Friday, November 6, 2009

A little sob in the spine

I started this blog with an audience of only one in mind, as therapy, an expression of what I could not articulate when I spoke. Why then such a public platform? Why not just stick to the journals I wrote ever since I can remember?

My life has been documented in the banal inanities of everyday living, the small crises that buffet the day...on paper with a fountain pen, in numbered copybooks of all shapes and sizes, marking years, journeys, destinations in Bowdlerized words...who knows who might read them and know the tortured soul I truly am?

I remember Shekhar wanting to read what I wrote. "I'm sure you're writing about me..." he would say. "Everything is not about you," I would reply. He would hover and find reasons to peek over my shoulder as I wrote. Soon after he died, the journals became about him. Every page was a letter to him, a litany of what one would be afraid to say to a person who was still alive. In death there is no privacy, everything is accessible...there is no place to hide, no secrets to keep, no approval to seek, no permission to grant...Communication between the dead and the living is the most honest it can be...but it is not enough. Your words float into the ether. There are no consequences...

Hence the blog - to make oneself reach out and know that someone, somewhere might be touched, might know your pain, might a world that is bolting past your stillness, it is a cry to be validated, acknowledged as still living.

Vladimir Nabokov the author of Lolita said, "I don't write to touch hearts. I don't even want to affect minds very much. What I really want to produce is the little sob in the spine of the artist-reader." I find myself agreeing with him, the only difference being - I write because there is a little sob in my appeared 18 months ago. Shekhar put it there...


As soon as one writes one miraculously ignores the current circumstances of one's life, yet our happiness or misery leads us to write in a certain way. When we are happy, our imagination is more dominant. When miserable, the power of memory takes over.

Natalia Ginzburg

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