I wish I were a writer

By Suresh Pattali

Published: Thu 11 Mar 2021, 6:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Mar 2021, 2:04 PM

Friday morning is essentially pilgrimage time. A passage to the graveyard of forwards that rot in many an app on the smartphone. You don’t open some of them on a daily basis, as there are nearly two dozen office groups to straddle every second. As we meander through the far side of social media during weekend leisure, we chance upon gems of messages, memes and stories — some intelligent, some intriguing, some inspiring and yet others stimulating.

I was like a gravedigger, whistling on the job, when I tripped over something Wifey had sent a couple of days ago. A colourful reminder that it’s International Writers Day on March 3, something I shouldn’t have forgotten, being in the business of letters. Colours delineate Wifey, so I shouldn’t have missed the message too.

“There are times when you make huge sense,” I told her matter-of-factly, sipping the ginger tea delivered in a variegated paper glass.

“Huge sense? Wrong choice of words, Raja. Say great sense. I always make sense. You refuse to realise it, that’s all.”

“I didn’t even know there’s a day dedicated to writers. I’m not sure any of the writers in the newsroom know about it either.”

“Really sad.”

“You know something? I’m in awe of the wonderful writers our newsroom has. I may or may not like their persona, but the kind of passion, emotion, perception and knowledge they bleed into their work in a snap of the fingers is mind-blowing.”

Some of them are like seasoned magicians who breathe life into a red satin piece and produce a white dove. Tell them to write an edit, and they put on their thinking caps, squeeze a few drops of brainitisers into their palm and rub vigorously. They whisper Wallah Wallah Washington and disappear behind their workstations. In a few minutes, you get to read how intelligent Trump is and how imbecilic Biden is.

Some work like sculptors. They don’t talk. They sit and chisel their thoughts into words that leave you spellbound. Every word they sculpt comes alive like a svelte dancer whose footwork shakes your conscience.

Some writers are like Parisian couturiers. They clothe their thoughts in such hues and style that words strut down print columns like on a catwalk, as oohs and aahs fly around. They make a statement with their writing styles.

There are writers who work like temple garland makers. They string up their thoughts and emotions into garlands that fill people’s lives with fragrance and freshness. Every morning, we wait for their verbal tributes. We long to smell their feelings in their printed words.

Some are like the neighbourhood butcher. Behind an obnoxious display of severed heads, they sharpen their cleavers and wait for clients who seek their pound of flesh. They serve up unleaded satire.

Some are like rain makers. Emotions rain down when they write and drench you to the bone. Reading them is like dancing in the rain. They take you to a world of ecstasy. They drown you in a maelstrom of passion.

Some are antique merchants. They sell nostalgia. They dust out unique and fascinating tales that tele-transport readers to a glorious past. They hypnotise their readers to cultists and make them prisoners of the past.

Some writers are merchants of dreams. Their words are as fresh as the morning sunshine after an overnight storm. You squint at the gleam of their words and squelch across their philosophies, until you realise you are marooned in a marsh.

We have such an amazing pantheon of writers in this little newsroom. It’s mesmerising to witness how they burrow themselves in their small spaces, having a gun to their head, and still produce masterpieces. Belated Writers’ Day greetings, dear friends.

“Darling, can I ask you something? When do you actually write your columns that appear in your paper? I have never seen you writing. I always find you peering at a blank screen in a blank nook which is as uninspiring as a prison cell.”

“You don’t see me write because I’m not a writer. I wish I were one. There’s a genie in the house.”


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