Saturday, March 18, 2006

Writer's Block

What could be worse than that for a writer? Apart from having to watch re-runs and Sania Mirza's interviews? Picture this dear readers:

Fancy a man sprawled on the floor of a gaol. There he lies watching the world move and brush her dark robes against the pinpricks of glistening stars. And lo! he thinks to himself

What night shall I call thee?
One which the day shall wipe?
Or that which will haunt me?

In you rises this sweet, dark flavour
Of a myriad tantalising desires.
In me rises a murderous fervour.

Why should you go, or I let you?
When my world is born from thee.
Am I but another man you knew?

And he tries to rise with the urgency of a man possessed by the most demonic ants on his derriere and unseen chains yank him back to the floor, pants, ants and all....

Such has been my state (no, not regarding the ants. I readily escort any I spot to a far far land!) over the past 2 months. There hasn't been (and I thank every god and goddess) a dearth for content, but a severe paucity of time. I would go to the extent of calling it inhuman. To starve a man of his vital nourishment - what greater sin can there be, especially when it is done consciously? Pray, suffer me for I am a man bereaved.

And I speak of this writer's block and not that of which many have made movies (surely a reedy Ms. Paltrow helped a great writer ;-)

When a man must go, he should be let to. I heard this being said about a child who pressed his thighs together in the most contorted ... wait, his face was more contorted then - so, who pressed his thighs together in one of the most contorted manner and wheedled and coaxed permission to go and... well, like some say, the rest is all history (Shiver me!! If history was made of such incidents, school would be one helluva funny place). But I do not speak of that "go"ing.

A man (and I say man because it is many keystrokes lesser than "man and woman") must be granted fully the right to pursue his whims. That is decency (although it might be stupidity to chase every whim for the man under consideration). Tell me why does a man earn a living when he has little left of life at the end of the process? Don't tell me now. Be patient and tell me when your turn comes!

Various self-conjured factors (which include, what people popularly called, occupation) lead to the systematic demise of free time which I had wisely used in rejuvenating by resorting to writing, art, conversing, friending (if there be such a word to describe the human activity of relishing time with a friend!) and, oh! yes, living. Earlier, days found me grumbling at the necessity to move across cities and lakes and canals and wild settlements of roaches. Well, there aren't any here or where I was earlier, but there was a lot over the paths I trudged! :-) No, casualty: 0.00 Now I grumble because I am allowed very few minutes for myself. And then they say that I must brush my teeth every day and can you believe it: have a bath too!

Work shouldn't be meant to kill a human being. Killing, I proclaim, is subjective whereas living isn't! Hah! How is that for a punchline? Killing is always subjective. For some, working 15.35 hours of the day is murder but 15.34 is ok. For some working day and night is ok but not at noon! For some... well, at least for me, working till the job is done and not giving up one aspect of life for the sake of the other is essential. I do not understand the philosophy of many industry "stalwarts" (fine fine fine... I am referring to managers and VPs) who say that it is ok to "slog" 3-5 months and then have a peaceful stretch of a week or two and then back again. Could we switch roles? Living is always about being happy and contented.

To me losing my time for reading and writing is on par with infidelity which is on par with nothing (because it is one of its kind!). I feel sadder when I have to look at a books flapping cover beckoning me and say: Not today, honey! Baby boy's all packed with work. Maybe tomorrow!
It is treacherous when I have to look at blank sheets of paper and tell my self: See how beautiful she is? Waiting there for you? Go on Roger, today is your day.
And then take one step towards the sheets and stop: Damn, did you compile that, bozo!?

Honestly work does that to you. I am talking about suddenly calling yourself Roger and Bozo and stuff like that. You have no clue what people in the office call me. Frankly, I have no clue till they actually call me. I am called by every male name that they can think of (no I cannot be confused for a woman. Get real!). Why? Because people are so drained out of the common sense of associating names and faces. People talk to computers. They beg the compilation process to go through well. They swear at the monitor when they read "Error at line 5698: ; expected where ) found" Well, the monitor swears at them and they return it with interest. Point is you must realise that there are more than 5698 lines in an average file and there are tonnes of files!! Lots of swearing around. Now you know why most sailors were once software programmers? Neither do I....

With all this work, I thought it would take a mere 5-10 minute break (occasionally) to keep in touch with my love (easy! I mean reading and writing), but one thing that is surely lost in a pile of work is a sense of time. You decide to start working at 9:00 and then feel a little tired and stretch yourself. Hey! What's the time? 14:30. Jesus!! What happened to lunch? Someone walks up to you asking for some information and you excuse yourself because you have to go have lunch and he stares at you: What? Lunch? You haven't had lunch? Why?
WHY?
Because I was flying kites.
Because I took a fancy to the mouse on my desk and I have been serenading mouse-love-songs.
Because my pants were stuck to ... (enough with the pants, E).
Because I was caught in a time warp.
Because I was dreaming about Arabian women doing a belly dance all around me and they kept stepping on my legs and I couldn't get up (frankly, I wouldn't want to! ;-)
WHY?

This genre of blockages is very difficult to work around. And when I reach home (and it is funny to note that I reach home before I leave for the day!! :-D I reach home around 4:00 in the morning and am in office by about 11:00-12:00) I am too tired to lift a pen.

I am still figuring out what to do with my life under such circumstances. An earthquake (with an epicentre right near my desk at work) would be very helpful... Anyone, listening? Yooohhooooo!

And excuse me now... a man must go when he has to go.... you know.... :-)

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:08 PM

    I remember a guy who used to dream alot,Someone who used to laugh and sing and smile and had this child like innocence and he found it always easy to smile at a stranger,admire beautiful girls and his eyes would twinkle when he saw small cute naughty kids.I remember the guy who made sure to have his lunch and dinner on dot come whatever {No amount of imp phonecalls,imp conversations, a Earthquake or rain would help stopping him from having FOOD and sleep on time;)
    I remember the guy who devoted his weekend for reading and writing,art and conversing and friending:D.The word would be Living happy and content. AND THEN...
    He swithced places,roles and I just keep wondering "DID This trading places or roles proved costly?? "What you are loosing is lot more important that what you are gaining.
    Think and think fast before the work covers 24hrs instead of the present 15.35hrs.

    4:06 PM

    ReplyDelete
  2. "A superb madness of the will to live"...Work sates though satisfaction never comes when it is an imposition from the outside or motivation to do it springs from the superficial levels of our being...
    Plumb the depths, find your truth and live it, throwing caution to the winds. You will be poor but happy :-D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5:04 PM

    my sympathies with you.

    if this trend continues, think of changing the job....

    S.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Anon,
    True. Those were days whose worth went unrecognised...

    Dear P,
    Hmmm. Surely is food for thought! :-)

    Dear N,
    Really? :-(

    Dear Anon-S,
    :-D Will keep your suggestion in mind!

    ReplyDelete