How can I forget those days when reading, writing and painting used to be my favourite pastimes? Those were my schooldays, the memories of which are etched in my consciousness. The hobbies faded away during higher secondary years when I developed disinterest in studies-courtesy, the science stream. It was the worst of times.
Now, being an average student, I put up a brave face before my classmates. (One must learn the art of putting up a brave face before others when one is stuck, deep inside!) Those were the long long melancholy two years during which the only good reason to wake up smiling was the English teacher. English never betrayed me. Enter college. Introspect. Switch to English literature. A reader is re-born. A library is maintained and humbleness developed. My days start and end with books. It was the best of times.
Writers write; they are blessed with imaginative power and they churn out their intrinsic tendencies to give final shape to their thoughts and expressions in a much creative way. “Literature”, one of my teachers used to say, “is the creative use of language”.
Literature fascinates me. Not just fascination, there is an inner force that drives me, like other litterateurs, to this world, which is associated, by its readers like me, with aestheticism. It is an urge to quench the never ending thirst of looking into the beauteous part of the world around us. Even the name ‘Literature’ feels so aesthetic. Doesn’t it?
I too used to write — the pieces full of imagination and it was like creating some aesthetic theory as Stephen Dedalus does in James Joyces’, ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’. Whenever I come across those lines, paragraphs, jotted down random thoughts, and some few articles, I myself feel unconvinced and unable to come to terms with the writer that was in me.
I’m not robbed of the talent. I believe only God can snatch from us what He bestows us with. Distractions are always there; some succeed in warding those off and some succumb. I fell victim to the latter, succumbed; even to the extent of abhorrence for writing. What led me to overcome the impediments was epiphany. I realised that a writer cannot be an orphan in the literary world when he is born to write.
Now, as I am composing these lines, I feel rejuvenated as a writer. I feel special about myself that I was slammed by literary friends for giving up writing despite my association with journalism. Why not return to the roots when one is swayed by encouragements and urges by peers and teachers to “not let the talent go waste”. I thank them all for such genuine criticism which happened to be a breakthrough in my literary life. They proved to be my well wishers; I am indebted to them. They rescued this embattled writer from the monster of hurdles that used to devour him. I am happy that I’ve returned to the roots.
—The author, a writer and a litterateur at heart, is also a journalist. He can be reached at: [email protected]