Lateral Perspectives

The huge world inside a tiny head

Archive for the category “Personal Stories”

Pamuk and Other Colours

13th June 2017, marks an important day in my life.

I finished reading Orhan Pamuk’s book titled “Other Colours”.  He is one of the very few authors, or author of the very few kind of books that I have read, who has made me reflect on life. While half way through the book, reading his reflection on Dostoyevsky, I suddenly realized that I have never seriously studied a novel before. Sure, I have drawn parallels and infused myself on thoughts on life in general, comparing the character’s circumstances and decisions made, about how the world is evil and not to be trusted, about how people are never what they mean and say, but do. But never in a studied manner. Never erudite, always a passive impassionate mode of thought. To think of it further, I almost never ventured to dig deep into books, or novels. I always assumed that they were pretentious at best, trying to please the audience.

I say almost because partly the blame lies on how literature is taught in schools.  Putting critic’s reviews in textbooks may not be the best idea. Since these existed and I read them, I grew up with the idea that whatever critic I would make would be a replica of theirs. A number of half-witted, self-promoted intellectuals try to dissect and vainly identify patterns, link or ideas even the writer may not have considered, for example, in goodreads or Quora. “The curtain is blue”  – the textbook would ask us what this could mean. It would try to impress on us that it depicts the writer’s depression, or whatever the critic decided to attest its meaning to.  Codswallop in my opinion.  I did not want myself to be associated with such people. In fact, I refrained from making any such assumptions and distanced myself from it as far as possible. In a way, it was good. The deeper meaning behind this book was not always something I concerned myself while reading. I read simply for the pleasure of enjoying the imagination of the writer, to visit new lands, to reflect ideas never discussed before, or to see them in a new light, a wondrous moment indeed.

Speaking of critics, one come across writers who write what they think, but these are rare, and I adore them dearly. The earliest one I have come across, is in my own native language, Malayalam. A critic of the acclaimed novel by Mohammed Basheer, Premalekhanam. The prose of the critic was incredibly hard, and fortunately, my teacher was extremely good. She made us think beyond the literary meaning of the critic’s word. This was my first true encounter with the critic. I harboured hatred for the critic for tearing down a wonderful novel – how dare he find meaning behind words! And a conflicting part of me developed admiration for him. I was seduced by how he painstakingly researched the time, condition and the mentality of the original writer and how all these influenced and lead to the novel, how it was received and affected the society, and how, the future generation of mine ought to read and think about it keeping all these things in mind. It was more like how they say Tolkien’s Mordor was inspired by the wastelands of the Word War.

Orhan Pamuk is such a writer/critic.  His thoughts are well formed, his conscious clear, and he tries to be polite and humble when it’s not. When reading Isaac Assimov’s robot series, I pondered very little on his take on the role of humans in a robotic world. I assumed these were natural consequences of such circumstances. I never realised the depth of his thoughts when he depicted the world and his characters. Moving forward in this digital and futuristic world, I can’t help but feel that more than fiction, he was a visionary, and his novels not mere science fiction, but predictions, of a future yet to come. It is not utopian or dystopian entirely. After all, much of science fiction has become commonplace these days. Except time travel and inter-galactic travel. I have my suspicions that space travel will find tremendous progress in the coming decades, and I would witness some historic moment with respect to it.  Time travel, unfortunately, is not something I think would be possible.

When reading Harry Potter, apart from falling in love with the magic world, I simply agreed with Rowling that power struggle is real and the magical world is no different world when it comes to basic human traits. Sure, there is a hero, a villain, anti-villains, traitors, but I still think the greatest character Rowling introduced is Umbridge. This, is what made me love the series even more. This separated Rowling to me from being a mere fantasy writer to an astonishing writer. You see, Umbridge is the kind of character I hate most in this world. Misusing and representing a position of power. A story of lies and deceptions, of their influence on unimaginative people, who in turn resented authentic ones. But these thoughts not occurred then, but a few years down the road. Until then, I always had thought Umbridge was simply a bad character. Only when I started working and witnessed true politics, did I appreciate what Umbridge truly represented.

In other words, it is high time to observe nature and society more. Even more essentially to me, to study books deeper. To read more classics and see what men and women, thought of people and society in general. It is not enough that I just read a good novel anymore. It is imperative that I understand more than the book, that I question the author’s circumstances, that I realize what the greater question is. I may not go to the extent of the critic, to break it down as finely as them, but would probably end up thinking a little bit more about the novel.

Some words on the actual novel itself. First of all a word on the title. An apt title, a breath of fresh air that also truly reflects on the content of the book, which is the authors breadth and width. I am quite happy to have witnessed the dear writer’s mind. Or whatever he chose to publish to the world. I was sort of surprised that he spoke little about philosophical ideas such as love, jealousy, ego, faith , pride and happiness, but greatly on turkey, childhood and the east-west conflicts. Perhaps this is what truly concerns his mind most of the time and the others, well he has written in his novels. Another part of me was partly happy because to be honest, I was bored by some of the articles because they were quite dry in nature.  Even a great writer like Pamuk can also write something that does not concern or interest me was surprising to say the least. There were two particular chapters that invoked an emotion that I was unable to identify or name. These are “When Ruya is Sad” and the final chapter, “My Father’s Suitcase”, which is his Nobel prize acceptance speech. Apart from these there was a particular article whose title might be “No Entry” which I think was quite clever and would like to leave it to the readers imagination to read and reflect on them. The former is a very short piece which touches lightly on melancholy. The speech which begins with a slow and dreary pace but soon picks up emotion and ends up in a spectacular paragraph on why he writes. I was so moved that tears welled up in my eyes. I choked and had to dry my eyes at the library. It would not be an understatement to say that the book has inspired me again after ten years, after reading a novel called Snow. That the same writer can have the same effect on you after such a long time, when you have undergone so much change is just purely incredible and to that Mr Pamuk, my favourite author, I owe you a lot.

 

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Quieting the Mind

This is not a post giving you pointers to how to quiet your mind. There are dozens of such posts on the internet, go search yourself.

How does it feel to have your mind talking continuously? Ever got so bored that you just started doodling on paper? You know, just making your pen go round and round and round. Then you start crisscrossing just because you fudged up the nice circles. And now you are going all over the place, you are striking it off, and you have torn the paper, crumbling it now, throwing it at the bin with furious anger, missing it, stomping all over to the  bin, picking it back up, going back to your fucking place, but you just can’t make it and you want to stop, but you can’t. That’s the closest imagery I can think of.

Perhaps it’s this phase I am going through. As you might have seen, I haven’t written much here. I did however scribble here and there on paper, on nights that refused to let me sleep. It seems I am rather concerned about who I am, what I want to become, and what I am doing, in personal and professional life. Currently I am not working, for I resigned from my previous role because there was a job mismatch. I never should have taken the role. There was this gut feeling  that something was not quite right.  And it did turn out that the role was not what I expected, it would end up being a menial job.  Every time I denied my consciousness, this gut feeling, things never worked out properly. From a statistical point of view, it is better to start believing in gut feeling. Wanting to become a logical thinker on the other hand, it does not help to rely on the gut feeling.

Anyway, one month later, I am still jobless, but not to fret, I have a feeling that I’ve been shortlisted for 2 roles, so hopefully, I can take a deep breath by the end of next week.  This one month has seen its share of ups and downs. But to be honest, the thing that surprised me was, and still is, that I am rather passive about the whole thing. The only thing that irks me is the endless answering of all the questions these recruiters ask,not to mention the haggling to lower the salary. In one way, it is good because I am not stressing myself out. On the other hand, it’s not good to take everything so easily. It’s like in the movie “About Time” – a simple movie with a great message. To stop stressing and enjoying your life.  Well I can’t exactly enjoy because finance is pretty tight at the moment, but once a job is settled, that should clear in two or three months time.

Coming back to my main point, as you can see above itself, my mind is drifting all over the place. Many a times, I found myself day dreaming, making grand plans, and ignoring the present. This is particularly frustrating while trying to study.  The technical nature of my job require at most attention, and there are a lot of tiny detail involved. Another reason is the amount of distraction I am getting. I removed facebook, but even then, I find myself peeking at my phone, expecting a message  and don’t know what. I don’t even have a girlfriend damnit. I seriously want to remove whatsapp, but this is my only point of connection to friends and family, so there’s that.

Routine. This is another thing that I have trouble fixing. If I have an interview in the morning, I am up and about running around, after spending a night tossing and turning around, worried whether I would wake up in time. Talk about irony.  If I plan on waking up early and study in the morning, I would end up finding very interesting videos in youtube the night before, eventually sleeping around 2 or 3 in the morning, making waking up early near to impossible. One of my grand plans involve waking up in the morning and going for a run regularly. Now that I am not working this might seem like a distant dream, but getting a regular office hour work should fix this.

Another thing I noticed is that, again, like above, I talk a lot about what I would do. This is something I need to address. The only reason I am writing it here is because in case I still keep the habit, I want this to be a reminder to myself( screw you future Praveen, if  you are reading and you haven’t).  Learning guitar, cooking, a foreign language( french or german), driving. These are the things in pipeline, if you are curious to know what these grand plans are.

To be honest, long term goals never really work out. Perhaps I lack the patience. But this is not the Praveen I remember from my childhood. Somewhere while growing up, that steely resolve, that curiosity that kept the fire, that spirit is missing. After a lot of introspection, I think I have found out the reason. I stopped listening to myself and started listening to others. I found myself comparing my life to others. I envied their lives, blamed everything including me for the life I was having. Is my life horrible? Of course not. I have a loving family, had great friends, have a good career(had for now). By right, I should be happy,right?  This comparison, this, this – I don’t even have a word for it, you see. This frame of mind is not exactly positive. I am challenging this attitude now, I want the old Praveen back. The one who laughed a lot, the one who read a lot, the one who wrote a lot. I am bringing sexy back.(Side note- I found this phrase the other day while watching this seriously funny standup –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-YHuPKNQ_c&t=230s. Gotta love Aisling Bea. Seriously, check it out.)

On further introspection, I found that being myself is what have worked out in my favour throughout the years. Granted, an occasional interesting party(internal monologue- potential girlfriend) might have been turned away, but if they turned away, they wouldn’t end up being us with anyway right? But this doesn’t mean being selfish or pushing everyone away. I was spending time with friends, yet I found time to spend on me own. Perhaps it’s about balance. Another curious , but nonetheless not surprising thing was that, being busy was the best way I enjoyed myself. Inaction made me lazier. The more time you spent home, the longer the nights get, the longer the crazy thoughts persist. Have things to do. If you got nothing to do, find new things. Or get out and do the next level for the things you love. Go to a different part of the city or town. Try out a new food. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for some time. Do something different, something that you makes your body move, if it makes you perspire, all the better. We are still descendants of the great hunters. Idling is not our default mode.

Long story short, please get out of the house more, spend less time on phone(unless you are calling someone).  Make coffee, and most important of all, look at the big picture, and relax. Your life is only your own, be the captain, don’t let others point your way or steer your ship.

End rant.

 

Missing hugs

As I am sitting here on the train, after a long day at work, I just want some hugs. I just want to feel the warmth of a human body, a reassurance that I’m indeed alive and walking. 

I think thats why people love pets so much. They can hold, hug, kiss them anytime, anywhere. There is a sense of comfort in that I guess. And no question of labelling the relationship. Wish it could be the same with humans. 

Back home, once the days sets, I would probably be hanging around at my cousin’s house- playing with my sweet little Mabel  and Marvel. Their tiny voice and crazy antics fills up my heart. I especially miss holding her in my arms. Still can feel her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep. Is it selfish to ask that kids dont grow up? Let them be kids! Let them spread joy and happiness and give us all that fuzziness! 

Over here, in Singapore, thats what I miss the most. I live with my friends around the same age. We live harmoniously, is generally happy to see each other, but that sense of  “family” is missing I guess.   

Looking around, I think that is the case with most of the people. All of us just want somebody. Not necessarily to love and make out with, but just need them to be a presence, in an otherwise lame day. 

I just want some hugs very very badly. Missing you a lot more Mom.

Woke up before September

Hello There,

My non-existent invisible readers.

Heh.

It was a huge break this time, was it not?
I have my excuses- I was very, very busy.

I went back to India for a while, hugged my mom and dad so tight,spend time with all I loved,
making sure I valued their presence. As I grow older, I find myself loving deeper and deeper,
caring less about the worldly stuff. Guess what the old people were saying was true.

Oh, and yes, starting to agree that my parents were right most of the time.

Then I came back and started preparing hard for one of the Cisco exams – CCNP Switch. And I passed!

The thing is that, I will cherish the time I spent studying. Because in the beginning, it was so freaking hard.
I couldn’t concentrate for more than half hour, (I still may not be, but that is not the point),
had doubts about myself, and was generally not in a great mood for most days. Committing or aka forcing myself
to study was a huge task, and eventually, I got the better of it.
And once I started preparing, other things started falling into place. Started realizing that I was just
making bullshit excuses and whining instead of just doing stuff.
Been practicing simplicity lately. Don’t need it? Throw away, remove it from your life.
Make it a lot easier to search through the rest of the stuff.

So yeah, here I am wiser(hopefully), smarter(hey some more modules to go before I graduate with a degree),
and working better. I didn’t need someone to wake me up before September- random fact just because I goddamn
love that song so much. And oh, I did write some stuff, but most are in Malayalam and spread across the pages
of my real life scribbling books.

End rant.

Blocking

There is something that is blocking me to be productive. I cant place my finger on it. It prevents me from thinking logically. It is preventing me from memorizing stuff.

It is not allowing me to do my assignments. I need help it seems. Or am I just being paranoid, because there is too much stress I cant handle?

I fear failure. I had an assumption that I was brilliant academically and that notion is shattering to pieces day by day.

I badly, badly need a break. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting that until after May, after the University trimester exams.

Then I’ll be going back to India in July.

Oh how I wish to lay my head on my mother’s lap!  My heart earns for her gentle caress on my forehead, that chases all negative thoughts away.

Missing you very badly Mom 😥

The Earthly Connection

I moved my house recently to Marsiling (Singapore).  Even though its a bit further in than I wanted, I simply adore the location. Just outside the house, there is a kids play ground. I could just sit in my room and hear the tiny joyful noises. I miss my little cousin so much!

Also, its like a garden over here. Not sure if it is done by the residents or the government, it certainly is a beautiful site to behold everyday. Bougainvillea looks so pretty. And to top that, we have an actual hill just near the house.

I was always fascinated with hills. Something about it makes me wants to climb it. There is not a hill I haven’t climbed in a 5-mile radius back home.  I just climbed the hill day before yesterday. At 4 AM in the morning. I had come home after night shift and was trying to sleep. But ended up tossing and turning. That’s when I decided to climb the hill. Though not windy, it had good breeze that helped to calm my mind. Went over to a secluded area, and just laid down on the grass and stared at the sky. The moon was full, the sky clear. Couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

Why I am telling you all this?  Because during that time, I felt something I have experienced only few times in my life. The “Natural High” , I call it.  A state of complete peace. Serenity.

Previous time was June 2015. When we went on a bike trip. 3AM. in the Munnar hills. Sitting on a viewpoint, gazing out to the valley below me, mist slowly twirling, I went in to that state. I remember my friends shaking me up. They said I was sitting motionless for around 15 minutes and did not respond to their calls. Loved it.

20150606_060549The next day, climbing down another hill, tea leaf plantation on side, a green plateau down below being graced by morning sun, wind on my face.

20150607_125104

 

Before that, 2014 New Year’s day in Singapore- at Siloso beach. After the new year party, we had gone to the beach side to chill. The rest of them were still dumb from all the drinks. Since I don’t drink, I was much alive. Simply sat at the shore, leaning against a tree, stating at the sea. I recommend this to anyone and everyone. Do this at least once in your life. Stare deep into the sea, feel the waves rolling into the shore, listen to the sound of the sea. And watch that while the dark night slowly starts to brighten and day comes in. Simply magical.

Time now goes back to teenage. Quite a jump there heh.

I’m outside the house. Mom’s shaking her head because it was exam time and  this little boy wanted to play. Went to my friend’s house, but was chased away by their parents because apparently, they had to “study”.  Off, the little boy dashed to the hill. There were no houses near it, and it was pretty deep into the thickness. On one note, it was pretty dangerous for me to be there. Anywayyy,  strolled around for a little bit. It was around 5 PM then. Layed down on the grass so green, erm..it was like 1080p HD blu ray IMAX green..well, you get the idea…

Ever noticed the evening sun? Evening sun is Midas. It turns everything into gold. I wish I could show you the picture that I am reviving from the memories. Golden light diffused, sharp smell after the rain, and beautiful clouds. This was my first high.  Just lied down there, watching the clouds trying to hide behind the big tree.

Why am I saying all this? Because I realized I had lost my connection with Mother Earth for a long time. Apart from the occasional trips that we go  on during holidays, rarely do we take the time to sit down and just do nothing.  That sense of restlessness that you often feel? I believe much of it has to do with being away from nature( or because we don’t have a gf/bf – single people unite!). We ty to distract ourselves with movies, books and music. Not that they are not needed, but everything has its place.

We humans evolved from being hunters to localized civilians only in the span of a few lifetimes. We still have strong connections to our mother Earth.

So dear reader, do yourselves a favor – you don’t need to go to exotic locations to feel nature.

Go to a nearby hill or park, lock your phone( no instagram shit please). And just be there. Open your eyes, watch the clouds, hear the birds. No cigarette, no whiskey, get your natural high right there.

Like Beethoven said, Muß es sein?

Es muß sein!

 

 

 

 

Mom

My brother got married last year.  It was an arranged marriage(Yes, I know, its silly- but my brother and my sister in law is lucky).  She is a lovely lady, we all fit very comfortably with each other.  

One of the major problem after a wedding would be the integration of the wife to the family.  My mom is a lovely person. I am not boasting, she is a such an angel, with a big heart and forgives everyone almost instantly. One of my major concern for my sister-in-law was how things would be between her and my mom.  Not to my surprise, they go together awesomely. Quite a cute, happy little family.  

Now, if I had even the teeniest bit of doubt whether my mom did actually like her daughter-in-law,  it was pretty much cleared last night.

 My brother is currently overseas, and his wife was away at her own home for a couple of days. Both me and brother usually calls home several times a week. But past week, we did not call after Monday. And when I called home on Saturday, the first thing she said was this,

I was wondering why none of my three children have not called me again this week“. 

Three. She considered my sister-in-law as her third child. It’s hard to explain what I felt. If I was near her, I could have just hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. 

Every person should  be lucky enough to hear such a statement from their mother-in-law. 

Love you loads mom. 

Hmmmm.

Hey folks!  Whats up!!!!

As if anyone actually reads this. Unless I have a stalker…oooh!

Any case, this is one of those posts about positivity and shit so beware. So erm… yeah, life’s not bad.

Everything has its ups and down, I tried to learn cooking, and guitar, but did not make much progress.

On the other hand, I know which youtube channel to visit if I want to be back on track, as well as how much time that egg need to boil.  Small steps. That is what I try keep telling myself.

I won’t starve – I can make a decent basic curry (moru curry). Also i can pluck out some chords in guitar. One do needs to start somewhere!  Who knows! Years down the road, I will probably be spinning up new dishes and serenading to a girl with the most beautiful guitar  strumming.

But nah, lets not giddy up and ride that unicorn yet. I had enough of dreaming unrealistic future scenarios. Like going to the Himalayas, writing that book, asking Christopher Nolan to direct,…wait..what?.

On the other hand, I came across two great books – The Good Psychologist  and Night Train to Lisbon.

Also I watched Mad Max:Fury Road. Now this is a fucking brilliant movie, Been long time since hollywood churned out something with proper action sequences and CGI that doesn’t simply shit on the screen.

And oh, another important thing. I started doing my part time degree in Comp Science recently.Off to a bad start because I had to be overseas due to a marriage back home and general ultra laziness. I know I am smart enough not to failt the trimester, and hence the laziness. Way to go Praveen!

You procrastinating little…#$$&#*#

Disturbed

I am disturbed. An unknown wind is blowing in my mind and I do not know in which direction.

Sleep is avoiding me. I coax it with music, meditation. It does not heed me.

I feel like this some days. Those days where I think too much. Instead, I sleep like a log on those days in which I have no time to think about, when my mind is filled with other stuff- money, work,upcoming movies.

So, is that what I should do? To make my mind race, react and obey, so it does not think? What kind of life , will life offer me in return? Will the future be benevolent? I recognize this feeling. This feeling to write something that sound wise.

Ha!

What a load of bullshit! I wish I could have been more expressive than that. To have written more, to be having writing more each day.

To live with the sins of the past. What a burden. To think about cause and effect,to think about the lives of others,to be responsible for our actions and words.

Big words, those. Sin, burden, others! Do I even know the meaning of those words? Have I even committed those sins?

Is it sin in and itself? Is it not that a desire spiked out uncontrollably?

Who defined my sins and blessing anyway?

Who defined my happiness, my sadness, my fears?

When did I learn to question those facts? When.. when did I learn that all was not was it seem to be?

That behind every action there is a motive, a selfish desire. How peaceful my life had been.  Now that I know it’s in there, it will gnaw me from the inside.

Long back I have learned that this, writing, this blind obedience of my fingers to type whatever  my brain instructs it to, depending on my moods, is the only salvation, the only prayer, the only drug, the only love.

Call it whatever. This is my true calling, and this is what I will turn to.

Relationships are a mess when society is involved. Two people should be able to freely do whatver they like, without adjusting to the norms of the society.

I asked my friend about why he prohibits himself from certain things. He said such and such. I asked him  why.

He said, again, another reason. I kept asking him again and again. He finally became silent because the answer was that we are afraid of others. He was afraid of what the rest of the world would think. A world that includes me!

I am also afraid of certain things.

So basically, he is afraid of my judgement, as much as I am about his.

Increase the pool of example, and you will find that people are afraid of each other to do the things that they like.

If you think about it, the reason is pretty obvious. The only reason you are limiting yourself is because you are afraid of what society will tell you and label you when you speak your thoughts.

It requires much strength,to overcome the poison that you have been fed, to NOT be, one of the sheeps.

Goodnight World!

Oops. Morning!

Snow and Compliment

Today, as I was lying on my bed lazily, toying with different ideas- about literature. Stuff I would probably write about, creating scenarios,plots, those small sentences that can create an impact ( writers pleasure) etc..

A sudden thought struck me. Where did all this actually start from? From when did I decide that I would write things occasionally?
Rewinding back to early teenage years, I don’t remember trying to write things with this vigour, being this feverish.

It was along the secondary school days (Saint Peters Senior Secondary School, Kadayiruppu). When I was in Class X.15 years of age at that point of time. I wasn’t much of a writer(still not am, but a lot more confident). I did scribble at times,
write a few bit here and there. I was a voracious reader. I devoured books- except text books. I read a lot. OK, you get it. But to me, it was an entire different world. Escaping into this wonderful words, where authors created characters humans and diverse. It was my way of getting high.

Anyway, one grant day,I strolled through the library, looking for a random book…

Oh wait.

Have I ever told I how I chose books from the library?

Maybe its just me, but in most cases, I don’t look up a book and go fetch it. You see, I had no computer at home.
I did not search in the internet for stuff like- What are the top science fiction books? What books would you recommend a 15 year old? There were no rule books, no one to recommend anything.

No. I chose books at random. Given the probabilities,and the books that were present in the school library, I loved it.

I walked around the library. I ran my fingers over the books. I touched. I felt. Some books would catch my attention. Usually its the title. Single titled books usually never caught my attention.

But,as I was saying, one fine December evening, strolling through the library, my eyes fell on a blue cover book. It was slightly thick. Some inner voice immediately said, grab it! grab it now!

I complied. I read the title. It was called Snow. Written by Orhan Pamuk.
Of course I didn’t know about this great author. I didn’t know he was Turkish,or that this was translated. I read the synopsis in the back. Something about a journalist investigating suicides in Turkey. What was so much to write about this? I thought. Also since it was December, the name snow sounded intriguing, decided to give it a try.

Went home, and started reading it the same day. Beginning was slow, but then, it started growing on me. Here was the story of some fictional guy, whose thoughts and actions, resembled that of mine. I was surprised, happy, ecstatic. After hundreds of book, I encountered something that I could personally identify with. Perhaps it was because
I had a crush on a beautiful girl, and I felt sympathy for the character. Whatever.

After I finished the book, I couldn’t sit still. Ideas were swirling in my head. I couldn’t point my finger on what was wrong. Something was amiss. Something needed to be done. And i grabbed a pen and started scribbling something. I became furious. The pen was not moving fast enough for my thoughts. I couldn’t get the correct word I was looking for.
I remember striking out long lines just because I couldn’t find a suitable word, or just because I wanted to use this cool word I’ve learned.I hated looking at the dictionary(Yes, peculiar for someone who wants to write). When I ended up putting my pen down, my fingers were shaking, but I was at peace. I knew, or had a glimpse of, what an artist felt like.

And there folks, blossomed what I will fondly remember, my first pieces of literature. Unfortunately, the books where I had written the stories were school note books. They were given away end of the year. Summer came, exams were over, and it was time for playing all round. Writing took a back step, and I didn’t think much of what I had written.

Come next year, class XI found myself giving name for the story writing contest as well as for poem. I was surprised that I actually had the courage! My friends were like, Of course!
You read all those damn thick books. You were prone to write at some point!

So I went and wrote all four- story and poem in English and Malayalam(my native language). And lo and behold, I won both story writing.

But the biggest surprise for me was a week later, when my previous Malayalam teacher, Mrs Bindhu, called upon me. I was strolling after lunch( not stalking my crush, I swear!)
She pulled me to one side, and said, Praveen, I read your story, and its absolutely stunning,well beyond my age.

It was a story about a drunk man who has an accident,and his last moments.My face must have been so red then!

I was pleased beyond myself. That was the first compliment I received that felt true, and it found a niche in my heart.
She said I had a great future, and that I should write more. But since I was in XI, she didn’t say too much.

I was on cloud nine the day. Beaming all around like a child who just got ice cream. A teacher, one who is on top of her subject, congratulates me on something I had written? Great Scott! I felt like the king of the world.

Ever since then, I swore to myself, I will never give up writing. Be it a line or two, I will always write something if I liked it. From then on, in all my books, papers, textbooks,along the pages and most definitely in the last page of the book, you will find something scribbled down. Please note that I didn’t had any method, any desire to be famous. I was content with my own words, with slight annoyance that some thoughts couldn’t  be expressed on paper.
Of all the things that has shaped me who I am, I can very clearly state that the two most important things that ever happened to me was

1. Reading Snow by Orhan Pamuk
2. Getting complimented by a teacher on something I wrote.

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