Some confessions are difficult to make, but one has to make them sometime, somehow. I’d have liked to keep this one to myself, but it’s been my motto to let things out when I cannot manage them on my own, regardless of the extent of my foolishness I might reveal in the process.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” someone has said to the world in general. And this is what someone said to me in particular — “Priya, you’re a nice person, but it is difficult to get to like you. How does one? You are somehow… distant …, you know?”
Well, as things stand today, I am comfortable with what and who I am, and have (perhaps because of this reason) a few friends, who know me from real close emotional proximity. What eats my peace is that, like stiff limbs while dancing, my writing is stiff with too much distance. At least I fear so.
Papa: You write well. But it’s all too philosophical. Too sentimental. So sentimental, it is frightening.
Papa: There must be readers you have, of course. And friends who’ll be around you to understand you. But they must be very few. Right?”
Priya: I have friends I like and those who reciprocate. That’s enough. But my blog has 12 subscribers. Charles Gulotta’s has 2875*. I have not many readers to appreciate me.
Papa: He must be skilled. A writer is an entertainer, too. People need comfort. Does he give them that? Make them feel happy with small joys?
Yes, I hate Charles Gulotta.
When I write, I write with my heart. My heart knows how to sing and skip and titter besides smiling, gently nodding its head, looking at ether poignantly, and crying. Somehow, the lighter aspects get smoothened out with bitter, rich, caramel.
“You know how writers are… they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create their work in order to create themselves,” said Orson Scott Card once. I do not know who he is, but I found this quote somewhere, and it has stuck with me. The ever-growing urge I feel to write a piece of work that satiates a strange chasm in me — breaks me, recreates me — can perhaps be best explained with this quote.
I stand on a threshold. A place from where there is no back-tracking. If I do step back and take a different course, I will have to take some time to forget these aspirations I have. Of writing. Writing to instill positivity, to make people happy, to make them cry. Cry. Will that create distance? It must. And what about humour? I want to come closer to people with my words. If humour won’t do it, what will?
Charles, my dear friend, symbolises what I am not — all in the writing world that I’ve secretly wanted to be. We writers like readers who appreciate. But that’s not what many of us really wish for, I think. We want to move minds. It is the thrill of knowing that your humility is powerful enough to impress a positive idea in your reader that makes us write more. You don’t have to pretend, you simply need words, which mean the world — real world. Simply? It isn’t all that easy to string words together, which talk of all that the world is about and make the reader laugh at the same time. Such writers are few. And most of us, who aspire to do that end up continuing to do so in vain.
When I think of those numerous writers, who have made an impact on people, I cannot help but compare. If I were a good girl, I’d have listened to my parents and remembered to “never compare”. Charles, who must be fed up with my I-hate-yous, has told me a number of times that like everyone else, I have my set of readers somewhere in this world. I just have to continue writing to find them. Why does it become so difficult to remain positive? Why can’t I just write for the joy of writing? “Write for the joy of it, and forget everything else,” says B. Perhaps I am impatient. I am impatient. And very insecure.
Drat. This post was supposed to be humourous. Eye-catching title, and all. See what I mean? The humour in my head becomes Mr. Bean-gone-wonky on my keyboard.
This is how things are with my relationship with light-hearted seriousness. The fluffy, uplifting matter just goes poof. Just like all the fog in the head somehow melts if you sit on a lone bench, looking at the endless, embracing waters.
* I saw the number when I began this post, by the time it was published, the number had probably reached 15,000.