Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Of Failure, Loss, Dejection (and what writing has to do with it).

The date stamp on my last post tells me it was written almost two months ago. In reality though, it had been lying in my notebook in another form and I had just converted it into Hindi & posted it. It is another story that the task of typing it in Hindi had taken longer than writing the poem itself. 

The poem was an outcome of a feeling of loss that I had been experiencing at the time -- loss of love, loss of friends, loss of control, and most of all loss of self. And thinking about all those losses I realised that one is nothing but a sum total of his losses and failures: a failed friendship, a failed relationship, a failed exam, a failed job.

Usually such feelings of loss and failure are temporary -- they come and go, just like good times and bad -- but the feeling has not left me in a while, and perhaps that is why I have not come back to the blog: why write about the same thing over and over again? 

It's silly of me to feel that way though, because in the last 6 months I have gotten more things done than I had in the last six years -- I have gotten back to work with not one but multiple assignments; I am back in the class-room talking to people all day long (which is very hard for me), I have been travelling and meeting people (also hard), and I have been doing this over and above running a house with a husband who works over twelve hours everyday and two little girls who need to be taken care of. But there is one problem, there is one thing  I have not been doing, and that is writing. 

When I decided to get back to work last year, I had assumed that I could continue to write just as easily as I was then. After all the practice and hard-work that I had put into writing over the past few years, churning out a 500 word blog post was not a tough job, all I needed was a thought and I could convert it into a post in a matter of hours. What I had forgotten however was that for a thought to convert into a comprehensible piece of writing it needs to brew in an empty mind, a mind that is not preoccupied with assignments and deadlines, delivery and performance, people and pressure. It is only now that I am knee deep in work commitments and have almost forgotten that I can write do I realise this. 

But it is not only writing that seems to have deserted me, reading too has become a long forgotten friend. And this is when I owe all my writing to my reading. 

It had stared one fine day with one fine blog. The blog that not only taught me the craft of writing but also led me to read newer and better things everyday. So much so that from a personal collection of less than twenty-five books, I went on to possess -- and read -- more than a hundred books in less than eighteen months. The evolution of my reading started reflecting in the evolution of my writing. Slowly yet steadily I moved from the blog to the papers, and from papers to magazines and portals -- it was something I had always dreamt of but had never expected to turn into reality.

But in the last few months I seem to have lost the power of thought and words -- I can no longer think, I can no longer focus, I can no longer write. The few pieces I have lined are taking forever to publish and the ones I want to write are taking forever to materialise. And that, I guess, is the reason for the everlasting feeling of loss and dejection.


  1. Wow...Anubhuti you don't know how many times I visited your blog just to read your new post and literally did thought of reaching you via mail.
    Thanks for this post :-)

  2. I echo every sentiment you have highlighted in your post...Posts waiting to be written..poems waiting to move beyond the first emotion, reading books becoming quite a thing of the past...sigh :( I wonder if I will ever experience that emptiness of the mind again..I hope I don't grow old regretting the many things I couldn't do because I was busy earning money..

  3. Thanks a lot, Suchitra. It means a lot.