To mark the first anniversary of Morsels & Juices, Ananya Mukherjee shares with us her little secret to passionate storytelling. A writer seeks inspiration from the environment, anything from a burning candle to a chirping of the little bird; swaying of the leaves to the monsoon rain can be the rightful inspiration.
Before you start writing, you must ask yourself, “Do I really love to write ? And do I write what I love?” You may find some answers here.
I hear voices everywhere; In my sleep, I hear diabolical cries from a parallel universe, of human triumphs and battle cheers, of wailing babies and fighter jets slicing through ominous grey skies.
In my rain-soaked wakefulness, I hear conversations between drops fusing into each other, the murmurs of glaciers melting, of tall triangles collapsing into a straight line.
I hear voices in the storm; they come to my door baffled like an estranged lover, temperamental, angry, painful stories of betrayal, ruthless accusations, complaints and angst shaking the night by its shoulders.
I love the voices I hear in the moonlight; lullabies and symphonies, whispering winds, rustling silks sharing a secret, the eerie silence of tombstones.
I hear voices in my mind all the time; restless conscience, pleading guilt, forgiveness, remorse, fearless outrage, deathly shrieks of denial and mutiny.
And when I hear these voices, I write. I pen the dormant communication from my conscience and give it a life. I have often told friends that like love, words happen to me. They do. Every time I have this insane urge to jot down the scatterbrained ramblings of my mind, I rush to find a piece of paper or a note-book or my phone. I do not rehearse. I do not form sentences in my mind, I do not script or direct my thoughts. I just take dictations from an inner voice expressing word by word till it all starts falling into a pattern of coherence and begins to have a meaning.
In my past life, as a journalist and editor, I had known what I wanted to write even before I begun. I would compartmentalise my thoughts in columns and word counts. I would know the length of each line, even plan a kicker or be led by it, designing bullet points in my mind, mapping what is intellectually optimal to do justice to the piece. They are called “stories” in our trade. I no longer do such “assignments”. And trust me, my love for writing has only grown since I am not bound nor driven by a blurb, page count or managing barriers. I no longer restrict myself to mind maps… I let words embrace me before I embrace them and then together we play an indulgent spontaneous game of delivering an expression that comes straight from the heart. I just spend my thoughts in words.
And you know what? The result is not just creative. It is therapeutic. Each word of my expression then becomes an ambassador of my glory and grief, remorse and relief, happiness and humor. It releases me as I release the pent-up emotion; positive, negative or neutral. Having said that, I have also noticed a pattern that may be peculiar to me. Pain incites word; and pleasures visuals.
How do I measure the success of my efforts or the impact of my articulation? In most cases, the joy of creation and expression is rewarding enough. Yet, sometimes I go back to check the number of hits on my own columns and wonder if anyone has read them at all. As a practice, I always start from the last pages of the popularity count, assuming the numbers to be only a handful of kind friends and pampering family. Then I move backwards, page after page, and each retreat button, as it grows by numbers, puts back a childlike smiley on my face and humbles me. Scaling up is always more rewarding than landing in mid-air, no?
Would like to sign off with my mantra to life, to myself..,
You celebrated me like a confetti, exploding me up in a boundless paradise, tearing me to shreds as your hands released me. The more severe the cut, the lighter I felt, and the higher I went possessed, liberated, light. And then in that floating nothingness, between you and me, with no pain nor remorse, not even a cosmic suicidal urge to seize, acquire or bewitch, I began to celebrate you for releasing me.
My writing for love’s sake only!