Friday, 16 November 2012

Sometimes Tears Speak Our Grief








A ten-year old boy who taught me about compassion and how to be humane was a beggar, living out of his begging-bowl.

I met him once inside the bus I was traveling from Chennai to Madurai. The journey was long and arduous. All the jerking and the violent rocking I got from the rickety bus triggered wheezing. My long dormant asthma got worked up during the journey and chocked my bronchial tubes. I was gasping for breathe, could hardly speak. Whatever pill I had with me I had bobbed them up all already. Running out of medicines, I was at the mercy of god.

Halting the bus at Tiruchy [a semi-urban town on the National Highway] bus station, the crew had gone for dinner. The cold November wind that seeped through the frayed window blinds of the bus made me shiver, and aggravated my wheezing beyond endurance. Most of the passengers were fast asleep- some even snoring- but I was up in my seat looking around the bus for help with my wheezing getting worse.  .

Presently I saw a ten-year-old boy getting into the bus and craving  the passengers for alms. When he came by my side, he stood startled seeing how I was fighting hard to breathe. He must have thought I was dying. For I saw his face went pale with fear. I thought of giving him some money and asking him to get medicine from any near-by pharmaceutical store. But the boy ran off helter-skelter when the crew started the bus again.

The bus had moved only a few yards from the bus station when the driver stopped it again abruptly. There seemed some commotion on the road. To my surprise, the boy now appeared before me from out of blue. He was carrying a small leather bag in his hands. Following him was a doctor who, without wasting time, read my pulse, checked my BP. He then, took out a syringe from his bag, filled it with some medicines [may be Deriphyllin] and shot it in my back. I got relieved at once. My breathing became normal, I was cheerful again.
Eyes brimming with tears, I thanked the doctor for the trouble he’d taken to reach out to me. But, he shrugged off and said: “Thank the boy. It was he who’d brought me here. When he told me about your condition, we rushed to the bus station, but saw the damned bus had already left the place. Determined as were to help you, we chased the bus riding a bike as heroes did in action films,” the doctor laughed at his own joke. The boy too smiled at me as there was no trace of fear now in his eyes. When I offered to pay to the doctor, he again refused politely and told me that he had done his duty as was expected of a doctor.

Before long, the duo got down the bus and vanished off in the darkness. To me, the whole incident looked like a dream, and the boy seemed an angel sent from heaven to relieve me from my suffering. Who says that god is invisible? For, I saw HIM in the bus on that day, coming to me in the form of a boy, and saved me from dying of asthma. Even now, whenever I cross Tiruchi, I begin to remember the boy and my eyes move to tears. I didn’t give him anything, but tears.

God save him!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Tryst with writing!!



I don’t know what moves me to write; why I have such constant itching which end up only when I write some blah … blah in my scrap book. Quite often, inexplicable impulsiveness and high-horse thinking hijack my senses and make me write volumes and volumes in A4 sheets. However, still, with those tons of write-ups heaped on my table, I doubt whether I can genuinely call myself a writer of substance.
Looking back into my formative years when I had only a flair for writing, I thought I was a born-writer who would weave words in no time, write anything and everything under the sun. I had, then, mistaken my madcap a talent for writing and thought that I was born with a pencil in my hand. But then, what I had churned out those days was only pedestrian; they looked like froth.
Added to these conception or misconception was the impact or the inspiration I got from reading books. I started reading books voraciously; even pieces of crumpled papers I accidentally saw in dustbins attracted me and I read those very religiously as if they were blown out from the ‘Folios of Shakespeare. Again, some bird-witted and amateur writers who got their rubbish verbose sold like hot cakes or women’s ‘fairness cream’ greatly influenced and urged me to take up my pencil.
UUU… my thought of being a great writer [I always thought me as a la Jhumpa Lahiri having all the words of the seven worlds in my kitty] got crashed when I started writing my first piece. Rolling a pencil in my hand and making helluva efforts for getting words from up above my head, I would only stare at the blankness of the paper for long. I would wait for Saraswati [one of the Hindu goddesses who is believed to impart knowledge and wisdom to people] to pour words on my addled head and make my pencil move. Unfortunately, Saraswati didn’t come to my rescue. Whatever I wrote those days, I wrote them after long struggles, cracking my head blue. But then, all my pieces were only despised substances. I found I had only peed on the paper.
The reality that I was not endowed with born writing skills pained and bruised the writer inside me. All along I had thought of myself a ‘blessed writer’ without heeding to what Stephen Leacock said in one of his books: ‘writing is essentially thinking, at least involves thinking as its first requisite.’
So, now I think a lot, write a little. When my thinking goes high and deep, I witness all the dimensions of writing present before me with myriad colors. A neophyte, I am now about to enter into a higher grade of initiation. Having walked past the dimness and the pressure of impulsiveness, I am now in the entrance to the portal of writing which, I, hope, will soon flaunt its secret chambers for me.
Even now I don’t dare call myself an accomplished writer since I know some of the chinks in my armor. However, as a writer still trying to make grades, I offer the following tips to those who wish to venture into the realm of writing; think deeply about the thing you want to write about; organize your thoughts; put your thoughts into language that reveals them clearly; plagiarism will only jar up the original writer in you; prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched; and prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
Best of Luck!
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