Recently a friend on Facebook had thrown out a random question at us friends for our answers: How do you choose the topic to write on (on your blog page)? I read the many comments by others, and also jotted down my own. Here is mine:
The topic chooses me. All I do is write it.
Writing to me is releasing from incarceration those captive words that jostle, push and shove in the confined space inside my head (or should that be heart?) demanding to be set free to roam as they wish.
I have been a “writer” since a long, long time, since my childhood days in fact. Inability in more ways than one to express in spoken words was one of my failings. So I “wrote” what I could not express. I was a painfully shy kid, still am to a large extent though I have learnt to skilfully cover up this flaw of mine. I have done such good job that even those who profess to know me closely are unaware of this well kept secret. But observant ones have homed in on the fact at the very first meet, at a single glance. Whether you are able to “see” the real person or not rests on your powers of observation. Those who are concerned more with themselves and unwilling to direct their view outwards, see and hear only what they want to. That is enough of my boring amateur philosophy for now.
So, as I was saying, I was someone who “wrote” or rather ‘scribbled’ because I could not articulate. And boy did I fill pages when it came to ‘scribbling’! Those words that refused to form themselves on my lips in the presence of other humans flowed in a torrent when it came to “writing.” But there was a catch. All that I wrote remained in the ‘For My Eyes Only’ category and never graduated to the ‘For Your Eyes’ category.
I was the quintessential My-Dear-Diary girl in my growing up days. In fact even my book reviews (I had an insatiable appetite for books), started with the words ‘My dear diary’! Needles to say, my diary was explosive stuff having all insider stuff about yours truly laid out, which I forbore to tell anyone else. Most of the jottings contained rants about what a mean place the world was and how horrible its people were, which was why I was writing the diary in the first place. But there were other things too. Sometimes I showed the writings that fell in the “other” category, to some among my friends. That is how I happened to show an imaginary conversation between an okra and aubergine as also a potato to my then roommate. Or so she told me when we talked recently after a long time. Sad to say I don’t recall anything of what the three of them said to each other or how it all ended. May be in a wok with hot oil, tomatoes and masalas, but then who knows for sure? They could well have eloped, not the three of them of course, but the two who made a pair, helped valiantly by the third who then sacrificed self in human food. But why am I applying human rules to them? They were veggies. So they could have eloped as a threesome too. Food for thought and errr… tummy too.
Other than these jottings in my diary, my “writing” involved long essays for my History, Political Science, Sociology and Economics classes (which I actually enjoyed “writing”), and for a long time that was all the “writing” that I did next.
Then came a time of “writing” letters to the man I married, the L & M (Lord & Master to newbies). He being in the infantry, I got ample opportunity to hone my “writing” skills through letter writing. I wrote to him every single day. They were interesting letters, even though I say so myself, full of the happenings around me unlike the weather report-like ones that I got in return. How are you? I am fine. Hope all is well there. Everything is fine here. Anyways, whenever anyone asks me if I used to do a lot of “writing” in the past, I tell them, writing those (interesting) letters had been my only real experience in “writing” prior to blogging. By then, my diary was a forgotten thing of the past. Who has time to write in a diary with two monkeys (read sons) to take care of? Hence letter-writing was all the “writing” I did for the next quarter century. That IS a lot of “experience” in “writing”, isn’t it?
Then one day I found the internet and as I have said elsewhere too, have ever since felt like Alice in Wonderland. It was just what the doctor ordered for an introvert (in the garb of an extrovert, as I call myself) me. I had found a place for myself in the world-wide-web where I could “write” aka express myself, and all I had to face was a blinking screen. It couldn’t get any better than that, could it? I would never be interrupted or bulldozed into submission by bossy domineering types. And if anyone did I could respond at my leisure. I could not be diverted/subverted from the topic under discussion by those with verbal diarrhea or afflicted with verbal acrobatics syndrome. The best thing was that, I could interact with like-minded people. A story or verse would be appreciated by unknown people instead of the what-use-is-writing-a-story-for-a-homemaker-as-compared-to-making-perfect-iddlies sort of reactions you might get in real life especially if you are not surrounded by the right sort of people. It was (is) great to find kindred souls.
So here I am continuing to “write” and feeling great. Yes, writing to me is like some drug. It gives me a high. Not that I have ever done drugs. Just saying!
What is writing like? Write a post that includes this phrase, “Writing to me is…”