Writing Changes Life; Life Changes Writing

Now, that is a powerful heading!

Exactly one year back, on this day, something changed! Something I had never foreseen happened in my life. It was an accident, and what a journey it has been post that! It was last year on this day I started writing this column.

phucket-listWell, someone who knows me from before knows that the bond between me and writing was as strong as that of Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut. I had never written anything post college – and “writing” in an Architecture College was as negligible as it could get! And then, before I knew it, I was sucked in the “bucket-list” phase, and somehow “starting a blog” made it to that list. Unlike most other things on it, I did manage to do this – either I was in I-need-to-get-out-of-my-comfort-zone phase or this was the easiest of the lot.

To cut a long story short, this blog led to this column and before long, I started producing 500 words/week. Today, in retrospect, I realise it has affected me in many ways – Not saying this because it sounds fancy, or it is like the thing-to-say – but it has.  I don’t know how much has it “changed” my life, but it sure does have an influence over it – just like my life has an influence on my writing. From being a complete socialist-activist in some weeks, to a naïve 20 year old experiencing quarter-life crisis, from being a dreamer of achieving unattainable goals to a wannabe humour columnist, my writing has seen it all – and so has my life.

There are a few things that I could really learn from the writing experiences, and apply them to my life, and voila! May be I get better at living as well.

  • Create a lot of garbage.

And I am not talking about the galore that we have on our streets. But the only way of writing better is writing more. Sometimes most of it is crap. But somewhere in the 1000 words of bunkum, you find gold, which goes on to become one of your finest pieces. Similarly, somewhere along trying and failing, falling and getting up, you learn to do life right. Or do you ever?

  • Re-create history

One event, and so many versions of it! Writing enables you to have the flexibility of changing your interpretation of any topic, situation, and occurrence. And such a beautiful thing to actually live by! I feel Human Beings have a special power of re-creating their past- just by changing their perspective. Such an easy way to make peace with our most daunting memories!

  • Simplify:

The more you simplify the way you write, the more everyone connects to it. Complexity breeds confusion – in you, your article, and the reader. And also in life. We love complicating it, but the simpler thing to do is to simplify. Principle for life – Keep it simple, silly!

Before this starts to seem like my self-proclaimed best-debutant award at one of those paid award shows, I should stop here.

PS- This column is an expression of my philosophical mood. #OhYeah

Checklists.

powerpoint-tips-checklist-graphic-2a-255x300Harish was absolutely content, staring the piece of paper neatly pinned on the pin-board at his table. At 34, the promotion bought with it a revised list of desires. Life had not only turned out well for him but also looked great ahead!

A bright kid, Harish was an apple of his mother’s eye, he was his father’s pride, his little sister’s superman and a one-stop solution to all his friend’s problems! He was this perfect kid any parent wanted- exactly the kind of boy that other kids detested.

His scores guaranteed him a place in the best institution in India, and then like any other brilliant Maharashtrian boy, he packed his bags and went abroad for higher education. Obviously, was immediately placed in a job, which paid enough for his need, and more than enough for his greed as well.

The piece of paper on that board was testimony of his success with efficient planning. Promotion. Check. Put Bittu in International School. Check. Buy Anahita a Satya Paul. Check. Book a holiday in Switzerland. Check. Spend an hour with Aai on every Sunday. Check. Meet… Check. Check. Check.

*******

Parth, or Patz as his friends called him, was scared! Nervous! Excited! Thrilled! Panicked! His life just flashed in front of his eyes. With a lump in his throat and a pit in his stomach he was staring at the beautiful river 43m below him. The next 10 seconds were going to be the longest 10 seconds of his life.  Bungee Jumping is not all that easy, you know!

New Zealand is pretty. Shit. Concentrate. You won’t die. C’mon! Oh good lord! Why?! “Ready?” NO!!! Okay! I HAVE to do this. One deep breathe in and slowly, “5.” out. In. Out. “4.” Why did I go to the bar that night? Bloody bet! “3.” SHIT. God, why are you doing this to me?! “2.” Okay! Thank you Mom-Dad for everything. Love “And Bungee!!” YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!! *Silence*

Opens eyes. Wow. Swinging. Alive. Wohooooo. Woah, it is pretty!!!! I am alive!!! You’ve got to do this once in your life man! Best. Feeling. Ever.

That night. Update cover picture. Tweet. Upload video. Facebook Status – “Bucket List item no. 73: Bungee jumping in New Zealand. Check.”

*******

 “Dad, are you free on Friday?”

“I have a conference over this weekend.” he replied, disinterested.

“How about Monday?”

“You know how Mondays are, don’t you?”

“Let’s go have dinner together sometime next week?”

“I’d rather eat at home when in town.”

“Okay, let me cook dinner for you then!”

“What is the fuss for? What is it that you want?” said Dad, impatiently.

“Your time.”

*******

We all have checklists, things-to-do, wish list, bucket lists, memo – whatever that we like call them. For some it is planning, some others it is ambition, and a lucky few who make a list of the things that can be put off for later! It motivates some, it is a reminder for some. But from where I see it, they are bars of the cage we have put ourselves in. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with making check-lists, all I am saying is that it is great to sometimes let the whimsical spontaneous kid in us loose, and break-free. May be something that we can’t even fathom happens.

PS- In the meanwhile, write a column for a newspaper. Check.