Chapter – 02
It is not a typical writing day for him, but not an unusual day. Unusual is, when he writes. Last night was special, a nowhere to begin night, God know where I am now night. Despite fiddling with his mind for a few hours, nothing came out. He wonders why he is stuck, for he knows he is stuck, and everything around is so alien. He is lost, he can’t identify where he is. He shakes his head, bends it towards his right, and tries to rest it on his shoulder. He keeps still, he doesn’t move, and then with a jerk, he creates a spasm that pass through his body. It doesn’t help. He does it again; this time his head tilted on his left, a shudder, no help either. Perhaps, it is not the faulty plumbing that delivers scenes to his thoughts, is clogged.
He walks to the window, the sill is dusty. He will ask maid tomorrow to get it cleaned. He checks a mental note, tick. He slides the glass pane to his right. That is the only way it opens. If he used the other pane, he will need to slide it to the left, the right side of sill is dustier. There is a gathering straight across the road. Some feast, there are families, children running in the light of huge sodium lamps, garrulous aunties feasting over the food lined on a row of tables, talking to the one behind and convincing the one in front. Perhaps, the paneer is not soft or the bread is too hard or the chicken is poorly marinated. He thinks of food, food for thought is what he needs. Something to invigorate his mind, fortify his brains. Something like walnut kernels, he always imagined it as eating someone’s brain, little brains of little creatures, whenever he crunched a handful, one at a time, a handful of little brains. The speakers blare, they are playing a somewhat patriotic song from a Bollywood comedy. It is not the sound that irritates him but the choice of song, inappropriate for whatever they are celebrating, at this hours of night, whatever time it was. He returns to his writing table.
There is pile of novels on the edge of table, a little steel rack made out of perforated angles and sheets, holds the well stacked one. Although, it made sense to have perforated angles, he wonders the purpose of perforations on sheet, except for the easy passage of the silverfishes eating through the bindings of the old books. Some of them are pretty old; he bought them at the book fair. There was a stall selling large collection of books at throwaway prices. Not by well known authors, some of the books bear the stamp of popular libraries. Probably, the discarded ones, or stolen from them or from their borrowers. He had finished reading most of them. The pile on the table, some read, some unread. Some read, re-read and re-read again, grasping every minute details of characterization.
He picks up a book from the pile, browse through first part, it is Power and the Glory by Graham Greene… It is not one of his favorite novels, yet it is the introduction of the character that catches his attention. He enjoyed the book thoroughly. The protagonist remains unnamed as in another novel by one Indian writer. The narration is by an unnamed, about characters unnamed; yet the story unfolds too easily, too beautifully. No where the reader feels mired due to unnamed characters, such is the simplicity of the intricacy of the unnamed.
How to begin has been a crucial thing to him, he has written in bits and pieces. But he is stuck. It is not writers block; he is searching for an introduction. He has a story to tell, but the question is how to begin it. Flipping through the book, a thought runs in his head. If he needs to write, like the old successful writers, he needs to start headway. He places the book on the same pile, some read-some unread. He opens his note book; the he still prefers nibs and inks to keying it on his computer. He said, it gives him a feeling of writing; the opened blank paper and the pen, when his friend asked him why he wasted time writing when he can type. He stares vaguely at the wall painted blue and turns to paper which entices him to write.
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© Barun Jha || 2012