>Creativity and necessity do not often see eye-to-eye. Not in my head, at least. So when my mind is in a whirl and unrelated thoughts clamour against the bars of their prison, I am forced to let them loose. The laws of creativity and decorum in writing shall now go for a toss as I let my long pent-up thoughts tumble incoherently over one another, forming a jumbled heap. Confusion in the head is more acceptable than in writing put on public display; extricating a thought from the giant heap in the head is easy enough, thanks to the aid of stimuli in the form of a gentle touch, a known but forgotten voice, or a familiar fragrance, that somehow find their way home and unleash a flood of memories.
Seldom do I allow my diary entries to be read by anybody else. This is one of the exceptions. My diary is a record of my most private, intense feelings. My conscience is laid bare in all its honesty, shorn of even the most trifling embellishment. For there must be some foil to vanity and egoism. Even so, the inanimate nature of the diary makes human contact essential. Perhaps I just seek the assurance of the existence of people with similar disjointed ideas; maybe I am trying to appease my vanity, imparting to my being an importance that only I can give it.
The night sky is beautiful. The moon has wrapped itself in layers of cloud, and makes its presence known through the silver threads that flow like streams in the dark, rolling meadows and hills of dark clouds crowned by lighter clouds. The clouds do look like hills, if you can will yourself to make them appear that way. It’s all in the mind. I cannot perfectly describe what I see. I reiterate- it is beyond human ability to describe certain displays of Nature.
A cousin of mine was married last week. It is sometimes hard to believe that we have all grown up and moved forward with our lives. The summer vacations of schooldays are a distant memory. The games of hide-and-seek, the clamour for a spot in front of the cooler on one of the long, lazy afternoons, movies, amusement parks- all the childish frolic has come to an end, and will pass on to another generation. Our relationships haven’t changed- only the priorities have. When I was nine or ten, I wanted to grow up quickly so I could share in the secret conversations the older girls had behind closed doors. (Whatever is taboo is always tantalising, and the truth of the actual thing not being quite so impressive as expected dawns only later.) Now, I’d give anything to stop the passage of time, or better still, to take me back to those days of innocent fun. It was nicer to want to apply makeup than to actually be able to apply it.
I have just finished another Ruskin Bond book- ‘Our Trees Still Grow In Dehra’. I shall never outgrow my fascination for Ruskin Bond, that is for sure. I owe my interest in writing to him, and more importantly, my love for nature. He makes writing look simple, glorifies small-town life and advocates respect for Nature. I once admired writers who wrote in such a manner that they couldn’t be understood easily. I have long since begun to believe that the aim of writing should be to talk to the reader, and make one’s ideas clear. It is nice to have a challenging author to deal with once in a while, but flounces and complexity are not necessarily the hallmarks of a good author. I also owe my predilection for horror stories to Ruskin Bond. He has done a tremendous job in his omnibus, picking out some of the most memorable ghost stories. I have tried my hand at writing a few, perhaps fudged them up, but one of these days I’ll come up with one that will make Bram Stoker and MR James come back to life for a nice, spooky read.
Coming back to Ruskin Bond, a friend once told me that I should marry the author’s son, not being aware of his single status. I don’t think there can ever be another Ruskin Bond. He stands in a league of his own; his books make me feel like he is talking exclusively to me. He is gifted like nobody else, and makes full use of his powers.
The unfaithful clouds have gone away again. For a day and a half, they hovered in the sky, gradually darkening, and all of a sudden they have parted to let the sun through. They come with numerous promises of rain, bringing along the wind, and then slink away quietly. They are in danger of falling out of favour with me. Another betrayal, and I’ll despise the rain clouds forever. (And I know I don’t mean it.)