Friday, February 19, 2010

Imagine All The People

Nisha never wrote about people she knew, though the prospect was tempting. There was too much mental baggage associated with them. For one she felt guilty about exposing their innermost thoughts. Conclusively she felt presumptuous in gifting herself the status of mind-reader. Most of all she was plain scared of how her inspirations would react. If they identified their literary counterparts, egos might be bruised. If not, she might doubt the accuracy of her portrayals.

To skirt these bumps, Nisha decided to rely on imagination. Her characters would naturally be based on experience-- nothing is born out of vacuum. But she would never mould any purely according to someone in real life. It was difficult, crafting complexities where memory was forced to take a backseat. Difficult not to get carried away down the familiar streams of character analysis. But she did it-- spinning layers are after layers, interchanging and rearranging them till the final result was always a perfect fit…
And because they were so completely hers, Nisha loved them passionately. Much like a first-time mother who can’t get over the magnitude of her tremendous feat.

Whoever read Nisha’s stories was deeply impressed. Especially by the characters. Readers found them so full of subtleties; yet larger-than-life, dramatic. The general sentiment was-‘Each character is quirky and entirely convincing at the same time. We would gladly lose ourselves in the maze of their mannerisms and secret thoughts.’

So Nisha was hailed as a genius all set to redefine the boundaries of creativity. She was gratified, and revelled in the world moulded by the sheer pulsating force of her whirlwind mind.
But secretly, she ached to see some more honesty flow from her fingertips.

‘You may be a genius, but you don’t have balls’, her soul whispered from time to time. ‘What more do your stories generate than a temporary intoxication? Glamour can do that too. Your readers would be equally taken with a palace-chandelier or a Pashmina shawl.
Convincing and sincere are not the same thing, my little escapist and until you’re sincere you’ll never disturb them.'
That’s what she wanted to do, really. Disturb them. Burst their bubbles with an ugly plop. Stab the cushions she piled around her stories. Reach into the fresh wounds and tear out great hunks of cotton wool- scatter them over the world and watch faces wrinkle up in disgust. No one likes rain that refuses to go pitter-patter on the window pane. But people do have a grudging respect for honesty- a respect she craved.

Did Nisha listen to that voice? No. She didn’t even turn it into a character, in case she was forced to recognize herself.

16 beep/s:

Riddhi G.D said...

Ooh, I get to be the first =D I LOVE this one. Sometimes your hand nearly Itches to write about real life, and the tons of writable experience material you come across-but then you have all the hundreds of considerations, and ethics and sensibilites to think of. And of course, then there's yourself. I triple heart this one =)

joey said...

Very Much.

Ketan said...

Simply amazing!

I have written a few pieces of fiction, and sequentially my thrust has moved from plot to thought processes.

But I will end up doing injustice to the depth of your ideas in this "story" if I view it only as your commentary on the predicament faced by fiction writers with regard to how true to their experiences they "ought" to get. In fact, everyone is able to view others' thoughts and actions only by comparing them with their own thoughts and actions. Even when we learn to recognize a feeling as simplistic as anger in others, we do so by thinking "how would I have felt in similar situation".

But I guess, this is not what wanted to discuss. :) I just wanted to point out this paradox that even when we write about others, we're basically writing about ourselves 'cuz I believe we are incapable of conveying that which we ourselves would have never felt. We just project our native experiences on others to interpret them. And when we truly try to 'invent' feelings without ever having felt them ourselves, it is merely a gamble with this knowledge that even the reader is going to project some of his or her experiences so as to be able to relate to the sketched characters. :) Convenient, unspoken understanding between the reader and writer. ;)

The choice between romanticism and sensationalism v/s plain speaking of facts is a difficult one. The strongest determinant behind the choice is the motive for writing - catharsis or wanting to be appreciated! If not for slight glorification, true insignificance of human life is unbearable otherwise. Most pople live their lives only to escape the realization of this insignificance. Right from wanting to dominate to wanting to believe in afterlife. ;) Successful writers give what readers want - a meaning to their lives, a cloak to cover up the insignificance.

Ketan said...

Oh, and if 'Anushka' was a mere adolescent fantasy, is 'Neha' an "adult" fantasy? ;) Or is it not a fantasy and your real name? :P

Ketan said...

How embarrassing! *Nisha.

Anushka said...

@Ketan-Anushka Is my real name. The 'mere adolescent fantasy' comment you're referring to was about my older username, Death on Two Legs. As you can see, both my username and me about me has changed since then.

@RGD- I'm still tripping on your writings.

@Joey- Thanks :) I take that as a Real compliment.

Safdar said...

the Interesting part is, Maybe this is the landmark point where you turn honest.

The Orange Cat said...

Perhaps there's an entirely different way of looking at this.
Perhaps imagination is the best way to look at life. Realism doesn't necessarily have to be based upon our neighbors.

Anushka said...

@Safdar- Perhaps :)

@Rohan- Sure. This is only an individual case. SHE wanted to write about people she knew. Maybe she was just a closet bitch XD

soin said...

i dont think its courage to mould your character on people around takes courage to show them the story after its written.but the courage you speak of is different from the courage you speak of.either way this is well

Prince of Mirkwood said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that you finally changed your nick from 'Death on two legs'. To tell you the truth, I always thought that when you did change it, you'd make it 'Death grows a third leg' or something:P

I like this post. *clicks on Facebook like button*

Somewhere Circus said...

I love you.
So honest.
The last paragraph made me give a 70-year-old-ish grin.

blinknmiss said...

But is this just a coolpost post or are you going to do something about it?

Would like to see either way. Tantalising this was.

Velocitygirl said...

So yeah, this post scares me a little bit.
I kid.
*clicks on Like button* (Hey, if PoM found it, I can too.)

Sarbajaya said...

This reminded me a little of a Roald Dahl story.

Anushka said...

@PoM- What an idea. But it would be esoteric for new readers. Always consider the new readers, bless them :P

@Sahana- I'm flattered :D

@Soumasree- Love from the loved. Doesn't get better :D

@Dulki- Roald Dahl! My hero only.

@Shalmi- I don't know! It was intended to be just a coolpost but it got me thinking.