I must begin by thanking you, Nadine, for bringing the blog out in the open, to the world beyond mine, in a way only you can, by writing praises about the writer and their blog. I am humbled (‘beyond words’, but that phrase is not acceptable here, and I’d refrain from using it anywhere else in this article, I’ll try to be as articulate as I can be but then you — and, if anyone else reads this — will have to bear with me and the fact that I am a clumsy interviewee).
I remember your comments on many of my stories and those comments — and other comments like those — have motivated me to write even more. Confidently and as honestly as possible for me. Some stories bear more resemblance to reality than I had thought they ever would but then it is only because of the people around me who have been authentic, for you write what you see and imbibe in you.
Writing, for me, is about connection. Someone might write something extraordinary as per many others but the same might not end up synchronizing with you or me. Does that make it bad writing? I am happy that you were able to connect with mine.
(NADINE’S) 3 CREATIVITY QUESTIONS:
- What are some things that bring you joy in this world? And how do you think you could further incorporate those things into your creative life?
- If I have to name just one, it has to be my grandmother and everything related to her. Sleeping on her lap. Seeing her wrinkled smile. Seeing her braid her hair. Seeing her make her way slowly from one place to another — and though the feeling that time waits on all of us to take its toll is terrifying in itself but the fact that she has her family by her side to support her is assuring. But my grandmother has defied time in one aspect, she has continued to grow even more beautiful with the passage of time. My grandfather was one lucky man to have her by his side all his life. I am amongst those lucky few who have had got to spend enough time with their grandparents and learn from all they had to offer. “Vividly do I remember my grandmother trying to spoon-feed me. We were in my grandfather’s shop, I was sitting astride my tricycle and my patient grandmother would be ready with the spoon filled with milk by the time I’d complete a lap and was back to where she was sitting. (I have this terrible habit of befitting stories everywhere, and so from now, I won’t digress anymore from the question). My first write-up, which was never published anywhere, was about my grandmother’s predicament after we lost my grandfather…
I have tried to note down other things that bring joy to me and in order:
- My girl’s smile. That smile. Capable of solving all my problems. I come back tired from work and that smile rejuvenates me.
- Playing Cricket. There is nothing I love more than playing cricket. I am not a great cricketer, but since when have artists not flaunted their love for art for their own clumsiness.
- Reading books. Hoarding books. Sniffing books. Gawking at books. Dusting the books. Everything that can be possibly done with the books.
- Making people laugh. I do this daily. So should you.
- One to one discussions. Like they show in the movies. Moonless night. Naked Souls.
2. How do you balance “regular life” (e.g. daily “duties” and/or the need for money) with creative life/pursuits? And what improvements could be made to this balance, and what positive changes might they bring?
There is absolutely no balance between the two as I type this, and ironically, the blog goes by the name of ‘A Fine Balance’. (Why are some things so easy to preach and so difficult to imbibe, Nadine?)
I work full-time, as a Software Engineer. It was supposed to be one of those 9-5 jobs, which it clearly isn’t, sometimes it is more than a 12 hours job, but, almost always, it is more than a 9-5 job. And so I write, if and when, I feel the need to. Sometimes, when I am happy, but mostly, when I feel that this world is ill-suited for the likes of me. Some most liked articles/stories on this blog have emanated out of me when the burden of the losses had become insurmountable, or when I had started missing someone just too much. But there had been a few articles that came out when I was dumping the laundry in the washing machine or stuck up in the traffic or brewing some tea.
I do not have a writing pattern. At least not yet. Sadly, I do not have a pattern in my job either. I didn’t even know people were taking things on this blog seriously until I started receiving a few comments. Thank you, Nadine, for all the motivation that you have given so far.
And I hope, I’ll continue to write, and I will soon devise a time scheme and devote at least some time to writing. Daily.
3. Who are the people that have encouraged or inspired you the most, creatively? (For example, parents, siblings, teachers, or role models.) BONUS wor(l)d-blooming exercise: Write a paragraph about the way they’ve inspired you and/or helped you (and publish it, if you are willing/able!). Then (or instead), send that paragraph to them personally. It’s amazing how we can light up a person’s life with just a few words, sometimes.
I have quite a list for this…
Why is it, Nadine, that everything good in the life of a boy starts with a girl?
I remember being in my office cafeteria, jesting (as I always do, I am facetious in talks, it is very different from when I am writing stories), gesticulating, and doing all that it takes to make people laugh, and I did manage to humour them, so much so that I was immediately told that I must come on all the eating breaks with the team.
While on our way back to the workplace, a girl, and she goes by the name of Swarnali, asks me a question in her melodious Bengali voice, “Akarsh, do you write?”.
To which my reply was “Do you mean the jokes I was telling back there? No, why do you ask?”
She laughed at how stupid I was, and then told me that I had a power of captivating people by my narrative, that when I described things, they seemed real and interesting, and she must have told a lot more but by this time my little brain, for a fleeting moment, made me feel like the hero of a Bollywood movie who had succeeded in wooing a girl. And then she did something which all beautiful girls do (a lot), she asked me for a favour.
I submitted a full page article (and since I had not known back then that I could ever attempt fiction I wrote a page on my grandmother) to her and she perused it. When she was done there were tears in her eyes.
And so, if there is someone responsible for making me write and get me on WordPress, and then my stories eventually reaching all you wonderful people, it is this beautiful girl, Swarnali.
Swarnali, as Nadine has asked, this paragraph is for you, this blog belongs more with you than it’d ever do with me. Thank you! For everything…
There’s this another girl, Grishma. She wonders as to how, someone like me, wishing to write someday, be rooted in one place, she always insists on my travelling more. She keeps my otherwise lethargic being young.
I must bring a boy into the lists of inspiration now (smiling).
A friend of mine, Arpit. He is a singer, a performer, and an entertainer. I see him travelling between places for performances and the kind of effort he puts into it. I do not know if humans are capable of performing magic, but some of us, definitely do go beyond the normalcy and achieve what we dream of. Not a day goes by when Arpit doesn’t inspire me to do a bit more.
And then, at last, it all comes home, to my girl. To her smile, and if she likes my work, it has to be good. Her support is indispensable. And despite the fact that I started this article by saying that I wouldn’t use that phrase, she does render me inarticulate… So maybe some other day.
Thank you once again
Love from India!!!