However hard it is for me to write everyday, I am going to open this page and tap on my keyboard irrespective. Lets see what comes out in words when you have nothing to say, but are compelled to speak.
Gosh! I'm blank.
And this confirms a truth.
That I don't wish to comment on things happening around me, neither am I going to dig deeper in my heart and explore the world which lies secure and protected from the battlegrounds filled with people waging bloody wars, surrounding it.
These I guess are the usual dilemmas of a writer when he/she isn't able to write. I actually used to feel that my thoughts and my words could change lives of the less fortunate and make a differnce to the rest of the world when I had decided to be a writer, so many years ago while I was still so young. There was an anger inside me, which I wasn't aware of, a helplessness which I could not comprehend.
I was growing up in those years, rebelling against almost everything, when my father would go crazy trying to make me work at my school harder and appear for my exams at the end of each academic year.
Because, unlike the rest of my siblings, Meera, Radhika and Dhananjay, I was unable to just listen and do as I was asked to, I needed answers for everything before I could be convinced to do anything.
Man, my folks really had a terrible time giving me an answer for why I should be forced to sit for tests and exams. Did they think that I did not know enough? "No, no, no", they would say, and go on to try and tell me why all kids need to give tests and exams to know where they stand. Frankly, they would grope for words and search for reasons, but finally have to use the power of force, even if it meant dragging me to school and waiting outside the classroom till the exam was over, to see to it that I would actually sit for them. Bribery never worked with me and no offer made to me, from getting me a new bycycle, to buying me anything that I wanted, made a difference.
This went on right till the day I graduated, by when I was in a hostel in a college in Chandigarh, and my folks lived in Indore, where my father was posted. The poor guy would take his annual leave, come to Chandigarh and park himself in his company guesthouse and make me stay with him, carrying out the routine of making me cram and then taking me to my examination center and waiting outside for three hours, in the scorching summer heat, for each of my exams.
I always scraped through. Right till I graduated and all through school, I just about scraped through, and finally got myself a degree.
It was during my final exams of my final year at college that Papa, who was alone with me at the company guesthouse one day, confessed to me that it was all so useless, and none of it made any sense. He told me that he was glad, it was getting over for me.
I was surprised.
Wasn't it a torture for him to have had to go through this rigorous routine for the last 12 years at least?
Specially when, at the end of each year I got such dismal results?
He smiled as he went on to refill tabacco in one of his beloved pipes, and told me that he never looked at it like that. His time spent, making me reach this stage of life, was more about the time he had shared with me, rather than the fact, that I was on the verge of becoming a graduate, which according to him was no great achievment.
Graduating was more or less a necessity for me to be able to do the things that I would yearn to do hereafter.
This coming from a man who had a double masters and a law degree to lean on. From a man, who had three more children, all of whom went far with their academics and who are teachers today.
I was confused at that stage of my life. I had no clue what I was going to do next, or even, where I was going to go after the exams were over. I was lost and my father must have sensed it. He asked me not to worry when I told him that I would not get a decent job with the kind of marks I had got throughout my educational career, and nor was there going to place for me at any decent university for further studies. There was nothing I could do besides having fun with my friends and party hard. I told him I was not a virgin no more and I told him that I thought I was hooked on marijuana.
My father asked me one simple question. He asked me if I was scared.
I nodded my head and he smiled. He told me that then he wasn't worried.
By the time my exams ended and I went back to Indore with my father, I had said goodbye to Chandigarh forever. I had written a play, a poem and and article which was never published and shown them all to him.
By the time I had set foot in Bombay, now Mumbai, two months later, I had become a cumpulsive writer.
For everytime I worried, for everytime I feared the future. For each time that I experienced sorrow and each moment that I felt confused, I sank into the comfort of writing, allowing it to flow.
I swam in unknown waters, and in deep oceans and I flew over the highest mountains into the sky. There was a world in my head which was infinite and boundless, a never ending yearning in my soul, a hynotic desire in my heart. There were no limitations on my feelings and there was no detail my eye never caught.
It was the quirks of nature and the disorders of mankind and myself that took precedence in my mind and made me laugh till tears would fill my eyes as I wrote and wrote and wrote on, and I knew it would never stop.
For all the questions I ever asked hereafter, I would venture out fearlessly to find the answers and had no expectations from anyone to give them to me. I explored uninhibitedly and flung myself into the depths of pain and happiness, always sure I would return unharmed. My father had set my soul free by inviting me to speak the truth. By not being judgemental, he had simplified my chaos and demystifyed my misplaced angst.
By smiling at my confusions he had shown me the way, he had cleared the conflict and made me realize that we are all human after all.
By asking me one simple question, he had made me realize that we set the parameters within ourselves and can fearlessly explore them as long as we know that the boundaries are limited but possibilities, infinite.
And once I had spoken my truths which I feared, to him, I was afraid no more.