Would she slap me?
With red ink, my English teacher drew a round circle around the word ‘ther’ on my class work notebook. She wrote ‘i’ in between letter ‘e’ and ‘r’. This was my fourth mistake in the same line and ninth mistake on the same page. Agitatedly, my teacher corrected a few more grammatical and spelling mistakes. While circling the word ‘cheld’, her patience gave way to anger and she shouted, “You make so many spelling mistakes. Your English is very poor.” Instead of saying, I would improve them, I smilingly said, “Actually ma’am, my mother tongue, Hindi is also weak.” Amused with my sense of humor or my presence of mind, she wrote ‘Good’. At that time, I was in third standard.
In my primary section, I wrote with pencil in my notebooks and with red pen, the teacher used to draw at least three big round circles in each line. In all most all the pages, the red color was more prominent over the dim black shade. In my middle class, my genius mother tried hard with love and compassion through simple methods to teach me tenses when she found that I was not able to learn them in school but unfortunately, she could only teach me eight tenses. Tenses used to give me tension! In my higher standard, my language teacher always coaxed me to write more sentences in essay and all the time encouraged me to describe the topic in detail. As my mind would become blank like a dry river or ideas would not flow from it like a frozen river however, with great difficulty, I could write an essay having just two-three small paragraphs.
After I completed my college education, a dense cloud of tension enveloped me and to escape from the world of reality I immersed myself in the world of fiction. I decided to read books- one book per day. ‘Read, Read and read’ became my mantra and I read anything and everything including mythology, spirituality, astrology, Vastushastra, business, historical fiction, romance, drama, thriller, classics, Hindi Literature and just anything that I could grab. I read thousands and thousands of books on various subjects including English Literature.
In 2009, I was in an emotional turmoil because of my bottled emotions. To vent them out, I started a blog with a tag line ‘When I can’t speak, I write…’. The tears that never flowed out of my eyes became my words. Anais Nin said, “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
On a keyboard, I started writing random ideas that pop up into my head because water only flows when faucet is turned on. Many known person made fun of me because of my amalgamation of past and present tense in the same sentence, improper use of commas, not able to properly express the subject matter. I was too bad in basics what to say about the advance writing skills. I decided to keep moving ignoring every comment on my writing. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ― Anne Frank
Seeing me struggling hard to improve my writing skills, my brother who had a excellent command over the language advised me some good points on creative writing. It should have a beginning, middle and an end. The opening should be like Dan Brown’s novel ‘Da Vinci code’ in which the readers were in awe and were eager to know what would happen next, the middle should be like Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Five Point Someone’ novel where readers could connect themselves with the happenings as well as surroundings and the ending should be like Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’ in which readers could not predict the end, a totally unexpected end or a lesson that left a lasting impression on reader’s mind as in Eric Segal’s ‘Doctors’ which was concluded as ‘Science cannot comprehend a miracle’. Make a blue print and then erect a building on it! However, the epic ‘The Ramayana’ was popular since ages because at 75% stage of the book, the protagonist Shri Rama lost all hope, he was tired, his wife was abducted, his younger brother was unconscious after a severe injury from a deadly weapon and he was almost on the verge of losing the battle of life. There was no hope of his revival. The hero of the story hit the rock bottom. Hanuman ji brought sanjivani booti (magical herb used as medicine) for his brother and gradually, the protagonist was back to fight again with more valour and courage. This script structure was followed in all Hollywood Superman and Spiderman movies. Along with him, my maternal grandfather who was a retired English teacher also motivated me to write continuously for betterment, in my own unique style without copying any celebrity author.
Several years passed when one day…
“When bhai (brother) has edited it then why are you showing it to me?” My mother said to me after reading the first line of the post.
“Bhai hasn’t read it. He is busy.” I replied.
“You have written it!” She said with a surprise. “And bhai has not edited it.” Now surprise was more in her voice.
“You can’t write such a beautiful and elegant line.”
I tried to convince her that it was written by me, no one had read it, and she was the first reader.
She read the second line and found a silly mistake, which convinced her that I had written it.
This major change came in my writings after I had gulped down almost all works of Somerset Maugham – short stories as well as novels.
For many years, my brother and my mother were my editors. Now, I edit my writings on my own.
Now, shout-outs, featured posts and competitions on os.me encourage me to write more and better. I am participating not to compete with anybody but with myself. If I could write better than my previous post then I am a winner! If the flow of ideas stop and I stop writing then I would be a loser!
After all, “A word after a word after a word is power.” as believed by Margaret Atwood
Pic : Pixabay