely read, though I do compete strongly with Schopenhauer's first book which sold thirty two copies in all. My writings does not pay my bills and I do not have publishers lining up my door with Multi-million dollars contract. I have never been a banker, in this life or other, to make the matter worse, I have been spectacularly mediocre in Finance subjects in my Masters.
But I write. I started writing long time ago when I was a child, and just as Maugham, I took to writing as a duck takes to swimming. I wrote as a matter of necessity. I would think a lot about things which are as per adult advise are better left alone. I would mostly have more questions than answers. Those were questions which would leave the adults to whom I would pose them, evasive, disappointed with themselves, annoyed and violent in extreme cases. None of these were conducive for a dialectic learning. I therefore, turned inwards and by my stupidity which found no answers and by my stubbornness which refused to accept lack of logic, began writing. Writing was my debate with myself.
It sometimes gave answers, sometimes it ended up with failed debate offering no answer. But when answer will not coming floating through the dark skies, I would still be at peace for having tried and reached a point of conclusion-which was that no answer was possible.
Then suddenly, one day I got busy in living life and stopped pondering over it, thereby writing about it. But then as suddenly, one day I began writing again after I had the kid. I sought for something to leave behind for her. As some one said, first part of life is to gain legitimacy, second is too gain legacy. I sought to gain legacy, not in the strictest of the term. I did not seek to ensure my daughter will someday publish my notes which will sell as widely as "The Movable Feast" of Hemingway. But I want to leave her with my thoughts. I want her to know what I lived for. So I began writing seriously. I wrote a collection of Essays. I wrote some poems and short stories in the intermittent time. Then I sat myself down to write a Novel. It began with a vague idea. It is a work in progress. Even the novel is not progressing, I am progressing thinking about it. That is the beauty of writing, both the work and the Creator, together, are work in progress by virtue of writing.
The more I wrote, the more I realised that it is not a work of languor. It is not an easy job. To quote Joseph Conrad, "Just as the possession of long range arms do not make one a warrior", writing is much more than collection of vocabulary. I posit that It requires a certain softness of Heart, a certain tenacity of intent, a certain stiffness of spine, some tears and blood mixed in an enchanting voice to make a writer. So I wrote, with difficulty, with uncertain steps. I received encouragement from friends, mostly out of their love for me as a person, but rarely as I would like to believe, on account of their love for what I wrote and their trust that what I write has answer not only for me, but also for them in some unknown ways. I worked on by novel and shared some bit of it on social media. It is a great encouraging force. It takes away some of the loneliness of literary pursuits.
Then one of the friend wrote that I write with a very gloomy voice. And it set me thinking. She was indeed, very write. But isn't write inherently gloomy ? For some reason, to me, it has always been that and nothing around me could be singularly blamed for that. I grew up as an only child, given to much questioning of the ways of world in my introvert inquisitiveness. Much of the world, I did not understand, little which I did was not much likable. My growing up alone was part of the problem, other part of the problem was me, of what I was. But then what was so humorous about life, apart from people growing fat and occasionally falling on Banana peels. We invented happiness, rationalized and brought a forced peace on ourselves. When we do not get love, we teach ourselves not to want anything from anyone, when fate is unkind to us, we seek retribution in after-life.
I can not carry the deceptions of real life into my virtual world of writing. It is therefore, unavoidable that by world of writing will never be insanely happy. It will carry the sense of gloom as its leitmotif. The gray clouds will hang over its being and the bright light of felicity will make rare visit to this world which I create. It will not be happy with an intent, but I promise myself, It at the same time will not be not be sad with deliberate intent. It is a world that not only feels, but also thinks and it refuses to be happy when it is unable to find reason for the same. It is a world which refuses the temptations to fool itself into false sense of well-being when telling signs of grief are writ large on its skies. It will be happy on occasions, but it will be rare and mild, like the welcoming Sun in the winters, and it will not be unending and excruciatingly incessant Sun of the summers. I will not evade in my writing world of truth as I do in the real world. It will grind me, crush me but I assure you a fragrance so rare will rise from it that it will bring tranquil beauty to the life which will outlive me. That will be the movable feast for the readers, who against their better judgement will ever read me.
I look at happy people around, laughing with abandon in Coffee houses around the world, people, in love, holding hands softly, oblivious to the world around, with an unblemished faith for it to be eternal and never-ending. But in my world, nothing is constant, Not happiness, not gloom. Those men in coffee houses, those beautiful lovers holding hands, those kids playing with their parents are not aware, not at the moment, but I am, for I view things from a different vantage point, and I can not be blind to it. I do not suggest them to sult the ephemeral, but to appreciate it. A poignant air hovers over the pages which I write on at all the time, which I can not escape. If I were to not write about it, it would be a lie. Who would want to read a lie? that is a question and even bigger, existential question for me is, Who would want to write a lie? I can not promise you a hilarious tome, a laughter, a perpetual smile, but I can only promise you a sublime truth, which will initially annoy and even disgust you, but will eventually bring in a peace which will stand the scrutiny of reason. It will not exist to please you, but it will exist because it has to, and it will then please you with its sincerity. People with rare talent can write with great wit about the injustices and discrepancies of life, but then such writers are rare and such talent is rare. They can tell truth with humor, but we all can not be Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain. We can only be the best of what we are capable of being. I can not even think to pretend to be anything as such. As a writer to understand what I am capable of, and write accordingly. My reality is to immerse my being in immense pain and then rise from the depths of it with a truth which breathes hidden in the riverbed of the life. As writer, we create unreal world through which we propagate our thoughts and tell our stories. We are the only real part in the world which we create, and as writer we ought not compromise on that. Every writer in my view, ought not to abandon himself and for the hardship of pursuing his own style, should take consolation in the words of Joseph Conrad who wrote-"Where a novelist has an advantage over the workers in other fields of thought is his privilege of freedom- the freedom of expression and the freedom of confessing his innermost beliefs- which should console him for the hard slavery of the pen.