Writing …

An autobiographical writer, as he writes, does not truly remain the one to whom things happened. He is the one for whom things didnt happen the way they were supposed to. He is the one who is shifting his identity, to bring himself in harmony with the events, to make him feel at ease with himself and with the world. As he has written out what happened, what remains with him is what could not happen. That is what he becomes. That is where he lives. In the hollow cavity of possibilites that never took place. Barely anyone can have entry to it for he can not even explain what didnt even happen. People seldom see what happened. Chances of them being able to fathom what didnt without brining in any sympathetic/pity emotion, is next to nill. He is distancing himself from what has been written by writing about it. One who lives in fantasia doesnt truly likes the reality. He couldnt deal with it in his head, so he lets the fantasy take over. It is here that things find a place fitting with his wants. It is here he rests. It is here he lies.

This kind of writing often has deep, incisive and often edgy sharp assessment of events and situations. This statement rings true with autobiographical writer of 70’s Sasthi Brata (My God Died Young).

On the other side, there is one to whom things happened more than he could handle. So what he brought forth was what spilled over. It is as if the writer is already like a cup which he fills with engaging with things outside of him. And when these engagements/experiences/fantasia brims over his capacity, he needs to purge it out. He may purge just the froth or the whole deal. Paulo Coelho talked about such capillary affect in his interview and how he makes love with life till he begins to feel full and then he has to purge himself out in the form of writing. And onc begun he can not stop doing so till the work is complete. He can not stay away from it not even when he is travelling in a plane.

Further, writing of any kind, autobiographical or otherwise, can fill your head with crud. Like a pot in whom milk has been boiled ends up with sticky mess, mind is likely to end with pestering and nagging thoughts post purge. Some of the biggest blocks come from one’s own judgmental, self-critical and doubtful sides. Judgmental mind may ask if you think so highly of yourself that whatever you think is worth writing? Why do you then often scoff at what others have written? Self-critical side just beats the hell out of you by bringing in its high standards and ideas of art, writing and every thing in general. It asks you if what you are bringing forth is worthy of being brought. It is like asking if the child you are going to give birth to is going to beat Tendulkar’s record. If not, is it worth bringing it out. What is its relevance and why should it exist? More, importantly, why should I make myself grind? Often, one doesnt even understand what one is bringing out. You cant even block your own internal critique by saying he/she is an idiotic fool. Doubtful side is like sympathetic cynic. He will listen to your hopeful wishes, wouldnt say anything negative, just stay aloof and pull away, his face having not betrayed any emotion. When nudged into telling what he thinks the cynic is likely to defend by saying, well, evasive answers, how he is not worthy of critique, downplaying his own importance etc. On being assured that its okay, and he is free to express his ideas, he would gently suggest how all the hopes are likely to not work out because of reasons x, y, z. All of the reasons being very logical, factual and often based on previous experiences. And then he would say, like capping the whole thing, that well, dont you go by what I am saying, I am just saying, you never know.

Huh! So much for helping out.


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