Friday, January 15, 2016

4 years

Why do you not write anymore, someone asked.

It started to feel pretentious, I said. Suddenly? I suppose the answer is not - it started to feel pretentious; that it always was (as is my insistence on using a lot of semi-colons. What to do. I like them!). The answer is that I didn't want to do pretentious things anymore.

There are many more answers.

This is an attempt to document them all. And then call it a blog post. And then mute that damn voice that keeps reminding me from time to time that I have stopped writing.

I do not know why I stopped.

Life started happening... or maybe it stopped happening. Who can say.

Maybe instead of letting it happen to me and observing and fuming at it from a distance, I started happening. I reckon you might call it growing up. Or something in that vicinity.

There's also the loss of anonymity.

You see - my most prolific years of writing was when I used a pseudonym. Anaztazia. I picked it from a newspaper - someone named Anastasia had played tennis or won tennis - or something. Who knows. Go google it if you care. But that's how I made up that name. And then I just started writing. Quietly. To myself. To an audience I did not know, that I did not seek, that I didn't think might come to me. And then I joined a blog community - still anonymous. I wrote. I wrote everyday. For an unfathomable reason, my younger self knew that if I just kept at it, I would get better. It's true. It flowed. There was no dearth of thought, of imagination, of ideas, of expression, of fancy, of words - definitely no dearth of semi-colons.

And then, an audience came. And they feted. And I liked it. And I began editing myself. No more just being myself but now in service of something else. Was that the beginning? Was that the end? I will never know. But I made the folly of revealing myself. Do not get me wrong - I was no axe-murderer or stalker or depressed, gloomy soul. It is just that there are thoughts - innocent, naive, pointless as they might be - that can only be had in private, that can get nurtured when you write about them, that can transport you to a world so unique, so wonderful, so vast and rich but yet so tender and fragile that they annihilate the moment they come into contact with someone else's imagination. Maybe it was that.

I became careful. Too careful. Of what I said. Of who might read it. Of what they might think of it. I lost track of the very reason I was writing - to get away and not into, to lose myself and not find me, to trap those fleeting will-o-the-wisp lives and give them life, give them eternity, give them a space to be. But somehow unbeknownst to myself, I gave my own writing a mortality.

But.

We can backtrack can't we.

We can go back and hide in some corner of the world where no one can hear no matter how much you scream.

Let us start from there.

And let's start writing again. Let's.



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