Skip to main content

Writing and Kindness

I dabbled into literature almost since, well, forever. I would read thick books and doodle on the last pages of my engineering notebooks as a college boy and in the last pages math notebooks with neat blocks printed over the pages. Some felt it was poetry, but to my young mind which I always refer to a troubled soul which knew little and felt much, it was the only relief which my troubled soul could find. When I dig deeper into my soul and look at myself twenty year younger, searching for answers in written words, my own and of the greats whom I read with great sense of admiration and hope, I tend to believe my early reading could have sowed the seeds of my own discomfort with the world around me. Literature made me believe in the possibility of ideals. I guess that is a danger that every serious reader carries. That, and the possibility of eventually turning into a writer himself.

I went through both, belief in the possibility of a life which we read that it has a possibility of becoming and turning into a struggling writer myself, struggling not to earn the bread by writing, rather struggling to write. I would not vouch for others but for me, writing has always been a very private affair. I have always found it rather embarrassing to admit in public that I write. I wonder if I would ever be able to do a reading session of my writing in public, even as small as constituting two people, one of them being me. I wrote, I published, I told people about what I wrote with shy hesitation and difficulty. Writing it out was such a relief. Writing would wipe out tears, and lend a smile on grayest of the dawns. But the biggest and most satisfying thing was that it put me in the know of amazing people, fellow writers and poets. I came to know amazing people who would pat on my shoulders on foggiest nights and urge me to keep writing.

The general bonhomie and generosity which I found in writers and artisans is so different from any of the people in any walks of profession. That could be because all writers and artisans are essentially child from inside. We believe in hope and we live in the innocence of hope. Even the writers who wrote dark stories believe in a world which doesn't hesitate in taking sides. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that all writers work in perfect consonance with each other, forming a mutual admiration club. There are not-very-nice remarks which Hemingway made about Fitzgerald, but that never kept him away from holding the other in appreciation of talent of the other. That is the innocence of child and that is the courage of a learned man which allows him to treat conflicting views with dignity. Writing is talking to oneself put on paper. Writing is a writer’s private search for answers for he is dissatisfied with the idea of living the life in a way, merely because that is the way it has always been done. This capacity to self-analyze, to deliberate, to argue with one’s own intellect and to devote oneself to a life of perpetual suffering and eternal liberation is what a writer work on. That makes a writer kinder soul. In fact, without a kind, forgiving soul one cannot be a good writer. One may argue that there are many writings which are written in anger. But I would then contest that in anger one can do many things, shout, scold, bad-mouth, fight and kill (if one has the courage), what for the life of me would prompt a man to pick a piece of paper or a ream, if one is really very, very mad and start writing with bad writing in furious strokes. It is an attempt to understand the anger and the source of it, an attempt to thereby forgive. It is bad for a bad person to be a writer and vice-versa. The purpose of art is to help us be kinder from inside.

There ought to be a sense of inner decency which should rise when you step into the realm of art, even if you want to become a loner like Salinger because you want to devote time to your craft or even because you feel that kindness you find growing on you, makes you vulnerable to the harsher world around you. I feel privileged to have found my calling in Arts, because it makes me a better person (well, my daughter is another reason, but I’ll let writing share the credit), and more than that I feel so happy to have found people so kind in this common calling. If you tend to write, do write even if it feels killing on some days for you discover your potential for grace and decency, your real station in life through art. If you do not write, and read, do find time for it. Kurt Vonnegut wrote,” Don’t give up on books. They feel so good- their friendly heft. ..Any Brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.” Writing makes us a better man, helping us discover old values which we long thought dead like courage and grace.


PS. What prompted this post was a rather undeserved act of friendship by Marta who has always been kind to my literary pursuit and recently sent across two wonderful children’s book for my daughter, Innocence and Wonder and Dinky's Quest- The Journey Begins. Both the books are amazing gift for little kids with brilliant poetry and simple yet forward looking language, engaging any child. But for me it was the gesture which set me thinking and therefore, this post. It was sudden, it was extraordinary and it was overwhelming. I wish Marta best for her writing and sincere gratitude. 

Comments

It was for the love you have for your daughter and how I feel about our friendship and your writing that prompted me to send the books.

Popular posts from this blog

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात

बुद्धिजीवियों की बारात
शरद जी रिटायर हो चुके थे। आधार का भय आधारहीन मान कर आधार बनवा चुके थे, और पेंशन प्राप्त कर के भोपाल मे जीवनयापन कर रहे थे। एक बार बिहार जा कर शरद जी नरभसा चुके थे, पुन: नरभसाने का कोई इरादा था नहीं, सो मामाजी के राज में स्वयं को सीमित कर के रखे हुए थे। इस्लाम आज कल ख़तरे मे नही आता था, संभवत: इमर्जेंसी के बाद से, इस्लाम सबल हो चुका था, और कल निपचती जींस और लोकतंत्र के ख़तरे मे रहने का दौर चल रहा था। न्यू मार्केट के कॉफ़ी हाऊस मे चंद बुद्धिजीवी लोकतंत्र पर आए संकट पर चर्चा कर लेते थे, जोशी जी वहाँ भी नहीं जाते थे। एक दफे वहाँ के मलियाली वेटर्स को जोशी जी के हिंदी लेखक होने का पता चल गया और उन्होंने जोशीजी को यिंदी यिम्पोजीशन के विरोध मे कॉफ़ी देने से मना कर दिया था। कहाँ शरदजी सरस्वती से ब्रह्मप्रदेश तक लिखना चाहते थे और कहाँ उन्हे बड़े तालाब के उत्तर भाग का लेखक घोषित कर दिया गया था। इस से क्षुब्ध जोशी जी अपने बग़ीचे मे टमाटर उगा रहे थे। जानने वाले कहते हैं कि इसके पीछे उनकी मँशा महान किसान नेता बन कर उभरने की थी, किंतु उन्हे पता चला कि आधुनिक किसान नेता किसानों को …

दो जोड़ी नन्ही आँखें

अनदेखे ख़्वाबों की दो जोड़ी नन्हीआँखें, जिन्होंने स्वप्न देखने की आयु से पूर्व दु:स्वप्न देख आँखें मूँद लीं। जो क़दम अभी चलना ही सीखे थे, लड़खड़ा कर थम गए।
बचपन के घुटने पर लगी हर खरोंच, व्यस्कों के गाल पर एक तमाचा है।

धर्म के आडंबरों से अछूता बाल मन जो मंदिरों और मस्जिदों को अपनी आत्मा में रखता था, धर्म की दरारों पर अपना नन्हा शव छोड़ निकल पड़ा। कहीं दूर,दग्ध शरीर के ताप से दूर, जब यह अकलुषित हृदय पहुँचा तो एक और निष्पाप दूधिया आत्मा दिखी, जिसकी पलकों के कोरों में उसकी आँखों के जैसे ही अविश्वास से सहमा हुआ अश्रु रूका था।

एक दूसरे के गले लग कर दोनों बाल मन दरिया के टूटे बाँध की तरह बह निकले। घाव बाँटे, एक दूसरे के हृदय में चुभी धरती की किरचें निकाली और न देखे हुए स्वप्नों का श्राद्ध रचा।

उसने थमती हिचकियों में अपना नाम बताया - ‘आसिफा’।

और दुख के साथी की ठोड़ी थाम कर कहा - ‘मत रो, न्याय होगा।’

धरती की तरफ़ नन्ही गुलाबी उँगली दिखा कर कहा- “देख, भले लोग लड़ रहे है मेरे लिए, न्याय होगा। तेरे लिये भी लड़ रहे होंगे। तू मत रो”

फिर बोली, “मैं पश्चिम से हूँ, तू पूरब से, पर हैं तो दोनों बच्चे। …

About Mahakali- The Eternal Mother

The strongest aspect of a woman, uncontested, unwinnable for a man is motherhood. Kali is the eternal, divine mother. She represents the silent darkness of the time when nothing was there, and from there, from darkness, from nothingness, she shaped life. She is every woman, every mother, which stands in darkness, so much so that she herself becomes darkness (Kali~ Darkness) and creates life, beholds life, births life and nourishes life. The light emerges from the darkness, and the colors rise from the lack of colors. She is the dark womb from where the feeble light of human life takes first breath. She is the consort of Mahakaal (Kaal-Death), Shiva- The lord of death, Mahakali. She is death. Hinduism celebrates life as well as death. Death being the moment, where we clean our slates and start afresh. Therefore, both death as well as life are intermingled, interconnected and interchangeable in their meaning. Death can be looked at as the end of life; can also be looked at as the beginn…