A Writer’s Nightmare
This was the title of one of Mr. R.K Narayanan’s books. While he must have had his own nightmare, I too find that I have nightmare.
I write for my own pleasure, I write for others pleasure, hoping they would derive some pleasure (if at all they have the time and mood to enjoy), I write hoping that some, at least of my writings, would tempt the newspaperwallas to put in print (only I can hope and continue to hope, since one should never lose hope in life). In the case of Mr. Narayanan, penury drove him to write, at least initially and he was under pressure to cook up something week after week. In my case, however, the Government pension takes care of me. Well, when it comes to the quality of writings, I am nowhere near any comparison to Mr. Narayanan. But, his writings, the few that I might have read, certainly opened my eyes to the vast canvas that lies unexplored.
My own wrings started this way. Some fifteen years ago, while I was still working, may be due to work pressure, or may be due to family worries, getting a full sound sleep was itself a dream. However, on several occasions, my sleep would get disturbed and I used to wake up around 4.00 am. I found that it had it’s own advantages: rather than making me tired, I used to get nice thoughts at that time about various subjects, and this helped me to go to the office fresh, call up the P.A. immediately, and rattle out those thoughts. A series of articles was the result, all appreciated mainly by. Mr. Vittal, and all these finding place in some good newspapers.
While these days, I consume daily a sleeping pill, the sleep is still disturbed, and during that time, howsoever much I try, only some weird thoughts come to my mind. You can’t do any thing, expect to tell your wife, as if to complain to her.
When I start writing of course, I am impatient about what to do next. First, I would naturally be interested in seeing if any one gets interested. So, I mail this to many of my colleagues little realizing that they work, they have different interests, they are short of time and won’t send a mail as if by ‘return post’, (one used to send reply-paid post cards also those days). No blaming them of course. Second, as far as sending to papers, my experience is that if you send to the general email address of the paper, that is the end.
If you want to send to the particular person in the Newspaper office, it is not easy to find who is concerned with the particular stuff I have. If you send reminder mails to know the status of the pieces sent, there is no reply.
Well, Mr. Vittal is entirely different. He used to be the real vitamin for my writings. One thing I noticed while working in DOE was in many of the library cards I found only the names of Vittal and Subramaniam (again referring to the interest part mentioned above). He used to show me whatever books that were ordered for the library based on his request. All this made me hunt for his telephone, talk to him and tell him that I have caught the writing fever again. I did that, and as expected, the very talk with him proved to be a tonic. For the first mail I sent to him, I got a reply on mail, which he sent at 4.50 a.m. You can see the difference. It is after all, the interests of people. Well, I will continue writing, because it is now a productive, mind-refreshing activity for me.