This is not the name of a course or a reading in a course offered by the School of Literary or Cultural Studies. This is more of a testimony of my Writing. I would not be talking about the birth of Writing in a socio-historical or a so-called ‘anthropological’ sense of the term. I’ll be talking about it in my own personal capacity and how Writing was born to me or how the Birth of Writing happened to me. As many of you might already know, I have been writing in this space for the last five years now! I have grown a lot, learned a lot and most importantly, unlearned a lot. It has been a life-altering experience and I will never ever do anything thing differently if given the chance. Here, therefore, I would like to talk about my transactions with Writing and how it came to define me.
When I read about the origin of creativity, all I read about, mostly, are words of divine inspiration or some out worldly experience being the genesis. But for me, I’d say, the beginnings were not so rosy at all.
I met Writing as result of an act of Violence! Yes, an act of Violence.
I’m very conscious as to the connotations of that word. I remember being a school student, extremely excited to get my words out in the public domain after realizing that I could write a word or two. I had already seen my friends write regularly in the hallowed pages of the school magazine. I remember my mother requesting me to put out something but I did not really care. I believe that there is a point of time in life when maybe we’re all supposed to meet each other; even the qualities meet you at one point of time. I met Writing, one could say, when it was probably too late! I was lost in the talent hunt fiascos of high school. The gyrating opera of ‘Exposure’ as an illusory cover for unpaid labour was starting to unfurl in its naked glory in front of my eyes. I thought I would never be able to create a niche of my own in this dark comedy.
Then it happened!
A glorious opportunity seemed to tumble down and stop right in front of my feet like a no contact delivery from Amazon. It felt like a godsend. It felt like a miracle. My fault? I was not really aware of the politics that Writing entailed. I remember sharing my first write up with some close people even before submitting. That was my mistake!
I thought Writing was meant to be shared. Now I know it is meant to be owned.
The fruits of my labor got rejected (As I naively mentioned that I had made others read. Plagiarism, however, is a monster I met much later.) Much later did I understand the deep waters I was engaging myself in. It didn’t feel as if my writing was rejected; it felt as if someone rejected me. Seldom have I cried as hard as I did that day. It kick-started a brew. A fire rising from the deep fissures in the nethers of my heart. And one day the brew got too hot to handle. The day was 26th August, 2015. Five years ago.
Since then, I have always tried to write my heart out and think aloud as much as I can. And No! writing in a journal does not have the same lure to me as writing in a public space does. For some people, writing is a very personal act. For me, it is public. I write because I want to make myself heard/read. Just like an artist who paints for others to see. I think of the online space as a kind of an e-c(h)osystem which enables more people to read and also a place where a text can easily morph and meander its way to find and cling onto myriad arbitrary symbols. And then, when it will walk back to you, though they are your words, you might never be able to recognise it.
Thus, thepenarchist was born. Not out of love, but out of anger and a desire to make a ‘mark’. To cause anarchy with the ‘pen’, when the ‘pen’ was not even there. The pen is the hand. It is very interesting you know, using the word ‘mark’ in the context of a virtual space. It would have been understandable had I used it for writing in a peace of paper as it would have literally left a mark on the pages following it. Metaphorically however I feel, the internet to be an infinitely e-lastic (and not plastic) place which will keep increasing no matter how much someone drags it by the ends. This e-lastic place also leaves a mark, a digital mark for that matter, not only on the next page of your notebook, but on the whole tabula rasa called the internet, where it is universally ephemeral and ephemerally universal at the same time. A beautiful paradox. It all began as ‘roywritesblog’, but I believe ‘thepenarchist’ was there all along. It was me who found thepenarchist a little bit later, or perhaps it waited for me. The existence of thepenarchist was forged in fire and it must keep burning in order to sustain itself. If that is what is needed for Writing to live. So be it.