“Am I romanticising it too much?” I thought before I started to write this story. Questions are the weirdest things. They make you want to have an answer. They give you query, they fill you up with curiosity, and then you can’t help it. You think, and try to find an answer that satisfies you. That’s what answers are — a satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment. You stop protruding when you are satisfied.
At LinkedIn, a while ago, my headline read, “Inventor; Engineer; Writer;”. A friend asked if there is any reason for the order. At the first instance, “I replied with a shrug, meh!” then something changed.
I thought about it.
We understand our world through complements and contrasts. They say, the artists and neurotics don’t differ much in their ways of consuming the surrounding world, but the artists retain their sanity by forging means to channel the hefty chunks of society they swallow. Being out of their minds, most of the time, ain’t an alien description for most committed artists.
I am living in Bangalore since 2012. It’s the longest I’ve stayed anywhere other than Durg, my hometown. This long in a place and you learn to call it home. I don’t know Kanada, and neither do I know Chhattisgarhi. But, that doesn’t make it any less a part of my identity. I have had my best years here, most of my best trips started from here, love and heartbreaks, promotions and resignations, visa and vacations, all started from here.
Do you remember the character of Professor ON from my story I mentioned a few months back? He was the one who had a year to live, last September and now there are only 8 days left for this character. He was the one whose confidence is limitless and working on him made some of it rub on me too. He has his strengths, and I believe sometimes his absolute dedication to his work can make him his own heart’s worst enemy.
Do you know the problem with art? It’s shy. It is insecure, vulnerable, and hyper-sensitive. I have spent most of the last couple of days working on a poem. After dozens of crappy pages, and hundreds of lines, I couldn’t gather enough for a few verses. It seems that the writer, the poet, the artist in me just couldn’t work on timelines. It never could. For him, it’s about the timelessness of the work. Sometimes, a few minutes are enough and sometimes months are short.
In life, we have great days and we have the other ones. Today was somewhere in between. I am a bit commitment-phobic. So, I’ve recently accepted a highly demanding job where commitment has to be made and kept. I am intentionally putting myself in positions where I can challenge myself and test my boundaries. There is no book that can teach you about yourself, but you. So, write your chapter and don’t forget to read it too. If it isn’t interesting for you to re-visit, it won’t be for anyone else.
It is the second day of the sketching challenge and I learned a little about human face anatomy. It feels good. It is so amusing, how some simple lines and curves placed in a defined arrangement can give us a sense of recognition. It is one thing to know something and an entirely different experience to do it.
They say every suggestion is autobiographical. It reveals our past as events or desires that are laced with possibilities that could have been a reality or a reality unrecognizable now but were once possible. So, as the conclusion of the final chapter of March, I am noting a few things that might seem alien to my future self. A letter from the past for the future.
Dear Artist Kid,
Once I was on a binge spree watching authors discuss their past works on YouTube and discussing the importance of formatting the work while writing. The simple 20-second setup before starting instantly transform mere words to a professional standard. The double-spaced paragraphs, 12-point fonts and a tab at the beginning every paragraph make for higher readability. Formatting adds breathing space between lines and subliminally asks readers to ease up, while they consume the words visually and adds ease to print. A page with 600 words is too much to absorb, so double space them, add a tab to paragraphs as a cue till the next milestone in the marathon. We invariably see the effort required to consume and formatting makes it easy to flip a page. Flipping a page is a sense of achievement, we are programmed to respond gaily since our school days.