Monday, January 31, 2011

Fighting Writer's Block

I am that star in the distant sky, which is in deep love with the goddess of night. I cannot come down to reach her nor could I go away from her or blind myself completely. It might be just a feeling, an unreal, insignificant psychological temperament. But I think it is something surreal, too, because it is not just a feeling. It is a reality—my reality.

I am that star, the writer, which is in love with the goddess of night, the words printed in black on the pale real surface. It is more real than anything possible for me. But until I scribbled down these words on paper, I was living the predicament of the distant star. So now let me keep an eye on time; let me switch the track. I was under a serious block: ‘only one of such kind’ of a writer’s block.

A warrior’s god is his technique. Until he invokes his god, I mean the technique, his status as a living organism is under perpetual threat. I know I am not quite right. Well it depends, my friend. It depends on how close one knows one’s god. Even though, one cannot expect a warrior’s awareness about god to be precise and trustworthy. He could be miscalculating the factors evolving around him. Nothing is sure, taken for granted. What proves his awareness about god true is the culmination of the battle and his ultimate victory. A writer in his block is that same warrior who in each of his breath, each attempt, each blink, pursues his god, his technique.

Creativity sleeps numb during writer’s block, as if the individual is closed inside a chamber with no doors and windows. No hope, no smiles, no life. The works from the past of the writer looks at him, in the eye, with enough pity which make you feel ‘enough is enough’.  And there is only one god, just like the warrior in the fierce battle field—technique.

Inspiration will stand a mile away, peek into your dry world, like rain in a desert, and you save all your energies in the hope to meet your inspiration somewhere later, knowing full well that the time will never come. This knowledge or awareness is the core of writer’s block. But believe me, inspiration will be awaiting you out in the corner.

The solution to writer’s block lies in another sort of awareness—the awareness that your inspiration, your talent will be waiting you out in the corner. What you need to have now, is patience. Another solution that I felt was to follow the techniques, to an extent, blind, yes. Stuffing your head with reading, extensive reading, and compulsive writing are also great methods, I felt.

You expect more from yourself but will not be able to produce what you expect. And you break down. This is what happens in a writer's block. It is terrible. But now, I think I am out from the hell of a confinement. And I take it as a mission to write about my days when I was in the writer’s block. Or let me put it this way, I hereby announce a new series of short fiction on and about the murky days I spent during the writer’s block. But as a matter of fact, it is only now I have began scribbling after the one month long block, I would not be able to publish anything since nothing has been written yet. I still have to work on it. I take it as a challenge. Hope you will enjoy as much as I do, and if you are someone pursuing a writer’s destiny, I hope these threads of experiences will be helpful for you too, in identifying the writer’s block and its possible solutions. 

The series is named as: The Days that are No More.    

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 11

"Sometimes a story just knocks at your door."--Anu

I was writing a story, feeling well. The sun was shining bright outside and my room enjoyed an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Everything communicated something good.

Then God appeared to me. He had a sullen face. He said- “Today, for the last one hour, you forgot to think about me, whereas for the previous one week you were giving enough time for prayers.” 

“Mr. God, there is no point in arguing about this. For the last one week, I was silenced by a block. It is only today that I regained my flow,” I told him and resumed writing.

He stood there and with each of the words I jotted down, grew more and more fierce. I could not help it. I had to talk about the fathomless sea of silence I crossed within the past days of creative non-productivity. Therefore, it was hard not to write. I must utilise my boon; otherwise it will be transformed into a curse.

It had been a whole week for which I was trapped in the writers block. I had a night of severe allergic symptoms, in which I dreamt of the Evil and a death that had no return from it. I had the next day very exhausting with demands unable to be met with, from my family.

The burdens of expectations—to be a good son, a responsible brother, a matchless teacher—curbed my mind from taking any more flights of imagination and creative defamiliarization. And that was how I spent the previous one week, remorseful and bad tempered. I had thought of God though, but in agitation for what a suffocating week I had.

Someone came into my room, suddenly without knocking, and screamed. I rose from my book, shocked. Instead of God, there stood the Evil, in front of me. One of my friends, who came in to see me swooned right there seeing the horrible sight. But I did not budge and continued writing.

With each word bloomed on the page, the Evil showed signs of discomfort and it stood as if enchained by a higher power. I knew I was pleasing God, by doing what I loved to do, and throughout the previous week worshiped Evil. The Evil was unveiled from the mask of God. Then it disappeared.       

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beware of an Unprecedented Emotional Burst!

Below is story sent to me by Terri.  Her blog Bloomingideas

Thank you Tia Terri. 

 God Loves Drunks Too 

A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door.  

The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push. 

"Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3:00 in the morning!"

He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife..
"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks.

 "No, I did not, it’s 3am in the morning and it’s bloody pouring rain out there!" 

"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us?  

I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!
“God loves drunk people too you know.” 

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain. 

He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?" 

"Yes," comes back the answer.

 "Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark. 

"Where are you?" asks the husband

"Over here on the swing," replied the drunk.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"Any deed is justifiable if one is chasing one’s dream."-Anu.

He checked the baggage one last time then slid it under the bed, stashed it in darkness. He did not want his mother and elder sister to see it. He opened his computer and started browsing through the internet. He checked his mail box. Signed in to chat room, and found one of his friends; a girl. She was some one with whom he wanted to go beyond an ordinary friendship. But he could not. That relationship never took off, he thought.

“What’s up?”—she asked. He had nothing to say. So he said—“Just chilling.”
“I thought you have something to tell me. You disappointed me.”—said the girl.
“There was a gasp from the young man. He drew enough air into his lungs to feel at ease and to try lower down the sudden rush of adrenalin. Her words were inviting. There was an opening, a door opened for him. He could enter now. This was the time. But how? He was confused. He then decided not to confess his love to the girl. Instead, he opened his mind, and the crucial decision that he just took in his life.

“You know how badly I want to be a singer. But no one from my family seems to understand me. Today, too, I wanted to practice my songs, but my mother and my father wanted me to accompany my elder sister for an exam that she was writing. Even though I protested and said I would not, no one listened to me and I was forced to escort her. But I could not hold my self there, alone outside the exam hall and I skipped from there to the city and went for a film that was completely musical. And now my father is about to return home from his work. He might be angry, for my mom had already told him as she learned from my sister that I left her in the exam hall. I am sure; he will reprimand me and will say terrible things.”

Nothing came as reply and then hopelessly, he noticed that the girl was signed out. What a pity! What a moment! On one side he wanted success for his plan and on the other he was brutally slapped by the fate. How cruel this fate thing is.

Where freedom is a fleeting illusion, the desire for freedom clutches like an iron hand cuff. No one can escape from it. And his iron clutch of infinite desire for freedom swallows up all the other thoughts, ruminations and desires. Some celebrate freedom, like ministers who distribute their email ids among the common public in an attempt to prove the transparency of their political life and the worth of being free.    

He had only one way to save himself from the linguistic harassment of his father: to stuff himself deeply within the Web, hiding himself in front of the while gleam. He had his plans for the other day, Sunday. His father would go to church, and his mother would go to the temple as she was a Hindu. And his sister would follow any one of them regarding the direction of the maximum pressure. And then he would leave the house, forever, for good. He had packed his baggage and hidden it under his cot. There was no question of concern over the family in the absence of their only son. It was high time he took this decision.

But he still felt obsessed with a grave concern; waiting until the Sunday morning.
He could not bear with the torturous words from his father. That would be worse, he thought. His mother and sister remained quiet and he knew what it meant, exactly: the silence before the storm.

He closed his mail box, and then reopened it through an Anonymous Proxy site. Then typed in a message and filled in an email id with the subject line: WARNING. The email read:

“Mr. Minister of internal security, I am from a suburb in one of the cities of your state. I know you have a personal relationship in an area in Kannur. Be careful.
Yours truly,
P.S.: My intent is not to cause you any danger.”

He counted time with a frenetic heart. It was half of an hour when the home phone rang. His mother took the phone and listened. After she hung up, he pursed his ears. She was telling her daughter: “father is busy with some emergency case, with minister of internal security.”

He was a police man: the Inspector in the city police station, Kannur. It was not a secret that the minister of internal security had familial relationships in Kannur.

It was seven pm. And he was sure his father could not return home that whole night and he also knew that the origin of the email could not be traced by the Kerala police, because they were never competent enough to tackle crimes involving technology. Anonymous proxies, he knew, would take his message through different other computers on line before reaching the destination. He just wanted to be safe that night.

He still waited in front of his computer, the only escape from others in the family and their questions; the questions he was tired of answering, the dream he was tired of explaining. Then it was sleeping time. His mother slept first and then his sister, tired of the days journey to the exam and might also be due to the stress she faced in putting all the pressures on him, he thought. The iron grills covering the front door were not locked expecting the arrival of his father at any time. But he knew father cannot come back home that night. There was an issue of security over one of the relatives of the Minister of Internal Security in Kannur, and no police man in the area can sleep that night at home. And he found his opportunity there, though that was bit earlier than what he had already planned.    

He fled. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Dreams": The New Series of I-Poems

"Life teaches us everything. But to dream is a quality that we all bring with us from the Unknown."--Anu 
How fortunate my present is,
With dreams to bridge-
My yesterdays and tomorrows.

“Dreams”, my new series of I-Poems, winds up here. Hope you enjoyed. There is always a question in the back of my mind. As a writer it concerns itself with the reason for my being.

Why do I write?

Some say in their comments for my poems and stories, that my works are deep, and they invoke deep thoughts, etc. It is through them that I learned the answer to the crucial question. I write for all those who in some turn in their lives need a depth to search themselves out or a thought to make them live a moment of fulfillment. My life will become blessed, if I reach any where near of being what I dream to be.

Every time when I touch my pen on the paper or hover over the key board, I plead the Higher One to make me able to communicate with someone, to make sense, to share my soul and thus to stop myself being an alien.

Pray for me, dear one.       

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The New Series of My I-Poems: "Dreams"

"You just don't have the Right not to listen to your dreams."--Anu

A forgotten dream is the graveyard-
Of the present of tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Dreams": The New Series of I-Poems

"When we are walking the road to our dream, the first thing that we are tended to look for is the footmarks left behind by the previous travelers to guide us, forgetting completely that we have taken the path of our own choice, and there might have hardly been any who had traversed the path." -- Anu.  

I did not know there existed,
A boundary for my dreams,
Until, I reached your feet. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The New Series of I-Poems: "Dreams"

"There are people who believe that dreaming is an insanity. The sad part is that others who have dreams, do not show enough confidence to trust their own dreams."--Anu.

My dreams exist, in insomnia.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Dreams"-The New Series of I-Poems.

"A dream has power to poison sleep."  --Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Mutability"

I looked ugly in the mirror,
But in your eyes,
Handsomer than ever,
For in them,
I had seen my dreams, reflected. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Deep Words

Here is one of the comments I received for the post titled "A true Story" through facebook, from Ms. Rosanna Bruno:

"Tieni sempre presente che la pelle fa le rughe,
i capelli diventano bianchi,
i giorni si trasformano in anni.

Però ciò che è importante non cambia;
la tua forza e la tua convinzione non hanno età.
Il tuo spirito e' la colla di qualsiasi tela di ragno.

Dietro ogni linea di arrivo c'è una linea di partenza.
Dietro ogni successo c'e' un'altra delusione.

Fino a quando sei viva, sentiti viva.
Se ti manca cio' che facevi, torna a farlo.
Non vivere di foto ingiallite...
insisti anche se tutti si aspettano che abbandoni.

Non lasciare che si arruginisca il ferro che c'è in te.
Fai in modo che invece che compassione, ti portino rispetto.

Quando a causa degli anni
non potrai correre, cammina veloce.
Quando non potrai camminare veloce, cammina.
Quando non potrai camminare, usa il bastone.
Pero' non trattenerti mai!

Translation: (with the help of Google Translator)

"Keep in mind that the skin makes wrinkles, hair becomes white, the days turn into years. But what is important does not change, your strength and your conviction do not have age. 
Your spirit and 'the glue of any spider'. Behind every finish line is a line of departureBehind every success there is another disappointment. As long as you're alive, feel  alive. If you miss what you were doing, go do it. 
Do not live in yellowed photos ... even though all insist they expect retirement. Do not let it rust the iron in you. 
Make sure instead to let compassion take you over. When you cannot run because of the years, walk fast. When you cannot walk fast, walk. When you can not walk, use the stick. But 'Never stop!"

Rosanna's Facebook Link:
Thank you Rosanna for your word pearls.
My sincere thanks to Terri Gauthier for helping me out in translation. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

A True Story

Grandchildren are indeed a temptation for any of us; their curiosity, eager questions, and excited eyes. It is for them we create history; to satiate their curiosity, answer those eager questions, and to fill those bright eyes with more excitement. Every one of us desire to leave such a story behind that would later around a campfire or an armchair inform what we were and in what proud siege we had conquered all the worries and occupied success even after shattering ourselves in the storm of failures. Ajay Sangeeth is one of them who had revived history. He recreated the age old traditional boat service across the Anjarakandy River for the people of Muzhappilangad. His grandchildren will surely have a lot of stories to tell their grand children.

The river, known by the name Anjarakandy River, skirts Dharmadam village separating it from the main land. Dharmadam village would look like an island in a sky view, with its three sides surrounded by sea and with one side, river. The part of main land that shares the Anjarakandy River is Muzhappilangad.

Under the auspices of the people’s committee, Mr. Sangeeth, the convener, had re-established the traditional boat service. The jetty was in use for over forty years until six years back. “Our attempt was to renovate the old jetty. I have an emotional attachment with it. It is part of my history, our history, the history of Muzhailangad,” Sangeeth said.

It was December and the time for he annual maintenance work for the boat. Even though, the financial benefit from the boat service was meager, the committee wanted it to be run efficiently. On a Tuesday morning second week in December, Sangeeth received a phone call. He identified the person on the other side as the worker assigned for taking the wooden boat out of the river. What he said was a terrible thing that Sangeeth did not want to believe, but had to, because it was reality.

Sangeeth was confident that the threat that was dreaded all along from the day of re-establishing the boat service, would never approach their boat—the sand exploiters. The river, especially the part of the river where the jetty worked was under their ‘reign’. They mined sand from the river, illegally.

A jetty working there with people crossing the river in a boat every now and then would be a serious threat to the privacy the miners enjoyed. So there were chances that they could interfere into the boat service. They could even burn the boat down. They had thugs and money and political holds in respected positions of government, as well. Every one knew this in the village. And that exactly was the reason for Sangeeth’s confidence. When every one knew how grave a threat the boat service was causing to the sand miners and how badly the miners wanted to destroy the boat, they would not do anything in the fear of being exposed publicly.

“The boat is missing!” the voice from the other end said.
“What? What happened? Did you check every where?” Sangeeth enquired back.
There was a silence and then: “The boat has been missing for the last three days. I came here on Saturday and could not find it. I thought you or some one else from the committee might have taken it out from the river along with the Friday night’s up-tide. Then the next day I was busy with something and could not come around. I searched everywhere on the river shore on Monday but the boat was nowhere to be found. I am sorry. What shall we do now?”
Another silence.

“He was right. We usually take the boat out from the river during the up-tide. On Saturday, he was appointed to take it out. But why did he think someone would have taken the boat out onto the share on Friday itself? For sure, I think, it might have been the thought of the up-tide. You have to rely greatly on tides, because at his time of the year the water flow in the river is usually high,” says Sangeeth in his interview with me.

“The boat service was a wonderful tourism possibility, too. Tourists used the boat to explore the river as well as a small island situated between the Ajarakkandy River and the Arabian Sea, a piece of earth floating on the blue water, unique with its possibilities and open to explorations. One could also oar across the juncture where the river meets the sea. And all for an amount equal to nothing.”  Sangeeth added.    

The boat had been moored safely to the shore so that the heavy flow of the river could not take it away along with it. The question was how it disappeared. To find that out they needed to find the boat or at least the remains of it.

There was no search party, since the people’s committee who was in a financially depleted stage. So they could not spend any more money on another mission.

“We had a fund for the renovation of the boat; I mean its annual maintenance. We could have used that money to find it. They asked me to use it. But I said no. I had a feeling that we would find the boat safely.” Sangeeth said.

Wednesday morning dawned with a phone call to Sangeeth. That was the same man, the maintenance worker who rang him up the previous day.

“We found the boat! It is near Dharmadam now; on the beach. It almost reached the sea by the heavy flow in the river. I heard that somebody had found it near the bridge and tried to moor it there, but it again was washed away by the current.”

So the boat was now on the beach, and may be safe, though he did not say anything more. Sangeeth and the oarsman of the boat reached Dharmadam. There he noticed, on the pristine white sand, rested like a grey, dead whale, their boat.

After a close scrutiny they realized that the boat is let loose manually from the jetty. They found the rope attached with the boat’s bow, slit, with its knot with the fastening rope intact, which was used to moor the boat to the shore, giving ample evidences to prove Sangeeth’s worst fear materializing.

“They had been there, in it—the sand exploiters. For sure”—Sangeeth said.

The boat was almost ruined. “It was a better idea, practically, to leave it there than to pay another amount to bring it back to Muzhappilangad kadavu, to the jetty. But if we brought the boat back, it would be a reply to those who committed this sort of an anti-social activity. It was a commitment to the people of Muzhappilangad, who paid money for establishing the boat service from the meager income they get. And so we brought it back, with the help of a fishing boat.”—Sangeeth said.

Sangeeth had one final request, too. “We want the world to know this story; this story of pride, of hardships to keep the tradition alive for the younger generation to carry forward, of commitment to people and of an endless struggle. We cannot use that boat anymore. It is all ruined. We need to buy a new one. And for that we request support and donations from all over the world.”

For more details on visits to Dharmadam, Muzhappilangad, and to this land of proud struggle, contact:

Also read:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dreams: The New Series of My 'I-Poems'

"No dream could be detached from fulfillment, unless you lack faith in it."--Anu.

Everything protected,
Is precious;
And dreams!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The New Series of My I-Poems


The journey towards my dream is painful,
But I am happy,
For the pain is the sign of me, being alive. 

I present to you “Dreams”: The New Series of My ‘I-Poems’.

Somebody reminded me of my ‘i-poems’ today. And it was then I realized how I missed them too. So in the first month of this year, I have decided to start a new series of i-poems.

Whoever you are, whatever your aesthetic temperaments are, we surely have one thing in common—Dreams. We all have dreams even though, each of us signify them in our own terms. For some of us dreams may be the only reason to remain alive. But for some others dreams are the extraordinary moments that help them to skip through the hell fire of daily worries and the tortures faced in the struggle for existence, smoothly. 

It seems to me a better way, to disclose one’s dreams rather than to define what dreams are, to understand someone’s idea about dreams. But if you ask me what my dreams are, I would say I do not have any. Because I believe that if we disclose our dearest dreams to others, they will never be fulfilled. One can only reveal them when they are materialized; fulfilled. 

The concept of Dream holds endless fascination for me as a writer. So through this new series of i-poems, I try to understand the mystery of what dreams are, and share it with my readers.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year Thought

"Life is like a novel. It's filled with suspense. You have no idea what is going to happen until you turn the page."-- Sidney Sheldon.

The Girl and the City
My teacher had told me that each day is an opportunity to learn new things. But today I learnt nothing; it was too tedious and boring, the young girl thought. She was a student of theatre. She learned drama from a man called Pavan. They had their classes in one of the cities in North India. Now it is vacation and they are here in this hopeless part of the world, Kannur, South India, she thought. She felt there was nothing new to learn from here. Her teacher had advised that as an actor one should observe the surroundings, the people and the nature and learn from them. That is where inspiration comes from, her teacher had said. She knew her teacher’s wisdom never failed. She had personal experiences from other cities of confronting inspiration in the form of people, events, and a sort of invisible presence near her. But this city is very much dried of inspiration, as if the people here lost their souls to ordinariness, and they have no desire for anything new.

She reached the hotel where her teacher and she stayed. She knocked the room. The teacher opened the door. Sensing her distress the man asked: “how was your trip?”

“It was no good. I wandered around the city but met nothing new, may be due to the fact that I am born and brought up here. But even after my staying all these three years away with you, I could not find any change to the city. Every thing is the same, the same people, the same streets, the same dry weather, and even the same events every where, as if the city is caught within a cycle of endless repetition.” She said while settling herself in to a sofa, situated at the centre of the room.

The man came near her, and said: “you might be right, dear, but you failed to notice one thing. You missed an important lesson. This city taught you that there are places from which you learn nothing. Be grateful to the city for teaching you this wisdom. This happens in every turn of our lives. We meet people, travel to distant places, expecting greatly from them to teach us some worthwhile lessons, but sometimes they disappoint us by communicating nothing but silence and filling us with boredom. And we curse ourselves and the decision that we had made to travel such a distance, ignoring completely the greatest lesson they teach us: there is not a place, not a person that cannot teach us anything. But what we learn is completely upon ourselves, on how we learn it, and on how successfully we interpret the lesson for us.”

December Story-7

Dear reader, this is the end of my December Stories. Hope you enjoyed all of them—the series of seven individual stories.

This story is my new year present, too. Let us not forget in this New Year that even if our expectations are not met with, what occurs in each of our lives would be nothing but what we interpret them to be, and remember, the best lessons would be hidden behind the veil of desperation. Therefore, ultimately, there is no place for desperation and sorrow. Let this be our New Year thought.

Happy New Year 2011!