OF WRITING AND WRITERS’ BLOCK!
Nothing can ever be as shocking as life. Except writing- Ibn Zerhani
“Your write-ups, Souzeina? We are missing them!” asked a school teacher of mine some time back. “Mam, I’m planning to write one but I think I am passing through writers’ block,” was my candid reply, but it was all unimpressive. She felt that I have become sluggish over time. With a promise to come up with one soon, we bade good byes to each other.
Come University exams and life comes to a halt. Bearing intense cold and all the baggage that winter brings with it, the poor students like me who have ‘lot many things’ to do apart from studying are left with no option but to succumb to the fear of exams and study; Forced detention in the room wit those boring text books! Hey! No guesses please! I am not against my academics but then I have to leave everything else, even my love- writing, for I am one of those ‘brilliant’ students who don’t study until their tails are on fire! In other words, who don’t study till University comes up with the date-sheet and they are left with only one option- to gather the dust off the books and start studying!
Back to writing now, yes it has been quite a long time now. The recall of my last write-up is hell of a task. Since I know how ‘good’ I am at remembering things, its better to leave thinking about it. The one-liner: 'Once upon a time I wrote an article…’ sums it all.
At home the thought kept haunting me; it reminded me of all those mails and messages I was getting from my friends, some scolding me for not writing, others taunting me for taking too much time while some of them really praying for my block to end soon. “I will write one,” I finally decided. But before I could follow my staunch new resolution, I was reminded of the clothes in the washing machine, waiting to get rid of their clumsy appearance! Phew! I folded my sleeves and within no time I was all soaked in water, for the spin tub left me in the lurch and stopped working. I had to wash the clothes with ice cold water! Aww… terrible! Anyways, I was pooped and worn out by the evening. After dinner, I slept like the child who falls asleep in a fit of tears knowing that he has been wrongly chastised!
Before I could enjoy the cherished sleep, here came the 21st century intruder! Call on the cell phone. Groaning with anger and languid with sleep, I received the call. It was my father. Oops! I take my words back. After salutation, as we were talking, I in a dozy tone owing to the long day fatigue, there was some error in connection and the phone got disconnected. Thanks be to the communication operators who never allow a chat to complete! As I was waiting for him to call again, fairy of sleep waved her magic wand and took me to the world of dreams.
Eventually I was lost in the world of my imaginings but somehow I sensed the presence of what I was dreaming in reality. It was night time and I was preparing to sleep, when I saw a man wearing red colored shirt, embellished with some strips and blue jeans. He had a suspicious appearance and after he jumped in from the wall into the courtyard of our neighbors’, I could make that he had no good intentions and that he was a thief! Observing it all from the side of my window, I tried to frighten him by banging the window pane but all in vain; I had made no more noise than a feather! In the meantime, another man joined in who was his look-alike. I was watching things happening as a mute spectator but in my mind I was all geared up to inform my parents about the incident.
But before I could do that, I sensed some noise in my room. Somebody was fiddling with my papers on the study table and ah! I could not move while nestling inside the warm quilt. It seemed to me that someone was resting above me, trying to suffocate me with all his might and as if in a dream, I could not cry. As if half of my body was ripped away and as if I had lost the capacity to feel. There was a silent scream. I wanted to cry but no tears came. I tried to resist but the force was too strong to fight. In a fraction of time, I opened my eyes and everything seemed to have been vanished in thin air! I switched on the light on the side of my bed and sat all drenched in cold sweats and gasping. I wanted to get out of my bed and snuggle with my mother, who was sleeping in her room, but my courage was failing me. I was helpless. I knew one thing for sure and that was what frightened me the most: It was not a dream!
Gripped by fear, I recited Char Qul but my eyes kept examining everything in the room. The papers on the table had changed their position- the curtain wasn’t like that before- the Phiran on my chair looked like the devil in my dreams that would rise at any moment! The worst fears began to torture me. Though I was awake but felt under dream’s spell. Yes, somebody was in the room before.
City was buried in silence with nothing to bother the silent horror except some barking dogs. It was 12:49am. I tried to console myself but in vain. A hopeless sigh! My mouth was getting dried up with each passing moment, with cold beads of sweat forming on my fore head. Reading must rescue me out? I took a book that was lying near my pillow. The bookmark pointed to the chapter ‘Discovery of the
Mystery’. It cannot be a coincidence. The fear was internalized. I felt the ground losing beneath me. Keeping the book back, I thought of writing, for the reading had deceived me. But who will get the pen and paper from the table that was around 10 steps away from the bed? Suddenly my eyes caught the sight of my old diary that was resting on the window sill and a pencil there. I again could not make anything out of it! Caught in the bewilderment, I jotted every minute detail on it, still trembling with dread. While I was trying to figure out the mystery behind the drama, I felt happy and relieved as if I was on the verge of solving an impossible math problem. I had written 12 pages of my diary- My writers’ block had finally ended!
With half smile on my face and dread chill still pulsating in my veins, I recited some Surah’s, put things back to their original place, turned off the light and went to sleep. As I sank peacefully in the chasm of sleep, I remembered that writing was still the only consolation for me; my only hope that rescued me from the trap of horror and of course, my desiccated writers’ soul from writers’ block!
Caution: If there are images in this attachment, they will not be displayed. Download the original attachment!