Over the last one and half a month I’ve been silent on my blog, I haven’t posted anything. But, I had not given up on writing. In fact, on a whim I started to write fiction. A project which started as a short story soon turned out into an eleven thousand worded novella. But, why did I write fiction in the first place? If you remember I started to write this blog as a test – to see if I have the discipline, drive to take on more writing projects – fiction being one of them, and finally one day I took the plunge. As a kid I enjoyed Chandamama Kathalu, Kaasi Magili Kathalu sitting on the lap of my grandfather. The promise of adventure in those stories was one motivating factor for me to start reading. As I grew up and picked fiction – mysteries, classics, drama, pulp fiction – I still missed adventure. Other than Sherlock Holmes whodunits & Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventures, nothing came close. But, it was with ‘Da Vinci Code’ that I found adventure again. The book seemed to have invented a new genre all together because suddenly the local bookshop’s aisles were filled with similar titles. I don’t want to know how much of that book was true or how much of it was false, all I knew was that it held my attention, and took me on a journey filled with puzzles, cryptograms, danger & history. I loved it. Soon, I followed it with Dan Brown’s other books and then with Sigma Series of James Rollins, Jones & Payne stories of Chris Kuzneski and with Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone. Cheap, trashy books? Say what you will, these books satiated my hunger.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
As the weekend approached I wanted to make the best of it. I wanted to get work out of my system and relax. And, my idea of relaxing was reading. When I actually started reading on Saturday, I had a doubt — is it the best book I could read right now? why not read a new one? Learn something new? Improve myself? Why ‘waste’ time re-reading the same book again? So, even though my heart protested I reluctantly gave up and picked a new book. Then after sometime I again had a doubt – is this the best way to spend my time? After all life is short and weekend further short, shouldn’t I be spending time on an activity with the best ROI? That would make my weekend a blast? I started to think – Movie? Get-together? Shopping? Sleeping? Music? Long drive? I wanted to do all them, if not, at-least a part of all. The book in my hand by now had lost its appeal. But, I didn’t’ have enough time and was disappointed. I spent the rest of the day wallowing. What was wrong in my expectation of getting the best out of every minute? Nothing, but, paradoxically my this thought had left me dejected and sad.
As I walked in to the pantry, I saw my friend sitting on a chair deep in thought, I approached him and asked him what happened. He first denied anything had happened but after coaxing he finally relented and replied more to himself than to me — “Everyday I drag myself to work even though there’s no fun in it. I long to go back home as soon as I’m on road. I pass time at work as mindlessly as possible. I don’t want to think, lest the banality of the work reminds me how much life I’m wasting just by being there. Every night at logout, I pack my bags relieved the day is over and as I walk I feel sad that in our march to the grave, yet another day is wasted.
How to pay the credit card bill next month? How do I get that promotion? How can I afford that house? How to patch up with my manager? Where should I travel with my partner? We are all plagued with these kind of questions every day. We all worry about bills, success, future – a level where we are concerned with day to day living, about gaining material goods, about social status, about mending or forging relationships, about day to day existence, about finding happiness & comfort. This is one plane of our existence. But, we do think a lot more than these materialistic questions; we ask a lot of existential questions too – who am I? why do I get up in the morning? why should I do what I do? why is there so much suffering in life? is comfort & luxury the ultimate goal of life? or is it god? if he/she/it is, then why god? What is truth? Why truth? How can I help others out of pain, etc. another level, which according to me is the second plane.