The one where I announce my Bungee Jumping

6 years ago Shaili Desai 4

This is the one in which I announce that I am taking a break, from work. By work, I mean the humongous and boring definition of it – you know, the kind where you go to an office, pretend to be busy while you are busy checking memes on facebook, reply to a few emails, analyze random data and manufacture a trend to impress everybody around. The kind where you pretend to be a boss and bark out orders to your juniors every two hours in the name of that fanciful word called delegation. The one where orders get barked down upon you, to continue that slavery. So yes, I am taking a break from all of that. No, I am not quitting to travel around the world by myself and no, I am not having a nervous breakdown. What I mean to do is solve my existential crisis – I want to ‘work’ on things I like, and give writing a shot (This is the new millennial trend – taking a break, by the way, although I am hardly your typical millennial). Or, you can also think of this as bungee jumping, in some weird way!

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Currently, this website looks like an abandoned haunted cottage – totally out of some sad novel with a lackluster theme. Sometimes, it looks like a place you want to check out because you think it would be cool to meet some ghosts but it turns out to be a disappointing trip. Sadly, this ghost of a writer rarely visits.

What it needs to be is a happy little home where you want to visit as often as you can, see interesting things, loll about in the gardens, read about books and maybe make friends with some birds of the same feather. So yes, this is one of the ‘things I like’ and should see a face lift soon.

You’d think it’s probably foolish – I should have tried to do all these things along with work, sacrifice a bit of sleep and then decide whether this is really what I want. Yes that would have been wise, but I was never such a wise person. What is life if you don’t take a few risks? And this is hardly a risk, I am still pretty much employable. However there comes a time when you are not happy with the status quo. It’s like wanting to take a U-turn on the road at a busy intersection but not really trying for fear of the other cars, rushing fast ahead. Do you keep waiting patiently, growing frustrated with each passing minute because you are stuck? Or do you slowly inch your away ahead, silently challenging the other cars to stop and give you some quota of the space on the road? So here I am – I have given in to this with full abandon, with a will to put my heart and soul into this. Churn out words every day with the hope of writing a novel soon.

But it’s not easy. The other day, I kept staring at a blank page for at least half an hour. My mind seemed to be blank. What do I write about, I thought? I started writing a few lines and then deleted them. I repeated that same action a couple of times and then banged the laptop shut. You’d think actions and words are the true empowering things in this world but it’s actually sleep that tops all the other empowering stuff. It was a sleepy Sunday afternoon and although I never sleep at any time during the day, except at night, I gave in to the urge to procrastinate.

Luckily, I happened to open the lock to my bookshelf. The book ‘Stuff I’ve been reading’ by Nick Hornby seemed to stare at me, perfectly at eye level. Sometime ago, the book had inspired me to start a blog with the same theme. About books I’ve bought and books I’ve read, my thoughts on how good some of them were and how some of them failed to resonate (for every book is a work of art – even Chetan Bhagat, although he belongs to the mass produced art for everyday variety – too lowly for our snobbish noses). I am no Nick Hornby but all I wanted to do was write about my favorite thing in this entire world.

I still want to do that and I’ve been oscillating with the books that I mean to start reading and writing about. I started reading ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler in my kindle app, just because of the introduction – where she writes about how difficult it is to write a book, how the process is painful and not as easy as it looks. That caught my attention and I ended up reading her book till the part where the chapter on coping with divorce started. I do not understand why the chapters are so scattered, or was there a problem with the e-book? I browsed through this dump of eBooks collected by a friend and started reading the Pulitzer winning book, ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker. The punctuation seemed off, with a question mark in place of a name of a key character and I did not understand whether this was the actual text (like in Forrest Gump) or the e-book was just messed up? I felt as if I was reading a pirated copy of a book and I abandoned it. Lately, I have also been feeling guilty about downloading books for free from the internet, since now I am an aspiring writer and all that!

Quickly I subscribed to a Kindle Unlimited plan for a month, and was sorry to see that many books that I wanted to read were not included in the catalog. However, at Rs. 199 for a month, it is still a very good deal. I downloaded ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ by Amish Tripathi into my Kindle library, hoping to see whether I had missed the bus by not reading this much-hyped story when it first became a hit. And no, I haven’t started it yet because now I have ended up buying other books yesterday in a fit of reckless shopping (and got some good bargains!) from Om Book Shop in DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj.

So yes, I haven’t managed to finish a single book after The Farewell Waltz, but I hope that shall soon change. Until then, please bear with reading some boring bits about my life, which I just have to write about, nowadays. And yes, if you have a copy of The Color Purple, please be a nice person and lend it to me!