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. 
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

कांग्रेस संत समागम - Congress Sant Samagam

आज रात्रि जब प्रात:काल डिम्पल बाबा जागे, उनका हृदय नई ऊर्जा से प्रकाशमान था। कल ही काँग्रेस कार्यकारिणी ने उनकी तुलना किसी अचार से की थी और ध्वनिमत से सनातन धर्म का रक्षक बताया था। डिम्पल बाबा के बताया गया था कि अचार बनने के बाद हिंदू धर्म ध्वजा की रक्षा का दायित्व उन पर बैठता है। बाबा को खुद को पिकल कहा जाना पसंद तो नहीं आया था और वह जानना चाहते को अति उत्सुक थे कि ये हिंदू पिकल का इतना सम्मान क्यों करते हैं। हालाँकि डिम्पल बाबा के उत्साह का सबसे बड़ा कारण यह था कि ब्रह्मऋषि डिम्पल घोषित होने का बाद वह सामाजिक मर्यादाओं से इतर हो गए थे, और बक़ौल बाल ऋषि पूनावाला उन्हें भाँग गाँजा की निर्बाध व्यवस्था का अधिकार था। बालऋषि के अनुसार- राहुल जी इज जस्ट लाईक दैट डूड फ्राम माऊँटेन- शिव। सोच कर ही महर्षि डिम्पल के शरीर मे फुरेरियाँ उठी। नानी ने जब पवित्र वेटिकन के जल से ब्लेसित किया था तब उन्हें कहाँ भान होगा कि एक दिन उनका पौत्र हिंदू धर्म की दिशा तय करेगा। 
बहरहाल नव-नियुक्त ब्रह्मऋषि डिम्पल बाबा ने, घड़ी को देखा। बारह बज गए थे और प्रात: सूर्य वंदना का समय था। रोलेक्स राजर्षि को भी अब पहुँच…

लँगड का एमाराई

(Hindi Satire, inspired by immortal writing of late  Shri Shrilal Shukl and his legendary Novel- Rag Darbari)


लंगडवा एम आर आई करवाने का सोच रहा था। फिर सोचा पता नहीं मशीन कहाँ कहाँ से जुड़ी होगी।

खन्ना मास्टर लंगडवा के उहापोह को बड़े ध्यान से देख रहे थे। ग़रीब का कष्ट अमीर को सदा ही ध्यानाकर्षक लगता है। उसी में उसकी आत्मा का उद्धार और राजनीति का चमत्कार छुपा होता है। खन्ना मास्टर जवान और जोशीले थे। चमकीली वास्केट पहनते थे, और गंजहा की जगह ख़ुद को गंजावाला कहलाना पसंद करते थे।

गंजावाला अपना चश्मा लहराते बालों में धकेल कर, मनुहार के लहजे में बोले - “जाओ हो, काहे घबराते हो? कब तक वैद जी के पीछे घूमते रहेगे? क़स्बा क्लीनिक जा कर एमाराई करा लो।”

“हमको थोड़ा डर लग रहा है।”

लंगडवा गंजावाला के उत्साह से भयभीत हो गया। अमीर आदमी ग़रीब के सुख में अचानक रुचि लेने लगे तो अक्सर ग़रीब के लिए भय और भ्रम का कारण होता है। एक राजकुमार पहले उत्साहित हुए थे तो जवाँ मर्द कंबल और ट्राजिस्टर प्राप्त कर के लौटे थे। उसके बाद उनके घर कभी किलकारियाँ नही सुनाई पड़ी , बस मुफ़्त के रेडियो में बिनाका गीत माला सुनाई पड़ती…

Know the Naxals- A brief look at the History

There have been many debates of late on the television, in the wake of the arrests of those who are now increasingly mentioned as the Urban Naxals. I am both shocked and amused at the same time to look at the audacity of the sympathizers of Naxal terrorism, in all their starched Saris and handloom Kurtas, when they hide behind the same constitution, that the want to overthrow. They are shrill, sophisticated, eloquent and deriding. They hate the common folks, and their disdain for those who work, create and make a living, peeps through their elitist smiles. They are mostly ideologues (yes, that is some work for sustenance in the modern scheme of things), academics and well, ostensibly, writers and poets. The fact remains that when communism is the scheme of things, Naxal notices mentioning Jan Adaalats in the villages of Chattisgarh too become work of art, and corpses hanging from the electricity poles, become equivalent of art work on the roof of Sistine chapel.
The other day, Ms. Arun…