where the writers are
New Years

So far I’ve two new years in 2012. First was when I changed employer on the first month; the second, exactly halfway through the year, when I quit that job and started working from home. Pretty much during the former I was dead, juggling two jobs, working the graveyard shift and doing part-time at a Japanese school, having not enough sleep, bereft of the time to read, much even write. The damage might have been irreversible: With my writing abandoned, I have lost my voice (or what I can make of it). I think I might have even lost command of the language, having a loose grip on it to begin with. But there is hope. And I cling to it, as if it were breathing itself, life hanging by a thin filament of (what?) snot (?).

See? I can’t even find the right words anymore, groping for that beat that’ll put me back in rhythm, as I sit here, typing away, the blinking cursor waiting, tapping impatiently on the screen. But I’m giving it time. There is hope.


The first thing I did after quitting was clean my room. The cobwebs and dust-balls had been a gritty reminder of a life in shadows. And the books on the shelves, some still unopened, had yellowed, their spines cracking at the first stretch after what seemed to be an eternity. As I was dusting them off, I went back to the years when I read them. (I’m the one who lugs around a book wherever I go; crack open a book at a bar—to my friends’ disgust sometimes.)

Roy’s The God of Small Things, given to me by my physics teacher, welcomed me back to that time when I was struggling in college; our finances could barely keep up with the tuition fee hikes. And there was Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, which saw me through my days as an agent; the author’s long narration of human thoughts proved useful in my vocabulary. Then come my first encounter with Murakami. His Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World brought to mind the time when I was perhaps at my happiest: my first year in a new job. I wish I could write all of them here, the sordid details that spelled sentimentality, but I’d rather not. The point is: Those years I spent, lugging around a book or two, occasionally finding that nook to read, I kept the dream of one day writing my own.


Time, however, does not begin in hope. And by the looks of it, I don’t have much. There’s the voice that needs wooing; there’s an idea that can’t be executed right, unless at the hands of an expert; and there’s despair from the uncertainty of it all. Always.