"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- Maya Angelou ;
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
How long has it been since I last held a book, a real book, and not sleep and impelled myself to finish it in one sitting? I don't know anymore.
I had read too many stories, finished too many novels, wrote too many poems, but quite a few I could remember. I love reading, and whenever I read, I read the dialogues aloud and I feel at one with the character, like stepping into his/her shoes. Too many books had rendered me wordless, had made me cry, made me angry, inspired me, too inspired that I could write a piece around it in one go and submit it to a random literary contest and win it. I wrote so well, I could profess that to the world. I wrote so well that it has taken me to uncharted lands. I wrote so well that one of my pieces has been given a place in a London-based literary magazine. I wrote so well. And then I became stagnant. I ceased writing, my pen no longer remembers me. I had named my Parker Pen, Mary Jane. See what I did there? It does not matter. She no longer knows me. She no longer breathes the liquid fire that had made myself so amazing in my eyes.
One of the writers that I would always remember, adoring, worshiping, and almost married if I could, was Hermann Hesse. He wrote the novel Demian. That mysterious classmate and comrade of the narrator of the novel, Emil Sinclair. That mystery, which was not too mysterious after a few tens of pages, would eventually make you comprehend that it was just the world, in a clearer spectrum in the eyes of an honest man. I had read the book because I was tasked to, for a class report, and I will always be indebted that my professor assigned this to me. I had read the book during a crisis, a battle I was fighting within my system, when everything I knew was unclear, and unreal. And all these turmoil and unrealness, as soon as I had done reading, amalgamated and shaped into something much more comprehensible. Still a blur, but coherent, audible and eloquent.
Not only had the book gave me this fleeting sense of salvation from the unrealness of it all, I was roused, and galvanized. I knew then what I wished to write about. I had written too many, one after the other, each was inspirited by Demian's truths and ideals. I was reborn. I became a different person. It was my most real self. It was the only real thing I have ever seen, heard, tasted and felt. I wrote, slept, lived and wrote so well.
And then I lost all my novels, my poetry, my essays and short stories to the flood in 2011. My library had been washed out. And when the waters subsided, all I saw were but a few of the pages torn from the bind. Not only were the pages torn, I felt my soul, quite slowly, being trampled, shredded into thousands of fibers from my stitching. I did not cry. I should have cried. Because from then on, I had ceased writing. I had ceased reading. And everything was back to how it was then ; fictitious, black, void and unhappy.
One day, I was online in Facebook. I saw a random post which said:
"You should let yourself be carried away, like the clouds in the sky. You shouldn't resist. God exists in your destiny just as much as He does in these mountains and in that lake. It is very difficult to understand this, because man is moving further away from Nature, and also from himself." ~Hermann Hesse
That name. My breathing stopped. I read it again and was once again lost within myself.
It has been four years since I stopped writing. It has been four years since I last held a book, a pen, and a piece of paper. It has been four years since my last sensible thought. I wasted four years, engulfed at work but nursing a sinkhole in the abysmal part of my lifeblood. That name. It rang a bell. That name, how could I forget? That name, was the name of my hero. It has been four years. I am still working, and will definitely still not have all the time in the world. But ideas went scrambling, chasing one after another. I cannot let another four years come past me. This is what I wanted. This is what I was made for. I am here to tell a story. My Story.
I grabbed a pen and wrote again.
"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."
~ Virginia Woolf ;
A Room of One's Own
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