‘ Mujhse pehle kitne shaayar aaye aur aakar chale gaye,
Kuch aahein bharkar laut gaye, kuch nagme gaakar chale gaye,
Who bhi ek pal ka kissa thei, main bhi ek pal ka kissa hun,
Kal tumse juda ho jaunga, lo aaj tumhara hissa hun…’ *
The ‘pal do pal ka shaayar’ has enticed me for long. The urge to create, to adorn innumerable books with words has always got the better of writers. They need not be mainstream. They may just be lone weavers of words, chanting their personal memoirs in private journals. A lot of this writing is cathartic. But more than that, I say, it is the irresistable charm of words; the magical pull that is hard to forgo. The moment a word nosedives into a piece of paper, it tows several others to drift along. And thus, are born millions of poetries and stories. Some of them perish without ever having been read. They gather dust in huge libraries or at the best find a home in poetry salons. Few are savoured by a handful, fewer by many.
And yet, the shayar, the poet, is unable to counter this hunger to create. Even after convincing themselves several times of the futility of it all, they sneak back to their writing desks, spilling their hearts out. Namratha Vardhrajan asks poets about this chronic obsession in her beautiful rendition, ‘At the Funeral of the Poet’s Dream’.
I remember a quaint conversation that I once had with someone about writing. Reading Namratha’s poem took me back to that strange conversation I had over a cup of tea. My acquaintance, sipping from her cup, asked me if I made more money by writing or through my regular job. With all the best-sellers making so much noise and with public knowledge of some authors having enviable stacks of cash swished off in their bank accounts, it somehow seemed natural for her to ask. I told her my writing catered for a very meagre portion of my earnings, which of course is the truth. She didn’t look surprised as I had so expected. Instead, she left me confounded with her response, “Well, I’m not surprised. Writers are mostly stony broke!”
Before I could talk of opulence in terms of its figurative existence in the lives of writers, my acquaintance came up with a successive question, “So, why do you write?”
Tell me, writer, what makes you wield the pen? Is writing the stardust you hope to sprinkle on the world for its possible purgation? Or, is it because the world is too much for you? Is writing the taste of life you would rather have linger on in your mouth, when all of reality has made it bitter? Or, is it simply an untold story you’d rather get rid of?
WHY DO YOU WRITE?
Even when you know that your words perish sooner than a fish out of water. Even when you know many a folk pass by your words without even batting an eyelid. Even when you know that a lot of your poems write their own obituaries. Which reminds me of a well-meaning suggestion I’ve often been given. Poetry is not good for business. Tell me, writer, do you write for business? Or, do you write because you must?
You do know that sooner or later your writing shenanigans will be put aside to make way for others. Library shelves will make space for other dilettantes… maybe for the more stellar performers. And yet, you get back to your writing desk tossing the lone penny in your pocket that you made with a piece from your pen.
As I wait for you to tell me why you write, I leave you with fleeting thoughts from the second-half of the evergreen number ‘Main pal do pal ka shayar hun...’
‘Kal aur aayenge nagmo ki khilti kaliyaan chunne waale
Mujhse behtar kehne waale tumse behtar sunne waale
Kyu koi mujhko yaad kare
Mashroof zamaana mere liye kyu waqt apna barbaad kare…’*
I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
*[For my English readers, the lines in Hindi are from a popular song. To paraphrase them in simple words, the poet says that his essence as a poet is nothing more than a fleeting thought. Several poets have lived before him and several others will follow him. He might be a part of your existence today but he shall perish soon to make way for others, just like his predecessors did. ]
Here is a little piece I wrote on Medium.
My paternal aunt loved to dress up. Short and chunky, she carried her bronzed skin tone and fuller body with much panache. Although fond of rich, bright and vibrant colours, I often found her in neutral shades like grey or ivory or beige…
What makes us seek validation? How does it affect us? Click on the link below to read my views. Drop in a comment so that I know what you feel about it!
“Untitled” by Sonia Dogra https://link.medium.com/51jRH6QIg8
Sometimes the most bizzare situations bring home valuable lessons. The dark abyss often needs just a shaft of sunlight and Voila! The trench lights up instantly.
Last evening while watching my daughter participate in a pretend play it struck me how we simply need a dash of belief to add value to nothing.
Life brings worthy lessons in the most uncustomary ways.
A slice from a pretend play, titled ‘The Jar of Belief’ Read More
Welcome back to yet another month of the IWSG, a wonderful support group for writers where you learn and grow; where your craft is not limited to a space or region and where you adopt global methods and trends. If you are a writer of poetry, short stories, prose, novels or just a writer, this is the place to be. You can sign here and join the group. Read More
Hello! Could there be another time to discuss ‘Urban Nightmare’ ? That’s the theme for this month’s WEP Challenge. And aren’t we living it every moment?
I’ve attempted a flash, and while the premise remains the same (I can’t seem to break away from my preferred style of writing) but I’ve attempted not to talk of human relations that almost always form the basis of my stories. Hope you enjoy this one! I tried hard to incorporate the clues at WEP but somehow I have a long way to go as far as this genre is concerned.
The year was 1997. I moved out of home for the first time. It was a personal decision, taken much against the wishes of my father, who thought I could continue my education in the small hill town where we lived. But I thought differently. I wanted to see life in big cities. They said big cities held more promises. I was academically inclined, had always performed decently well and was quick to make friends. I didn’t see any reason why my parents should have been worried for me.
And so, after much brouhaha over my decision back home, I made my way to a bustling city. The most difficult task in a new place is finding your gang. And at an age when friendships are the sweet nothings you are looking for, this task becomes even more onerous.
One of my short stories titled “If there’s one thing we inherit from our mothers, it’s certainly their madness’ was picked up by Women’s Web for the Muse of the Month Contest.
I had titled the story ‘Crazy Scribbles from Mom‘ but the title was changed by the portal. Also, I struggled to give a befitting ending to the story and submitted it just like that. But maybe, it fitted well for them.
Do click on the link below to read the story. And drop in your views about the same. I would love to hear from you!
“And it was so easy to blame her for anything that went wrong. She was the one ‘responsible’ for the mess in my life and in all our lives. Expected to darn all those dirty holes in there. “
For complete story click on the link given below,
The world is crumbling and mistrust, scepticism, fear accompany the morbidity that plagues us all. At this point of time, Swarnali Nath’s eBook ‘You are Blooming’ is the manna we seek. Like a ray of light that breaks in through the chinks, it offers hope and faith. I share my favourite quotes from the book that will hold your hand in devastating times.
“I believe, in every colour of the dusk, there lies a promise of the new day. In every broken piece of the soul, there is a home of the lost light.”
Zen has been on my mind for a long time now. It’s been creating a lot of buzz and I’ve always wondered why! Not a religious person per se, I’ve always been weary of reading/talking/writing about religion. However, for a while it has been like ‘Zen’ has been following me around. My daughter who enjoys art has recently been trying her hand at Zentangle and doodling.
Consider this- ‘Zen’ and ‘tangle’ and keep these in mind. I’m going to come back to this. Now for the other stalker. Ha! Well, Ravish Mani who is well-known in the blogging world for his book analysis and reviews as also for his posts on spirituality, talks about Zen in his latest book, ‘See Through Words’ which is part of the Blogchatter eBook Carnival, 2020.
Last evening, I read Pooja Priyamvada’s eBook ‘Papa & I’. Registered under Blogchatter’s eBook Carnival, the book offers perspectives on losing a loved one to death. A combination of few prose pieces, twenty-eight poems and certain random notes, it is dedicated to the author’s late father, who she fondly remembers in the book.It is hard to review a book such as this. For it is a sentiment, one that is relatable and feels closer home. Death is an inevitability that cannot be denied. And no matter how prepared we may consider ourselves; we fail to accept the only eventuality when it happens.