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Archive for June, 2013


The other day, I bought Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Game of Thrones by GRR Martin and Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I had been roaming Sector 17 – The shopping complex, Sector 15 – The second hand book stop and other sectors searching for the three books. The trilogy holds different meaning to different people, but I was more inclined to buy Eragon, story written by a 15 year old teenager, not a guy, nor an old fart, but a teenager.

Eragon felt like a bitch slap across the face. A fifteen year old had more guts than any of us. He wrote a story at just fifteen. Even Hemmingway had to be drunk enough to get something creative out of him, and remember – he was sad depressed fuck who committed suicide. But Paolini at fifteen wrote a novel. What’s more, he got it self-published and even spent a year travelling the vast lands of United States promoting it. I am scared shitless on the thought of living in an unknown city, but here he is.

What encouraged me to look for Eragon was how Paolini managed to get all the elements of Quest Plot straight. Quest, journey, romance, adventure, you name it. It is important to note that he had read many other works of fiction before he went onto write his own, which can be accredited to his success. Among other reasons, the outstanding one to buy Eragon was that this was the only book I knew that had a boy on a quest that grows through ethical and moral development, all that in the midst of fantasy and fiction. I later learnt that I should have opted for The Wheels of Time series, but four still feels a reasonable start to me.

Tolkien is the father of fantasy. Buying Lord of the Rings was more like paying tribute. There is no better story teller than Tolkien. The great complexities of his world leave me amazed. More than envy, I respect the time and effort Tolkien must have put to make perhaps the best art there ever will exist. Tolkien stands as a lighthouse, guiding and telling me that there is greatness to be achieved.

Martin has redefined the genre. His characters are deep and interesting. Although his stories lack the journey, per say, but it’s always involving to go through the turns that his characters experiences. Martin proves the point that fantasy is not dead, not even in this day and age. However, I do feel that he marks the end of contemporary fantasy fiction.

For two days, the bed sheet caressed the plastic cover of the books as they lay on the bed, extracting all the pessimistic feelings out of me. I wouldn’t disagree that the excitement of finally having something substantial, something more than a piece of binary collection, didn’t incite inappropriate thoughts towards the books. I wanted to do so many things to them because of the legacy they brought to my room, to my collection of books, to my life. As I keep the trilogy in the book cabinet, I find myself telling the other books to show respect, and learn something from these great books who have withstood time and tide to bring great stories to people. I probably won’t open them for a very long time. Their symbolic value is greater to me at this point in time.

The Rhythm and the Song

Inspiration, motivation and the clarity of thought is the discovery of the melody or the rhythm of a song. The song has been playing forever, but we were capable of hearing only bits and pieces arranged in random order, making no sense because of our prejudices and misconceptions. The circle of negativity blinds us from our basic instinct to be a part of something whereas the ego binds us to the detrimental self. Inspiration or motivation is the realization of the melody in the song. It leaves a before-and-after-moment upon the spectator. It is the moment where everything fits, where the listener has the full song in his head. It is the moment of meaning, where the song is the definition and the rhythm the understanding.

Crisis and Inspiration

Artistic crisis is a dark fathomless well of negativity, self-loathing and frustration. I had been developing my fantasy world for the last month, enjoying the slow place with which the back story or the history was reaching its conclusion. And then yesterday, I rented a random book with an intention of grasping the genre. It happened that the book’s first paragraph had been my fantasy’s entire world. The numbers were different, as they always are, but the concept was ditto same.

What followed were days of blank impulsive behavior. The next day my parents and I went to a local darshan yatra, visiting Sai Baba temple and Mansa Devi Temple. It is usual for me to have an opinion for everything and about everyone, but that day, I was so quiet, I could hear my ears working. Even with objectivity, there is a dilemma of two things, but that day, everything seemed one to me. I hoped something would incite an emotional response in me, but I had never been so blank in my life. On very rare occasions do I visit temple without some wishes awaiting God’s grant, but that day, I was there just to say hello.

The next day, however, the silence had gone. I was talking too much and too fast covering so many topics that it became a challenge for the people around me to keep the conversation going. I was scared to look in the eye and afraid of my own space. Every would-be conflict appeared like death staring back, but the response was single: flight. Later that day, I met a dear friend in KFC. We talked and it calmed me a bit, the food helped.

Reading books was pointless, research was futile. For the first time, I felt the need of a muse. In our country, I don’t think people have even heard the word muse, let alone the meaning and the gratification. Helpless bumping on the four walls, I picked up Stephen King’s On Writing.

Reading him, in no ode to King, though I fail to understand why comic make jokes on him, lifted the circle of negativity. Hope smiled at me, motivation crawled up my back. It wasn’t just King’s, but the struggle and efforts many other talented artists illuminated the darkness within me. So what if someone has already told me similar story? Being a writer doesn’t mean that I have only one story to tell. Far from it. Inspiration swept me like gusty monsoon winds that I ended up buying three books from flipkart.