Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Toilet Awakening

From the day I realized that I liked writing for entertaining others, I have lost a vital part of me. It is called my self. The sheer connection with the self.

Earlier I used to contemplate, introspect and think; without any particular motive, rather just to listen to what my heart had to say sometimes. Now, as I notice, I have started thinking with a hope to come out with something funny or witty or extraordinary so that people 'like' it or appreciate it. The mere way of my thinking is now being governed by how others respond to it, which is what is disconnecting it from my self. Contemplation and introspection had taken a vow of silence since many days, rather many months, and this lull continued to exist till my present state, until two days ago.

Day before yesterday, as per my habit goes, I took an old newspaper out of the heap and went into the loo. Reading while attending to nature's sacred call had been a habit that had got into my nerves since my school days, after once listening to Derek O' Brien in BQC, who shared that the secret to his excellent English was that his father made it compulsory for all his brothers to read newspapers aloud while in the toilet. Fearful that my Dad would not quite appreciate me carrying things to read in the toilet, I took them stealthily and preferred to read them silently. This way I used to escape from studies during my pre-JEE days, by letting the hollow pot bite my bums and the barbarous mosquitoes do the same everywhere else, for hours, while I kept skimming through the Page-3's of several newspapers in one go.

Anyway, coming back to the point, day before yesterday, there was this old newspaper that I carried to the loo as a silent spectator of my live performance and it contained a small interview of the legendary lyricist, Gulzar. One of his lines during the interview stirred my soul from within, only to realize later that it was my stomach making noises, but still it was one of the most profound sentences one could read in the toilet ever. He said, 'I am at such a stage of my life where awards are more but achievements are less.'

I was stunned. As I saw within me, rather introspected after such a long time, I realized, 'Apparently, I am now running after awards, because awards are something which is conferred upon us by someone else while achievements are something that is conferred by our self upon ourselves. And achievements are the real gold that I should strive for!'

I've realized what has went wrong. In the race of winning the hearts of others, I had lost touch with my own heart. I had almost forgotten it. And, neither did I win too many hearts, you see, life is quite unfair if you lose contact with your life-line. Thanks to the toilet awakening, I am enlightened and back on track.

So the bottom-line is, if you're ever in doubt - any kind of dilemma it may be, your solution is just a few steps away - 'Do the loo.'

I have lost touch with my own heart.
Despite being together, something sets us apart.

The heart ...

# which taught me the difference between right and wrong
# which assured me that for a definite purpose, I was born
# which made me stand alone when no-one had faith in me
# which inspired me to face adversities with utmost glee
# which told me that perseverance always triumphs
# which remained my guide, through all jerks and bumps
# which gave me the belief to pursue my passion
# which offered me the courage to dream beyond imagination

... And it's never too late,
To reopen that closed gate!

P.S. Quoting the inimitable Gulzar saheb, 'Dil to bachcha hai ji.' :)
P.S. From now on, I am noting down my thoughts not on facebook but in a notebook. :) :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Being an author - an experience

It has been almost 4 months since my book - my creation came into existence. This has been a really new experience for me, since being just 20, I've been blessed not only to realize the thing that I loved to do the most(writing!) but also, take a big step of going a step beyond just writing for pleasure, to writing to entertain others. Here, I present some of the realizations that are born out of my experience as an author:

1. The real friends show enormous faith in you! They are the ones who share your happiness.

2. Fans are friends, for they fuel your ambitions.

3. You start seeing a story in every situation of not only your life, but of anybody's life who happens to cross your eyes. The whole world seems to be a big story, with each event having a tale to tell of its own.

4. All you need as a writer is a friend who has some time to listen to your thoughts, ideas for stories and tales sprouting in your mind and suggest to make it more real, better and touching. I thank God for giving me such friends - Rajiv, Ravi, Aman, Aishy, Saumya, Ankit, Keshav, Avinav, Pallavi, Supriya and Apoorv.

5. You come to know the difference between the real criticism and the biased ones. The real criticism is the one which suggests you how to improve.

6. You get to know how to handle appreciation as well as criticism with an open mind. You tend to respect the genuine criticism and ignore the biased ones.

7. You like to appreciate aspiring writers more, since once you too were at their place and you see yourself in them.

8. You don't encounter any hitch about whether you'll be able to write another book or not. Confidence in writing touches the acme.

9. You don't need to worry about getting published! Once published, relieved forever.

10. There are just two kinds of 'readers' - those who like you as a writer and those who don't!

11. However, you often encounter the third kind of 'people' (not readers) - they are those who hate you, without any reasons and you feel sorry for them because they need help. My Dad, who happens to be my only mentor, said to me just before I was going to get published, 'If somebody dislikes your work, then there is something wrong with you. But, if somebody hates you/your work, then there is something wrong with him/her.'

12. Each small accomplishment seems to be just a beginning in the never-ending road of life. You realize the BIG-ness of the word called 'life'.

13. You find it really funny when you encounter sudden hostility from strangers - those who don't even know you. It brings a strange kind of pleasure, more so because this kind of hostility owes its origin to envy.

14. In the end, it's just you and the flight of your imagination that plays the melody - it's the flight of your lifetime and you just wish that it never ends.

P.S. This is completely personal recount. Any similarity is purely co-incidental.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Helloz fellows!

It's quite interesting to note that the word 'news' owes its etymological root not to any archaic language like latin or hebrew, but it was just an acronym for 'North, East, West, South'. Nowadays, the so-called news channels do everything like showing highlights of comedy shows or TV serials, rather than bringing in information from all the four directions.

Anyway, it's also quite intriguing to note that even common people like us have news - and that too can be classified into good news, bad news, weird news, shocking news, kickass news and freaking awesome news or freaking awful news. So here, I present some news from my side and I choose to classify them into just two categories - good and bad, since I'm freaking awful at classification.

Starting with the bad ones first :
  • I am suffering from typhoid from the last 8 days and still it's on. I was bored lying on the bed whole day with 104 fever so I am writing this, despite the fact that my head is about to burst.
  • This means that my plan of writing my next novel in this vacation has been evil-eyed. Though I keep thinking about the story-line and nuances in the plot all the time, but I don't have enough energy to sit and write. Hope I get well soon and do my job with utmost passion.
  • Well, that was all for the bad news. See, God is not that ruthless!

Now it's time for some good news :
  • Third print of my novel has almost sold and the fourth print is going to come soon with all the earlier typo-errors rectified. The big news associated with the fourth print is that it will carry a tag called 'A National Bestseller' on it.
  • Secondly, my semester, yes, the semester witnessed my best performance so far. I got an SGPA of 8.38 with an A grade in the Creative Writing course under the guidance of Prof. R.B.Nair, one of the leading contemporary poets of India. This has really been a confidence-booster since this was the busiest semester for me and still things worked out fine. All thanks to God.
  • What else, yeah the title of my next novel has been decided. It will be called 'The Book'. And you'll be astonished to notice how much I've matured as a writer in the last one year, after writing my first novel. Quoting few lines from my just-started seven-page manuscript -

    1. A book is a journey into another world.
    A world that is unknown, unpredictable and captivating.

    2. I’ll write for the rest of my life but I failed to write my own life.

P.S. To all the Delhites and the college-going people, please note - there is no word as 'anyways' in the english language, it's anyway. So better watch your tongue the next time you add your 'asS' after it. (