Sunday, July 27, 2014

Black & White and Grey All Over.

"The thing is that your writing is at its best when you write about people or personal emotions. It becomes very intense." A friend who had read one of my recent stories remarked. "Obviously if you put it out, there is a risk of being judged". She had added.

I have, in the recent past, written a few short stories that can be considered a little bold to say the least. While the writer in me knows that I am at my best when I write about complicated relationships and unusual emotions; as a person, who has grown up in a rather traditional and conservative set up, I realise that these may not be considered best subjects by a lot of people who are connected to me. Married women with children, after all, do not write about sex, or do they?

While growing up in middle-class, small-town India, my vision of life and its emotions was very limited. I saw the world in black and white. People were either good or bad, there was nothing in between. But my exposure to life in a metropolis and my experiences as a person in the last fifteen years showed me a very different world. I saw that the same person is capable of, and often is, both black and white at different times, I realised that there is more grey to life than there is black or white, and that grey has intrigued me ever since. 

Perhaps as a result of this, a lot of my initial posts on the blog were about such greyness -- of things people see but never talk about, of things middle-class India considers inappropriate, of things everyone does but never owns up to. At that time only a few close friends read the blog and most, if not all, seemed comfortable with what I wrote. Over the last one year though, in an effort to build variety, to write for the pleasure of the reader and to build up a more serious repository of writings, I stopped paying attention to such topics. But even now, the stories that I write are a reflection of the grey that I love so much, they are usually made up of things that might seem inappropriate, characters that might seem characterless and situations that might seem complicated, but then that is what real life is about.

As a writer and as a person I will perhaps continue to explore the feelings that interest me, the emotions that intrigue me but as a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister I am not yet sure of how people, who know me and love me will look at it. Would it mean that my father will consider me a blot on the family? Would it mean that my brother will be embarrassed to read my work? Would I run the risk of my husband doubting my integrity as a wife? Would it mean that my daughters will be ashamed of what their mother writes?

While my mind tells me some of my fears might be true, at least to a certain extent, my heart tells me that people who know me, know me enough to judge me. And it is my heart that I listen to, always.

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