2/24/2014

PUNCTUATIONS

When I left college last semester and took the train towards my home in the Himalaya, I thought I would get enough inspirations, subjects and people to write about. True. I collected loads of phrases, comical dialogues, random sketches in the train and stations and memorised some beautiful encounters. All I needed next was a comfortable and cosy place where I could extend the materials into a sort of reading substance. But scriptorium as mentioned is difficult to get. Even more difficult is to go along with the correct time to write.

At my sister’s place in the southern foothills of Bhutan – Gelephu – altar room usually belongs to me. I tried writing in there the very night I reached, about my sixth train journey inclusive of the last bus ride. I opened my notepad, separated leaves of papers where immediate journals were made in laconic expressions, and few crumbled notes. But before I could write a sentence, one adorable punctuation appeared in my room, completely disturbing me from carrying on any further. Three years old recently, an amazing imitator of adults around and most loved and favourite of all, my nephew blew away all my materials and snatched my pen away. Having seen his father do it and his elder uncle too, he scribbled many coiling lines on a page and said,” Uncle. See. Like you, I am also ready to go to school with father now.” His mischievous yet innocent smile is something that I can’t stand to let go unrewarded. I let him sit on my lap. Seeing my phone, he asked to play games: he’s occupied with the knowledge that every phone would be loaded with a couple of games at least. So, I opened him Talking Tom. He succeeded in amusing my little nephew.
He scribbled many coiling lines on a page and said,” Uncle. See. Like you, I am also ready to go to school with father now.”
One night, after reading the Life of Pi by Yann Martal, I was struck by an impulse. Thoughts accumulated. Opinions on God and the occult beings heaped and piled up in my head. On the theme, I decided to write either some verse or prose. As pen was lacking, I went in search of one. Fortunately or unfortunately ( I don’t know ), I got struck in the usual war between Tom and Jerry which again my nephew was watching then. When the advertisements broke in, I retrieved into writing business. By then, the impatient ideas had already taken wings.

In foothills, both sunshine and sunset in winter are melancholic and nostalgic phenomenon. Such passing sceneries would certainly remind everyone, if they are careful observant, of the ephemeral nature of the things around. Motivated again, I began knitting lines for free verse on the sunshine first. Along came my mother with a cup of hot sweet tea. Little later, when I actually began to write my poem, ‘sunshine’ and ‘beautiful’ were the two words that kept coming repeatedly like one regular advertisement between programs in TV. A hopeless poetry. To my best, I retreated in the effort to continue. A forced poetry is said to be as bad as a pressed-ripened-banana; an insult to both poet and poetry and a sickness to the readers. It seemed that I sipped the imageries along with the sweet flavoured tea.

Few days later, I ascended the mountains to my father’s place. During the bus ride, I sat among the crowd of funny fellow travellers. Some talked of the subjects that drew my attention and stimulated certain senses. Some of their spoken jokes were worth memorising to be shared. Alongside, the subalpine vegetations that we come across were in their most overwhelming phase. Bearing all these, I reached my home finally. I was tired and exhausted completely then to try anything. After sleep, in the following morning, the previous journey seemed ordinary and insipid. Perhaps, it’s my fault that I didn’t strike the iron when it’s still hot. For consequence, my pen was saved of its life and the diary of its pages – a critical incentive of not penning down things immediately.

Sometimes at home there, in the secluded part of the young and spurring mountains, the bitter part of the recent developmental activities – dusty air, narrowed river breadth, even shallower depth, intruding animals in our gardens – were just enough to provoke me. They are worthy of satirical remarks and reflective talks. However, here we become the culprit of such follies ambiguously. So, once when I was amidst in that topic, there was a knock on the door.

On opening, my old neighbour showed her restrained smile, “ Sonam, can you e-load this recharge to this number,” and handed me a voucher. Her request was undeniable.  When done, she left with the same smile but with additional expression of gratitude.

Now accustomed to such constraints in writing, I find them more similar to punctuations than to real literal barriers. As spices are to food, are they to my writing business. After all, punctuations are to be included in between sentences as per the according requisites rather than to avoid them. Only when added than a sentence becomes even more conspicuous in its expression and worthy of reading. 

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