A Midway Halt
Where one would ultimately reach depends on where he/she stands today. Again the hare and turtle story--does it lead to any moral? Well, I don't know. In literature, the most fundamental rule is that there's no rule. Jim Corbett started writing when he was sixty-nine year young! Everything is possible, only Lady Muse knows it well.
I just remember a funny yet timid incident that happened to me when I was just a teenager. With no instructor to train me to swim and with all my friends swimming before me with aplomb, I could not have deferred my scheme of learning the feat any longer. So one day I started. To learn swimming is to jump into the pool--and what else could have I done? So I jumped into the pond. Swimming is not just moving hands and legs with splash of water around; it has some tricks, which I'm not sure if I've really mastered so far. Anyway, that very first day of my swimming I could somehow splash ahead until I reached the midway. Now my guts failed me; I couldn't be sure of my ability to swim the rest half. And what did I do, then?
I just returned to the spot where I started, for covering the rest half of the distance was not possible!
In life I have more projects started and left halfway than those I have been able to complete. Let me enumerate where I stand today:
1. I've bought books but not read them. The prominent ones pending in my shelf are--Midnight's Children and The moor's Last Sigh, both by Rushdie; Sea of Poppies by Amitabh Ghosh; City of Djinns and White Mughals, both by William Dalrymple. Besides many complimentary copies of books have been received from authors, mostly in Hindi. Oh yes, these days I'm also into Hindi.
2. My book "The Roadshow" has now altogether twenty-two stories and I want to make it a book of twenty-five. Only recently I wrote the eponymous story "The Roadshow". I don't know when that project would be over to enable me pestering the publishers for some honourable terms or for going the self-publishing way--oh, it has been my way so far.
3. After the success of "Virasat" (allow me to say that, please), I thought the best way to celebrate it is to write another one. And I'm into it too. I'm almost halfway through after finishing the fifteenth story of the opus. I don't know if it would be again a swimming experience of my childhood.
4. Well, the list could be really long…including my morning walk routine that has so many faltering restarts!
I've literary ambition. And I'm willing to work for it…even cutting down my sleeping and outing time. I've almost curtailed my socialization routines to the minimum. I don't bother about those occasional quibbles my body registers at my brain, say a pain in tummy or an hour of giddiness.
Despite all these, I don't know if it would make a repetition of that same childhood swimming experience. In fact I dread the incident even to this day.
A. N. Nanda
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