Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Drunken Writer

"Damn it !! With every next day I feel I'm getting lousier at my writing."
Frustrated, Abhishek flungs away his pen. He holds the loose sheets and re-reads what he has written.
"This is bullshit!" He crumbles the sheets into his fist and throws them angrily towards the bin. It bounces off the wall behind the bin and falls outside the bin. Before he loses his temper and feels the urge to drink again, Abhishek takes a deep breath, gets up from his chair and walks to and fro in his room for a couple of minutes. He runs his fingers across his hair and observes his tummy come out and go in following his breathing rhythm, as he had learned in his meditation session last week.
Forcefully sitting back on his chair he takes a deep breath, jerks his neck sideways and rotates his wrists.
"That's it, I'll just write whatever comes to my mind, lets see what happens."

The man you just read about, is Abhishek Sainani, a 26 year old bestselling novelist, short-story writer and standup comedian. Two months ago a young boy met with an accident by his car, and he sped away without stopping to help the kid. He was heavily drunk and ignored the boy's pain which is unlike him. Although he got sober, the hangover of the guilt remains. Since then he has given up drinking and, although unaware, he subconsciously gave up writing as well. Now he lives in frustration of his lack of imagination and spark that had made him the most sought after storyteller.

He pulls out few fresh sheets of paper and starts scribbling whatever comes to his mind. He just writes, every word of the soliloquy in his mind. A few times he stops to edit, but eventually decides not to edit and simply continues writing. He finishes writing five sheet of pages and starts looking for more available sheets. From his cupboard he tears open a new bundle of white sheet of papers and gets back to his study-table with handful of them. He happens to glance at the sheets he had earlier written and sees that the first few sentences he had written are not the same, they have changed! They were very memorable, so he could distinctly remember them and so there was no mistake, the lines are different now! He reads the last few sentences and realizes they are not the same either!

He ignores it and continues writing. He is thrilled enough to be in the flow of writing now. Perhaps he was wrong, perhaps the lines never changed. Few minutes later he takes a toilet break. During that time he starts thinking what all he can add. "I think this guy should go and apologize to his sister for screaming at her like that. And then...", happily discussing with himself he returns to his desk and reads the last line he has written... and what he reads baffles him again, its not the one he had written !!

"Am I drunk? This only happens when I'm drunk. Did I drink today?" He feels flabbergasted. He is unable to recall what he did the whole day!
"I promised them I'll stop drinking. And I had stopped drinking! What's happening? Where are the sheets I had just written?"
He spreads out the sheets on his table, picking some of them and reading through them, and not being able to decide if the words have changed. With shaky knees, he leaves his room and walks out into the hall and looks into his closets and fridge to find any trace of liquor, but there's no liquor anywhere.
He gulps few sips of cold water from the fridge and walks back to his room. At the door he stops dead when he sees something hovering over the sheets. Squinting his eyes, he walks a little closer to see words glittering and hovering in mid air, one replacing the other on different sheets.

He starts sweating.
"I am definitely drunk. This only happens when I'm drunk. That's how I used to write stories, this was my spark, my magic trick that everyone called. I'm drunk. I must call Harsh."
With shaky fingers, after few minor edits, he is finally able to find and dial his number.
"Damn it, Harsh, please pick up the call." Abhishek blares into the mouthpiece, then pushes the disconnect button forcefully.
He walks out, gets into his car and drives away.

"Sorry officer, was I speeding?"
"Sir, are you drunk?"
"I don't know!"
The test confirms that he is in fact sober. Confused, Abhishek decides to drive back home. He walks in with uncertain steps, and his study table looks normal. He walks up to the sheets of paper. They look fine. He starts reading.
Yes, the words were the same, their positions had changed, and so had the overall meaning. Those five sheet of pages now tells the story of what had happened to him in last one year, including how he sped off, leaving that kid bleeding on the road, how he confessed this to his sister who helped him recover from his alcohol addiction and how he lost his 'spark' in storytelling. The last line towards the end was left incomplete, without a full stop, waiting for him to complete it, and perhaps resume the story from where he has left.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bhai.....Were you really drunk while writing this post??
It seems that this post was written to inebriate its readers with confoundedness.
Please write something sane in future.
Your post's reader,
Anonymous

Arumugam Easwar said...

That's writers' pain, writing and editing; editing and writing. Nice write.

Unknown said...

Nice description of the vague, at times nonsense state of our mind and thoughts. And you have not lost the spark :)