Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That cloud's silver lining

June 2014. I was trying to cope with acute quarter-life crisis. After having quit my job at a daily, I was unemployed for about three months. It was fun in the beginning. Besides OD'ing on Murakami, RK Narayan and Ellen, I pampered myself. Also, once in a while, I managed to dress up, attend interviews and deliver my tried and tested answer for tell-me-about-yourself (quite like Chitti from Enthiran).

When nobody bothered to hire me, it was getting terrible. Murakami became mind-fucking. RK Narayan turned sob-inducing. Ellen was barely funny. And I still continued to dress up and attend interviews. But, the tell-me-about-yourself elicited frustrated responses (quite like Kamal Haasan's from Varumai Niram Sivappu). In between, all the interviews and perennial sulking, I often found time to stalk people on Facebook. Especially those, who could remind me of all the not-so-happy times. I couldn't help. It was that phase of life, when my dreams were always about finishing a race last, being very late to exams, and making numerous attempts to write the story of a battered woman. But I would always wake up, aborting all of it, because even in my dreams, I was tired of trying. Ahem! Ahem!

During one stalking session, I stumbled upon the Facebook page of Infinitheism. The first post in their page read, "Are you an aspiring writer? Email your story on 'Office'. We would be glad to publish it." Although I resigned in April, I almost stopped writing in February. But for reasons that I couldn't comprehend, I chose to write about my first day, at my first job. Words agreed to cooperate. I managed to write a very short memoir. After I emailed the article to them, I realised I had written it feverishly and with some weird vengeance. I also missed to proofread it. But, writing that piece was cathartic.

July 2014. I bought their magazine Infinithoughts (formerly known as Frozen Thoughts) to see if my story was published. No luck. Surprisingly, I was not disappointed. I didn't write back to them asking for status. By the end of July, I started working again and couldn't find time for Murakami, RKN and Ellen. My dreams were mostly about finding typos in a published interview, and reporting incorrect news.

November 2014. Appa, who is a regular reader of Infinithoughts, incidentally found my article that I had sent in June, in their November's edition. For once, my family was proud and delighted. I reread my story and found it cringeworthy. I kicked myself for using too many adverbs (Sorry Stephen King) and not proofreading. I couldn't read it again, for I was angry at myself for recounting a pedestrian experience. But in a way, I was happy too.

A copy of the story:







































Even though I'm not THAT proud of this piece, I will always be fond of it, for this is the only physical copy of a story that's published under my byline. When I worked at the daily, it didn't occur to me that I should keep a copy of my favourite stories. Not a single copy in two years. Now, seeing my byline again on paper after ages, feels as good as finding a 500 rupee note in an old pants' pocket.

And Khalil Gibran's quote always comes in handy.

"...in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."