an idiot blog for an idiot world

On Writing

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On writing

When younger, I wrote like a romantic, each sentence an offering of adoration. The words were clumsy and blunt. They described with ease the way things looked–the glow of cheeks after a first kiss, the longing ache of a lover upon parting and the hushed, borrowed desire of a love letter slipped quietly into another’s hand. Such incidents were portrayed with little grace and little subtlety. Writing, then, was simply a tool to win affection, a paltry sort of thing to mould and fashion as I desired, or rather, as she desired. In high school, I wrote a paean to an infatuation as a writing assignment and she swooned.

Then, I acted also like a Cyrano of sorts, writing love letters for lust-struck male friends who fell for young girls with agile ankles in high heels and tight thighs in short skirts. As teenagers, their feelings and desires were like everyone else’s, only they were too young to know it then. I came to this realisation early, when different people asked me in different voices to say the same thing to different girls. It was easy, made easier by the fact that I stole abundantly from Shakespeare. To this day, I regret nothing.

After a while, I became a depressive, writing pithy, short pieces that reflected adequately the inner turmoil of a insufferable teenager. Most days were spent wearing black, sitting in semi-darkness and writing sinister, gloomy stories where, almost always, the protagonist died. This was the easiest manner in which to wrap up a story and I beat it to death, so to speak. Murders, suicides, murder-suicides, blood and guts galore. This satisfied my inane desire for the morbid while also facilitating the expression of my own budding thoughts and feelings. It was a tough time, or at least it felt tough then. Looking back, I am exceedingly grateful that this phase ended as abruptly as it began.

Then, for a while, I was a reactionary. The influence of leftist literature and radical philosophy left me slightly insane and with a bad case of word vomit. I wrote polemics, haranguing the world from atop my pulpit of moral indignation. I espoused the virtues of communism and denounced capitalism as the most evil force in the world. This phase also paralleled my ignorant atheist phase, where I seized every opportunity to malign god and the religious. Being young and naïve, little did I understand that ideas cannot be hammered into minds, that the louder you yell, the less people hear. I did not try to cajole, inculcate and explain. I roared like a lion, like a dragon, like only the ignorant and stupid can, confident as they are in their own righteousness. I was a fool because I thought I knew so much, when in fact, I knew little or close to nothing.

Thankfully, this too ended. And now, I am sometimes a cynic, rarely an optimist, frequently melancholic and always reflective. This has been hard-earned and going by experience, it too cannot last. These days, I think before I write. I know what I am going to say before my fingers reach for the keyboard. I have ideas and I expand and build on those ideas. Finally, writing is a craft. It is not just something I do when I sit down at my computer or with a pen and paper and hope for inspiration. Gone are the days when I would simply write and let it all come independently, as if possessed. My muse no longer empties her bowels into my head. She teases me, drops a hint, leads me on a mystery. I follow her clues like a trail of breadcrumbs. And although I do not know the destination, I see the way.

There is still purpose to writing. I still write for others, sometimes to women I love and sometimes to women I want to love. I am no artist, no poet and no musician. What I can do is string a few decent words together to form a decent sentence. This is my offering, maybe my only offering. I will never change your life, I will never make you forget your cares and I will never inspire you to take on the world. But I will try to give you a moment’s respite from the bludgeoning of the world. I will try to give a glimpse into a life that is ordinary and thereby, show you that all life is ordinary. And there is great beauty in this.

I am not writing to get at a singular truth. I am not writing to change the world. And I am definitely not writing because there is money to be made. I am writing because it is the only thing I know. It is my only salvation; it is my bible, my bottle, my bosom; it is my life, my lie, my love. I am writing because this is the only way to keep the darkness at bay. There are wild hungry wolves out there and writing is my fire. Without it, living is unimaginable.

I write because I know of no other way.

I write because I am not a writer.

I write because I am a liar.


Written by Pranaya

February 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

13 Responses

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  1. Ah! The changes we go through in life! We write differently and think differently as we grow older. Just this afternoon I was in a bookshop and was surprised how not a single book in the bookshelves impressed me. I knew my taste in book had changed and so had I – from a random book-collector to someone who was now picky about the books I chose and from a vicarious reader to someone who valued living out the words it more than reading. Change – that’s life and it’s fascinating to map the changes we go through and ponder about it! We learn to ‘never say never’ and thus accept life gracefully. 🙂


    February 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    • If things never changed, how would we know any time had passed. Right?


      February 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      • Right! Change is what makes life interesting after all. 🙂


        February 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

  2. Writing might be your bible, your bottle, your bosom.
    Reading your work might just be someone else’s piety, someone else’s nectar,someone else’s yearn.
    Your writings have a pattern. The shades are different, but the colour is the same. It maybe delusional to say that your work has identified you, as an individual, but for someone who has followed your writings keenly, you are nothing but the same. It may not have inspired but it has motivated. Motivation is transient. Your attachment with an art so beautiful motivates many. I will not say I love your work because I don’t. But I do find solace in them, a feeling so inexplicably dear. You are one, and many faces of the grey. You are nothing less than an exemplary artist. You are nothing more, too.


    February 24, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    • I’m glad you are out there, whoever you are. But I am not an artist, let alone an exemplary one. I do what I do because I can’t think of doing anything else. If that motivates you, then that makes me happy. I don’t ask that you love my work. I don’t even ask that you tolerate it. But I am happy you take the time to read what I write and sometimes, even comment on them. I only wish that you tell me who you are. I don’t like these anonymous notes. My writing might identify me but yours doesn’t.


      February 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      • I am just an observer and reader. You write well and have exposed your work in a virtual platform, so might as well expect a lot of anonymous comments, notes, compliments or criticism. I am just another pea in the pod. And a wellwisher for sure. For your writings atleast. P.s- mystery will cease to reside if my writing started identifying me. So, thank you.


        February 25, 2014 at 1:31 AM

  3. You say you will never change a life.
    But your writing can help to understand.
    Whatever it is you are writing about.
    Your piece on “The head and the heart”-
    it has given me hope. And helped me.
    I think I told you.
    And you inspire me to read and write and listen.


    February 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

  4. Reading this post apart knowing your experience in impeccably handsome writing I was thinking on what to comment. Say your writings like a summer sky-clean- and your not-writing a monsoon sky wailing. No! The girls to impress a boy or vice versa they barter these words, I concluded . I still meditate for what the words are to be.


    February 25, 2014 at 2:36 AM

    • Anon! Doff ye woes. O fearful meditations!
      Meditate. But ne´er take the deadly air.
      Sometimes ´tis not to impress but a yearning to express.
      Oft, ´tis not expected vice versa.
      By Jove! Nay, no brawl with mutiny. Fools brawl.
      Summer sky/ monsoon sky-
      sounds a bit Shakespearean to me. Dramatic even.
      Nay, not writing naught sees a wailing monsoon sky, but pining sees the sun.
      Drama may exist. Doth exist. Nay, do not ban denying.
      Hark and bid and ne´er hie. Walk softly.
      And take it slow. Learn by going?
      Oh men. And women!!


      February 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM

  5. hamro umer ko beytha(haru) khulaidiyeko ma dherai dhanyawaad.


    February 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

  6. Finally I stumble upon a pirate’s treasure! 🙂


    March 2, 2014 at 11:38 AM

  7. i, am a fan, of all your phases 🙂


    April 24, 2014 at 2:51 AM

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