Saturday, March 10, 2012

Up above the wall, so high?

For the past few months I have been experiencing what is famously known as the writer's block. Twice I have tried to begin writing on a subject only to be distracted by wandering thoughts and elementary fears (such as roaches). Great efforts had to be taken to coerce the mind into writing beyond just a couple of sentences - what with the world moving towards 140-character thoughts, meme-fications and viral campaigns.

Beyond all the mundane rituals and emotions of daily life, over a while now a lot of my time has been spent following contemporary media. From going through resplendent photo archives of National Geographic to the disgusting lows of the Times of India to the creepy (erstwhile) News of the World, it has been quite a journey till date. With time I gained the thought that (like in any other aspect of life) it took the existence of bad to show who the good ones really are.

A picture is worth a thousand words they say. The beauty of it is each one of us given a paper and pen to describe a picture, almost always ends up with a completely different set of thousand words. That is if ethics were followed and I didn't copy what you wrote. Most of us would know the feeling we get when reading something we wrote a decade back. How it takes just a simple variable called time to change our own thought!

Most written/visual media and any other journalism is time-dependent on the stance it takes, the thoughts it presents (and ignores) and the inferences that it draws. There have been multiple instances over the past few years that I have set out to follow a writer or two, and found their perceptions of the same problem(or person) change as it(or they) betters/worsens. Some do turn out to be intelligent enough to veil this perceptional change with a layer of subtlety- most just write for a buck or two. Normally it takes not more than a couple of readings of the same writer's works to figure it out. Not many have that sort of time to follow specific writers when the world is busy raving about murderous rages and love anthems for non-existent world peace.

In this random pastime of following a columnist's stream of thought over months(or years), there've also been Eureka moments when I've suddenly come to realize the brilliance of a person's work, and his/her unflinchingly steady viewpoints over extremely long periods of time. Such people, (rare that I came across) make great role models to look upto when trying to express yourself in words - day after day, year after year. A great writer does not alone make sense today, but forever. I have grown to fear a not so distant reality when more than lacking great writers, we would soon lack an audience discriminatory enough of good and bad, to play to. 

Writing, like any of the other arts - needs to come from the heart. More than a mere sermon of what lies in the author's mind, it must foist the reader with its reins and say - Lets go for a ride!

I hope this took you on one.