The Writing Course
Gamble everything for love,
if you’re a true human being
Writing, for me, is an act of love. When I say this, I cringe at the weight of similarities in how many of my fellow writers have approached their courses of writing. Many of us are in love. Some of us fell in it, as an act of total accident, while some others chose to learn it, acquire it, and master its nuances, the wise ones.
Two weeks from Valentine’s Day, I still consider the possibility of dedicating a whole day for love. Questions such as- Why is just one day for love? Shouldn’t we dedicate all our days to love?- always arise talking with students. But the fortunate thing about asking such a question in the classroom is that they always have answers. And some of them daringly share their ideas. Some of my students suggest that when life is busier and no one has time to spend with their beloved one, and when work means survival, we need at least a day to convey what we feel for the other person, at least through a small gesture.
It’s sort of a Victorian modesty, to say the least, the avenues of love and the ways we communicate it these days. We love the form and texture of our message, like a Victorian, who would love the same about long letters written in Victorian English. A card, a text message, an e-mail, or an e-card could define our feelings, these days. It is easy, if you look at it that way. Through a pre-programmed e-card your teeming desires and passions are poured out. This, for a Victorian poet, might have taken hundreds of pages of inspired poetry. What about the ordinary folks in the Victorian England, those who could not compose lengthy poetry or weave a genuine piece of prose on their deepest romantic urges?
The love we find in Thomas Hardy’s fiction, for example Under the Greenwood Tree, in which Dick Dewy, a young member of the Mellstock Choir, who is wading in his love with Fancy Day, the beautiful teacher at the parish school, closely portrays insecurities in love. Dick Dewy spends a considerable time in finding out whether Fancy Day is actually in love with him. His convictions often misguide him or so he feels. His passion is visible, but the response he gathers from his sweet heart is not straightforward. This raises tension in the novel. One may feel at the end that it is a sweet story of less sophisticated people, country folks, so to speak.
Had there been an e-card or text message facility, the two characters—Dick and Fancy—might have sorted their initial problems out quite smoothly. Or could they?
It is true that a passion poorly communicated is a smoking gun. But if love is all too easy to communicate, so many of our gifted writers would not have left it mostly unsaid in their writings. The beauty of Knut Hamsun’s novel Victoria is in the agony endured by the tender young hearts due to their unspoken feelings.
I am in Love with Love
and Love is in love with me.
My body is in Love with the soul
and the soul is in Love with my body.
I opened my arms to Love
and Love embraced me like a lover.
--Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
The great poet of the Sufi tradition is clear about the course of love. In being so clear, he is unclear too. The suggestive power of these lines is what mystifies us, prompts us to investigate into the section of our mind where poetry is translated into feelings.
Words converged into feelings are capable of transcending the human realm and reaching the mystical. What transpires between the writer and the pages become a part of the reader’s reality too. Writing a second book was the result of this realization.
My first book Wall of Colours and Other Stories is the first in a trilogy titled Hope, vengeance and History. Although I currently work on the series, a few new stories showed themselves and I decided to write them down. I wrote one down, first. Then I showed this to Ms. Dhanya Krishna, my editor for Wall of Colours. I received an exciting suggestion that I must upload this story in Amazon Kindle, for my readers. We both considered this option for a while. Then I told her that I have a second story. This is when she suggested we should go print with the two stories, if they are long enough. I knew her skills not just as an editor, but as a writer too. It did not take me long to ask her why doesn’t she contribute a few stories herself, so that we could co-author this new book.
With some reluctance in the beginning, she accepted my suggestion and we started working on You Should Know How I Feel. Our initial plan was to release it on Valentine’s Day, because the stories in this book celebrate love. Both of us contributed two long stories each and the process of putting the book together took some more time than expected.
Mr. Saneesh Raj, a friend and classmate of mine designed a beautiful cover for You Should Know How I Feel. A preview to the book cover will be released tomorrow, here at TIC. So set a reminder, please, and make this occasion a memorable one with your presence, as always.
|Image Courtesy: Google
You Should Know How I Feel is about love and the many places one can find it. In the journey of writing this book, I learnt that the season of love is undying. In other words, love gives us a glimpse of eternity. Tomorrow will be another day for me, you and all your beloved ones to cherish and celebrate love, much like Valentine’s Day. Each day, whenever you open the pages of You Should Know How I Feel, love will resurrect from the ashes of mundane routines and will assert its supremacy over our lives.
May in your life, love be abundant.
I will leave you with a quote by Ray Bradbury on love: “Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.”