Its amazing how long it has taken for me to finally start typing…(I was old-school pen-and-paper person until some time back)
Well, its not that the thoughts don’t flow- they are actually aplenty.. and I feel I need to find some way to pen them exactly when they come. Coz when they come is the time when they seem to be fully passionately fleshed and ready to roll. Almost like the female protagonist (a writer/ columnist) in one of my favourite English sitcoms.
Well now that we are on the topic of this protagonist, there are a lot of things I do aspire from that character in my once-favourite serial (I think I got put off after the movie that turned out to be such a bummer). Perhaps it was the fact that here were these four women who seemed to get along so well and look out for each other, yet with no strings attached and would share almost anything and every thing with each other… alas! I never had that set in such a way. Boy did I miss it- well actually no!
Anyways, so there were 2 things about her that I liked the most- the fact that she had a shoe closet (imagine having a walk-in shoe closet) and of course, enough shoes to fill the closet. So, while I rapidly moved towards the latter, it was the former that the Maximum City I lived in, never allowed. Well – why couldn’t someone in Mumbai have it when New York afforded that luxury! Simply put- our architectures in India don’t allow for it in the cookie cutter format especially in places like Mumbai. Of course, one can always spend the blood and brains (not to mention the money) to engage an interior designer at the time one buys a house. Anyways, more on Mumbai, interior designers and architecture later.
My second point on admiration with our protagonist was her columns. Wow! To have your thoughts penned down (as and when they came) and to have a bunch of folks want to read them AND to actually get paid for doing so sitting in a cozy New York apartment/ studio- while at the same time having the opportunity to party with friends, being invited to the hottest events in town and (above all) having an enviable figure to carry out all dresses. Mind you, her exercise regimen was not something we were tracking- but the figure didn’t leave a doubt on the rigour of that.
Which of course brings me to the point in time when I first told my husband I wanted to write a book. It was the time when I had started to get rapidly disillusioned by my job (its amazing how often one can experience that!) and the intricacies of the corridors of power. I had so much buzz going on in my brains that I wanted to share – and in the process perhaps connect with several others who may be going through similar experiences or some version of it.
And just like that … my husband’s reaction was “who would want to read it”… The bitter truth dawned- did someone actually want to read this stuff?
Then there was the time when I thought of writing at the time Dad passed away. There were so many emotions… and so much to process… but the truth was, would someone actually want to read. In fact, I realized that maybe I myself would not want to revisit my state of mind from the saddest time of my life. So why should I expect someone else to want to spend time absorbing that?
But I am a strong believer of how sharing can be both enjoyable and cathartic and perhaps that could get folks to read! Whether my travails with the pettiness of corporate intrigues or the loss of a very dear parent. To be honest, the former had inspired such strong feelings in me complemented with the setting in a long haul Business class flight – that I finally did begin to pen down some thoughts (and also be appreciated for my efficiency by a fellow – senior-passenger). Of course, once the rigmarole of life takes over (post the long haul), while the thoughts continued to flow, I for some reason couldn’t get myself to pen them… and after a lot of regurgitation with my dear victimized spouse and several empathetic ears, the inspiration went into a comatose phase. It would be pretty sad if I had to acknowledge that I actually couldn’t find the pages I had penned during that phase of inspiration.
Of course, there was another time, way back in the years of my corporate life, where I distinctly remember penning (remember, I used to use pen and paper until very recently) the experiences of a very enthusiastic and excited corporate rookie’s escapades in the boondocks of China. I also remembered what I had named that “Cutting Cha” (a very witty attempt at combining Mumbai slang and Chinese language)- a yellow colored single lined A4 size notepad, perhaps I may still be able to find it one day!
So while I share all the various inspirations and sparks of author/ writer-hood I have had, perhaps its worth mentioning, not in passing, the origins of this bug in the mind of an 8-year old (me).
It all began with a visit to an astrologer with my father… and to hear him being told by this very learned wise man- that one day his daughter would shine bright as an author! Of course, almost 4 decades later, I assume my father would have given up on that prediction.. but not without trying his best by egging me to write my diary during my summer vacations.
I cant though help but chuckle at the most significant event recorded in those diaries being the mention of a lizard on my chair in a convent school classroom full of screaming teenage girls. Now that seemed like an event worth recording.. but there were few and far between..
And just like, the diary died a slow death as Dad reluctantly gave up on the skills of that very learned astrologer J