Firstly, To begin with, I would like to mention that I am not a writer. I am yet to author a book, fiction or nonfiction.
Secondly, I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease, that is say that I fumble with my speech. I am nervous while communicating with others. I misspell and words ramble. I miss my words. My grammar sense is inadequate. I am incoherent in speech.
Thirdly, I am old, immature, lazy, introvert and fussy.
Despite my mental and physical handicaps, one fine morning I thought of writing a short story. So I start with a paper and pen in my hands and a foggy thought in mind. In the murky waters of my turbulent life, I search for a plot. Millions of ideas rush to my mind like a maddening crowd grabbing the freebies or the amateur athletes’ at the start of marathon race. The ideas come in flash and crash out like the flicker of candle in the storm. I am back to square one with my mind as blank as the sky above me. I try to focus on the world around me. Animate and inanimate objects that surrounded me offer nothing. I glance at the trees, birds, dogs, dew drops on grass, plants nimbus clouds and weather. I look at the minor swirl of creamy tea in the cup. Nothing strikes.
I turn inside. There is stillness. No feelings, no emotions worth a dime.
My thought process is broken. My puppy barks. “Oh my dear puppy, you have given me a plot,” I murmur to myself. I decide to write on my puppy. Ka-boom ! Get Set Go ! … And I start writing my first story.
My puppy is black. It has four legs, one tail that does not sway and it barks at everyone…….. What next?
I am lost again. That is all I can think of puppy. There is big full stop standing guard at my thinking self, at the door of my aspiration to be a writer. It is OK. I console myself, not to worry. Failures are a part of life. No one can succeed without tasting the bitter failure.
Taking a break, I light a cigarette. May be the nicotine can help ignition of some brilliant ideas. But it makes the matter worse; I cough and thus get a mouthful of sermon from my wife on the ill effects of smoking.
I turn to newspaper; turn over the pages from front to back to get something worthwhile to write. The newspaper is full of political news, mishaps, sports, economics, stocks and guest columns and local news. I even read the obituaries and matrimonial and others ads. Being apolitical, middle class family person, a lazy bum and an introvert, I don’t find anything exciting. All bland and plain reporting fails to rouse and vibrate my obstinate grey cells.
I surrender for the time being. I am fighter and will fight tooth and nail till my last breath. It is now time to get ready for the office. I brush my teeth and take a nice bath to refresh myself. Nothing in the bathroom inspires me, although there are many idea-provoking items such as stained mirrors, fragrance of soap, lifeless sanitary items to accept our biological waste, journey of dancing water from tap to the bucket producing melodies and even the humming tune of my favourite song.
I walk to my office not far away. At the entrance to my office, I press my finger on bio-metric machine to register my arrival. “Press again,” announces the female voice in the machine and I oblige like a gentleman. The female-machine acknowledges and broadcast a recorded automatic ‘Thank You” in a somewhat harsher tone.
Sitting firmly in my office, I take note of the agenda for the day. For about two hours, I work like a horse and then I ask my peon to bring me a cup of coffee. As I take the first sip, the writer worm somewhere in my body or mind starts to shift, making me fidgety.
I resume my writer avatar and start to find a subtle hint of invincible plot in my job and profession. My job is just as monotonous as the sea of pending tasks. I think of my boss who does nothing except dictating orders. He is in his own web of superiority. My colleagues affectionately call me Mr empty-dull-head who has no sense of humour and have already boycotted me; they find me a one-pound bag full with five pounds of shit. My subordinates are all yes men. Therefore, there is no one who can offer me a plot.
Desperate to find the elusive plot, I get up and walk towards the window, turn the Venetian blinds and watch the life beyond my room. No soul in sight, only a stray dog trying his luck at the dustbin, I turn back and go to the rooftop of my look five-storey office building. Like an eagle looking for the weak prey, I begin my search of the vast expanse of trees, road networks, all means of surface transport likes cars, buses, scooter, motorcycles, bicycles and the people. There is total chaos and randomness. There is symphony of honking. Noise and peace overlap each other. How can one find a clue in this confusion of the highest order? The sun is shining brightly. It is almost noon. Unable to bear the scorching heat, I return to my room.
The day passes peacefully but the hide and seek game continues.
In the evening, it is time for my evening prayer. I turn to 33 Crore Gods and Goddesses. I recite mantras. All these give me peace of mind but not the blessings to become the writer. I turn on the music. The music is loud and lyrics are vague. Lack of rhythm provides no solution to my predicament. I read whats-app messages and face book posts. Nothing special to mint in these posts and messages except the jokes and photographs dominated by selfies. Just flicker of an idea and then crash landing!
At this stage, I am almost mad. My head floats aimlessly as if in zero gravity. I can feel the emptiness inside my skull.
But I don’t give up!
Now is the turn of most powerful invisible and greatest bliss of modern science, “The Great World Wide Web”. I boot my computer and type out ‘creative writing’ on Goggle search. Wow! 7, 23, 00,000 results in just 0.67 seconds. My joy knows no bounds. I board the bus of world-wide-web to reach my destination. There is plethora of tips, software for plot generator, character generator, scene generator, name generator, first line generator etc. I take a dive into this myriad ocean and soon find the junk of ridiculous ideas.
I join the online course of ‘creative writing’ of four weeks duration. With renowned enthusiasm I listen to the video lectures and submit my assignments regularly. I get horrible reviews from my peers like the prologue and epilogue of a horror story. With due regards to the reputation of the online instructor, I quit the course.
While trying to find the idea for my story, my health starts deteriorating. I am unable to sleep. I plot and plot. Plots in dreams, plots everywhere! Black circles appear around my eyes. I lose sense of taste and smell. I avoid my social commitments. I am withdrawn and depressed.
After enduring the ordeal for about six months …
I realise that life is a bestseller book. We are all characters with different shades. The nature provides us with plenty of scenes. Destiny imparts twists and conflicts. Each day is a new chapter. This is the best seller I have ever written.