Thinking out of the 'slide'
I am writing something that’s not a mail , a concept, an NDA or a powerpoint- something that’s originally mine exactly after 2 years , 7 months and 46 days- not like I counted ( well I think i did, because I didn’t have to think twice on the number, scrawling this down), but writers block has been bunking with me since then. A series of failed attempts and wrong decisions threw up more than a few roadblocks into my fierce love for the written word and I’d set that dream aside for my next verve; period so the language or surge might not come so easily to me as they did, a few years ago. I often re-read my writing from a couple of years ago and wonder who wrote them- because I feel detached to that person who could actually scrawl over pages and pages of books. I save old word docs but have nothing of life to add to them. I have the badge value of being able to make the fanciest deck for meetings in 20 minutes, but i lack the courage to write what I want in over 20 months. Not like I’ve not tried- words just fail me these years and I’m cautious with them, reading, judging, backspacing, but this is one of the most honest spurts I’ve had since the last of the many unsaved word docs and crinkled diary rants.
Today I lucked out, wormed my way out of another 6.45 PM meeting and found myself ordering an uber home while it was still light outside. Praying to the traffic gods to show me blue, I braved myself for a ride that would take me home in 2 hours- the average time for the daily Mumbai darshan home. Instead of raving and ranting to my partner, mother, my team and furiously replying to 2-day old messages like I usually do, I’m silent. thinking. unthinking. The roads were mercifully empty and I found myself unlocking the doors to my apartment close to 8 that night. I rushed over to my turtle tank that held my babies – Roger and Mirka who sidled up to the glass, ready for dinner -. Usually I’m home long after they’ve been fed and gone to bed, so all I can manage is one little pat which usually wakes them up. (much to my partner’s disgust).
with what I would like to call “first world joy”, I fed them an elaborate dinner and sat around playing with them ( and not attending a con-call/ordering an uber/ beautifying a presentation or fine tuning an episode) while I did so. I let them out for a walk while I treated myself to a huge cup of tea ( another first world joy in months), and sipped it watching them trying to outdo each other with weird antics. I looked at the clock and it’s still only 9. Time stretched lazily across me and I grabbed every second I could. I watered my green patch tonight, pruning the leaves, snipping the split ends, and tending to them ( another first !), instead of the hasty bucketfuls we manage late into the night.
Tonight I’ll eat my dinner reading a book ( and not pouring over mails). I will watch my share of trashy TV . I’ll linger after dinner, thinking about nothing , I’ll read late into the night and fall asleep with a book over my nose just like I used to when I was a gawky teenager, and not because I pass out with exhaustion. and most importantly, I’ll dream of something bizarre, and not excels or slides or neat little rows and columns.
Tonight I’ll treat myself to time, and weed out excuses and confront my biggest trepidation- tonight I’ll actually write something that’s long, scattered and wildly vulnerable – not something that fall into neat little buckets with an underlined title- not the brightest spark but something to start the fire with.
It only 9.45 and I’ve written this. The first 1000 words in years. My former self from 2 years would have backspaced this in two ticks- no metaphoric bends, no flowery language, this is vanilla – as bare as can get and straitjacket as any other common 20-something’s diary but I’m tonight I’m reassured. My eyes are wet at this less than average effort.
This is not my mightiest post- this is still my first post in years, and I’m re-learning to think out of my box or rather slides here- because every new chapter needs a beginning and tomorrow my evening meetings will start at 6.45 and end late into the night, and I’m going to get mighty traffic on the roads, and reach home with dried out eyes and a temper in tow- my turtles would be fast asleep, my plants would be tended to, I’d be too tired to even manage dinner let alone the celebrated mug of tea but the little notebook I’ve been carrying along everywhere since summer 2015 , hoping to get that spark again sometime would be open, and I’ll go to bed only after I’ve written a few lines to them and I hope they get better with the coming nights.
Not exactly miles to go before I sleep but I’ll try a few pages at the very least.