The Second R

All these years, my attempts at writing have been pretty sporadic. Except for the biannual essay writing during the exams (my favourite topic in any language being environmental pollution), I rarely used to write anything just for the sake of it.

I remember my first writing attempt, at the age of 9 or thereabouts. The details of the story I had written are pretty hazy now, but it was about a man who buys some food & a milk shake (of all potable liquids, he had to buy a milk shake?!) for lunch, but decides to give it away to a beggar in the end. Quite touching and quixotic, I must say.

The second time was when the class had been asked to write anything, anything at all to fill a page. I wrote this piece about a boy who is feeling pretty bored and lonely in his holidays & his busy parents can't take time off from work to be with him. It ended happily though, with the parents deciding to take the protagonist on a trip to Montana. Montana's spectacular scenery was not the reason why it was chosen (by me, of course) as the destination. White Water Terror, one of Nancy's adventures (from her case files, actually) was set in Montana. Nancy who? Nancy Drew, who else? (How many adventure-seeking girls called Nancy did you know at the age of 12?) Those were the times when I used to lap up all the Drew books I could lay my hands on. At last count I had read around 60 of them and the last one I read was "The Wedding Day Mystery", which I read, believe it or not, 3 years ago. It lasted for an hour and left me wondering how I could have been crazy about those books (My roommate mistook the book to be one of the must-reads I had been raving about & eagerly read through it. Needless to say, he was left with serious doubts about my literary tastes). Well, my composition was pretty decent & the teacher appreciated it. The following year we were asked to do a similar exercise & I submitted the same thing. This time the teacher (a different one, though) ridiculed me saying that I had been asked to write a story, not narrate an incident (Yes, ma'am. What was I supposed to do? Retell the moral stories about the crow & the pitcher or the hare & the tortoise (reminds me of "Godel, Escher and Bach" which I am currently reading - more about this some other time), like I was some 13-year old Aesop? (that is, if Aesop was as precocious as that) ).

Last year I made my third attempt. On a hot Surathkal afternoon, our portly(?) Engineering Economics lecturer (who has the potent blessings of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep) was droning on in our stuffy classroom. Mass hypnosis was already in progress. I suppose it was Venu who was checking out one of Barron's word lists (which incidentally had words beginning with 'M'). In a valiant attempt to avoid being lured into the realm of Morpheus (the Greek god of dreams and the son of Hypnos), I used all the words (15 of them) present in the exercise associated with the list to write a small piece which is more or less reproduced below :-

The adventurer struggled against the miasma rising from the swamp. The death of his companion had been a mischance - an encounter with the ectoplasmic misanthropes of the marshes & the resulting melee - it must have been painful, very painful. But this was no time for mawkish feelings over his dead fellow adventurer. He rowed ahead faster and as he did so, strains of mellifluous music fell upon his ears. Mesmerised by the notes emanating from the trees ahead, he rowed harder. What he did not know was that the music was an auditory mirage created by the evil imps of the swamp. These militants mentored in the dark arts by the Satan himself, were by no means mediocre & were reputed to be extremely meticulous when it came to flaying their opponents. Earlier the adventurer had branded them 'the menial minions of the Devil'. This was no misdemeanour & he would pay dearly for it.

Quite good, considering that my eyelids were in the process of turning leaden.

And that, was a constituent of my extended fourth attempt.

P.S. Hope to keep this going on for as long as I can. Amen.

Tags : Blogger Days, Humour, Writing

Posted by Rajat @ 10:28 PM   |  Comments