wibiya widget

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hometown for immigrants

I have had this blog for over a decade now.

This place has probably been the reason that led me to become a writer in the first place. Did I start writing seriously for the first time in this blog? Maybe not. But I have written and lived my life through words. And a lot of them are inscribed upon this blog. 

I do not honestly remember what made me take up writing on this blog. This was not my first blog (and perhaps won't be the last). But it has always been a trusty friend, every time I have wanted to come back to it. The last time I returned to the blog was nearly a year ago. It was with the promise to write more, write stories and tales. But it never happened. 

I feel that I harbour the notion that a lot of writers have, across the globe - that I am not really a writer. I haven't written as much as I should have. Or would be willing to. The ideas and words have come in spurts and short bursts, but never like a steady, flowing stream. When it did, I managed to churn out a short story. And in the offhand case, even a novel. While it is not a published piece of work, I am moderately proud of it. Purely because it saw completion. Completion comes rare to me, unless and until I drag myself over the finish line. 

I strongly feel that every single time I have tried to pressure myself or promised myself to get back to writing in earnest, I have failed. So this time around, I shall avoid it and simply see if I can do this. 

I haven't written a story in months. And the fact has been nagging at me. I look for remedies in reading, endless errands that I manage to run, just to avoid writing. And I  do not believe that there is a lack of inspiration. Or ideas for that matter. I often find it difficult to take things to a fruitful closure. And this (probably) is a reflection of my life as well. Sticking to a line of action has always been troublesome for me. Validation or looking for it, has also been something that has often driven me to do certain things, and even led to achievements. I remember how, when I finally started to get some traction on this blog, I realized that there was more that could be done. I could write stories. Move people with what they were reading. And I kept doing it for a long time, years even. A whole selection of my writings from this blog would become 'Cold Feet' - my first work in print, published by an Indy press that would shut shop in the future. And after Cold Feet would come 'Revenge', a novella that would be created within a week of writing while being at work in Hindustan Times. The short stories would continue being created, one at a time, in short spurts of creativity. One of them would find space in a UK Anthology of Horror Stories. Two others would find a place of pride in two Indian anthologies. One carelessly doodled comic strip would also end up being featured in a short comic by Amar Chitra Katha. Even this would shut shop in a few editions time. The fate of magazines, publishing houses, or much rather, anything associated with the written word seems to be imminent death. And that is a depressing thought. 

Which makes one wonder. Isn't all of Everything headed the same way? A world that will eventually collapse on itself sometime in the future?

When I started writing this post, I was mulling over how people move from small towns to bigger cities and capitals for higher studies or to find jobs. I am a part of the same bandwagon. When I moved to Delhi in 2003, I was a small town boy at heart. Fifteen years later, I am still the same. The wonders of a big city never cease to amaze me. I still walk around, open-mouthed, if I end up going into a plush building at Cyber Hub or walk through the high-sheen corridors of a DLF Emporio, the air heavy with exotic scents. But that is not what I wanted to talk about.

When I return to my hometown once in a while, I look around, trying to connect back to places that I grew up in. The alleys (where I went shopping), my school (doesn't look as big anymore) and endless other places. But there is a strong sense of time being stagnant. I have seen flyovers and buildings crop up around me in Delhi over the years. The city has been evolving over time and it is easy to spot. When I go back home, it seems little has changed. But, this is not true. There are multiplexes there and big malls, just like in Delhi. The consumerist beast has spread its jaws far and wide. Perhaps, there is some secret circuitry that refuses to let me see the change that has happened in my city. It still feels the same. Or maybe that's how it will always feel. A city, built on the foundation of my memories of it.

Which is what this blog feels like to me. It is like the hometown for immigrants, a place where you come back years later and feel that nothing has changed. But things have. Almost all the blogs I followed back then have shut down. Blogspot isn't what it was anymore. Hell, I don't even know if blogging is the same anymore.

But, hey. I can still blog. In this place which feels like home.

But will this turn into something that has a pattern, a form? Something I can hope and bank my writing career upon? I do not know. And like everything else, I am worried about leaving this garble of thoughts and ideas incomplete once again. I started writing this yesterday and couldn't finish it, so it definitely needs to be completed. Baby steps. This is like flexing of muscles or the time I tried to take up running. Maybe my writing muscle will grow over time. It is critical that I put a Finis at the end of this. So I will pretend that this is an end and stop right here. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A new beginning

A writer, during his lifetime, shall have many ends.

Each end will spell the culmination of a chapter in his life - an affliction, a period of happiness, the short sojourn of a love well spent. Each of these will leave small marks, dimples on a moon face, scarring it, disfiguring it for a lifetime. Each will tell their own remarkable tale of love, hate, angst, loneliness, boredom, intrigue, jealousy or plain heartbreak. But all of them would add up, fishes of a school, to become the same moon face that would be looked at and be wondered at by everyone gazing at it. How lovely is that moon that casts its light upon our vast, desolate lands! How, in spite of the marks upon your skin, you continue to be a beacon of beauty for bards to quote and poets to write of.  How corrupted yet fulfilling. How marked, yet virginal.

The writer shall rise from each end, borne upon the shoulders of his unfinished narratives and decaying, half-baked characters, a looming presence upon the horizon. He shall land upon the empty shores of white prose, and sow the seeds of new narratives. Marking plot after plot with his mighty pen, he shall continue demarcating small pastures for growing different tales. He shall then proceed to water it with the blood of creativity, the sweat of his diminishing wit and the tears of his failed attempts at literary glory.

And you, the reader shall be witness, yet again. The witness to this new beginning. A fresh sprout, the tender sapling of a newly forming story. A tale so tasty, so magical in imaginings that it shall make your flesh goose-up like a freshly dried-up lake bed.

Prepare, for the spring of stories is about to begin. Scribblers Inc is back.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A tale of tales

Let me tell you a story, for two reasons. The first is that time is running out and clearly, time is always of the essence. The second is, it’s the only thing I can do, with any sort of passable merit. So let me get on with it.
There once lived a small boy in a city. The boy still lives but he is no longer a boy. He is a man now, and he attends to manly duties as they might come to one, with time. But once, he was a boy and he had dreams. These dreams were passed on to him through books; rows and rows upon them, all arranged neatly like the prayer lines during his morning assembly. And all he learnt from them, as time passed, was to have a wish; a wish to write the words and worlds that were written in them. Like the words that flowed out of those books, down through his mind like so many quiet gurgling rivers, he wanted his name attached to them. He wanted his own stories to flow out of his nib and make hundreds of mouths around the world turn into little ‘o’s in wonder. Was he able to do it? You bet he was. But the 'o's on peoples faces continued to elude him. 

So he struggled in school to tell his tales. He scribbled them on answer sheets. He penned them down in numerous exercise books. On a few occasions, he even tried to pass them on in the maths paper. But like butter on butterpaper on a hot summer day, it didn’t stick. But the boy did not want to give up so easily. His parents mounted pressure on him. ‘Be a doctor’, ‘be an engineer’, they said. They brought down young lads, their late adolescent pimples still showing, engineers who had just started out and fledgling doctors who would be practicing in a few years’ time. But that little boy stood his ground, an oak that refused to be bowed down by winds.

Time passed on. And it let its rot set in the boy’s dreams. It decayed and turned, bits of it quietly slipping away. But one thing remained; a little gift that the books had given him. It was his sense of wonder, one that led him down the road towards an unending thirst for knowledge. It carved out the job of a copywriter for him…one that let him earn his daily bread and not let his spark of creativity die. That boy (nay, a man now!) still often seeks a quiet moment off his work. He uncaps his pen carefully and crafts his tales for anyone who cares to hear. He still dreams that withered dream of pursuing the Creative Writing Programme at UEA in the UK and set out to complete the dream that the little boy had dreamed so long ago. And someday, by jove, he will.

This story, as you might have guessed, is mine. When I read about this contest, I almost wished that the top prize would be a scholarship to a Master’s Programme in Creative Writing in the UK. Not getting rewards have never stopped the writer in me. I saw this as a chance of telling a story that I have never had the courage to put down in words. I do not know if what I have written here will ever come true. However, I do know, that this contest has made me pick up the proverbial pen yet again and put down my thoughts into words. I has made me start spinning my yarns and interweave them into a tapestry of lore. And for that, I am thankful.
Stories, in their purest meaning, stand for something which is not based in facts. By that argument, this is a story and not one at the same time. That little boy is still waiting out there, to create his own shelves filled with books carrying his words. And as I write this, he is smiling. 

(Written for the #knowledgeisgreat contest. Learn more about it at knowledgeisgreat.in)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thinkshop - the future of buying

Technology is changing as we speak, and so are all our experiences associated with it. Fiction is turning to design, to technology, to reality everyday. With better gadgets, better cars, better technology, the number of steps that lead us to buy something is getting smaller and smaller.
Shopping started from shops, graduated to malls and finally, post-graduated to online shopping. Current online shopping experiences like E-Bay give you everything that you could possibly need out of a store and often, more. You can browse through the entire catalog of products without leaving the comfort of your chair and even order it from there! One would like to believe that this is the pinnacle of shopping experiences that one can achieve. However, when I think about how shopping would be in the future, I see a very 'human' trend that would eventually be driving technology by the time we reach 2030; instinct.

Here's a glimpse of a 'possible' future.

Its the 11th of September, 2030. Your intelliclock, synced to your bio-cycle informs the body that it is 7 o'clock in the morning and time to wake up. The next three hours are spent doing the daily chores that SMARTHUMAN(SH) has programmed for you. You do not have office today. What will you do? Do you think? Not really. SH tells you that its time to THINKSHOP. You agree, realizing that there was something that you needed to buy but can't recall what. Oh well, Thinkshop would surely be able to help you out with that!

You slowly go and sink into the comfortable couch and pull on the helmet. As soon as the grooves on it fit to the side of your ears, a familiar voice greets you: "Welcome back to Thinkshop- shop it before you think it!" Your face breaks into a smile and you sink into the extremely soothing music that you find yourself enjoying. A quick status bar saying 'stand by...identifying preferences' flashes for a while and then disappears. Your room starts breaking up into little particles, disappearing, melting, as a bright white light floods your vision. "People in the past used to think this was how life after death looked like" you laugh to yourself, while everything around you disappears, completely immersing you in a white wash of brilliant light...

"Hey! Haven't seen you in a while!" Angeline croons, dressed in short black skirt and a spotless white shirt. She is your 'VHelp' or virtual sales help who takes you through your shopping experience. She is designed according to your chosen avatar, right down to the color of her hair, but more on that later. Right now she is jumpy with excitement, her eyes twinkling with what she has in store for you.

"What is it? Did you..." you begin, but she cuts you off, her patience having worn thin.

"You won't believe what I found for you...it's the FITSHIRT you have been wanting for so long! It's in the exact shade you have been looking for too; a midnight blue, with a hint of turquoise and a whiff of mauve so subtle that you won't know it if I didn't tell you!" You think about it while the shirt appears in front of you. You realize that you never told her about it but its the exact shirt that you would buy if you were buying one. No wonder they call it thinkshop!

You smile and the shirt disappears. It has been billed already, detecting your 'smile value' as a confirmation. Before you know, a complimenting pair of trousers, a pair of custom sneakers, a holiday in Greece and tickets to the finals of IPL 2030 have also been booked, where the double teams of MadhyaGuj Pegasus are playing HyderaKol Gryphons.

You would have to learn to smile less.

As you think about ending the session, Angeline throws her trump card. "Leaving already?" she sings, her voice making imaginary butterflies fly right out of your stomach and through your ears. "I will make you an offer you can't refuse, pumpkin..." Everything blanks out; your newly bought clothes, shoes and everything else fades into the background. Then a little puddle of black starts forming, bubbling, expanding, little wisps of smoke rising from it.

"Oh no!" you cry out.

"Oh yes, my sugarlove" Angeline whispers, her honey voice landing softly in your ears.

The pool has become several feet wide. A red bump appears in the middle and then grows bigger. It continues to grow. A shiny roof followed by crystal clear glass windows follow.

"Oh sweet virtual Jesus" you mumble.

 Standing in front of you is the Grand Elysium 3000, the car you have been eyeing for a while now. Its spectacular interiors and smooth body lines seem to be calling out to you. As your mind goes into a tizzy, the autostart activates and the car roars to life. It rolls slowly, a hunter stalking its prey, and slides to a stop in front of you, it's door opening invitingly.

"I can't buy this now. It's too expensive. I don't have this sort of money!" you speak, almost pleading to Angeline. She continues to smile.

"Yes you can. Your annual bonus just got credited. You haven't done too bad it seems" she says, her smile lighting up the highway of your heart. You smile back and the car disappears. You realize a moment later, but she is already swishing back into the whiteness with a "see you later honey". The familiar 'we loved having you here! You think...you shop!" dies down as your room comes back into focus. You take off the helmet, uttering a happy sigh of consumer satisfaction. Yet, you feel like you needed something that you didn't buy. What was it? What didn't Thinkshop tell you this time?

"Toothpaste!" you scream to yourself, as the birds outside your window continue to chirp and your aerofone lights up with 'Shopper journey terminated. Thank you for shopping at Thinkshop! Visit us soon!'

(written for 'the future of shopping' contest at Indiblogger. Learn more about it here: bit.ly/eBayCheck_Extention )


Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Launch

It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce the grand opening of my new headquarters www.mithunmukherjee.in!! Time to flock over there folks! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quick Update!

Hiya folks!!

Will be at IIT Delhi on 24th September (TODAY!!) at 3.30 pm for the book launch of Seven Deadly Sins by Serene Woods publication, a compilation of winning short stories judged by me. My books Revenge and Cold Feet would also be up for sale as well. Be there for your signed copies! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


Am I a writer?

Is a writer like one of the thousand scattered, among the sea dream that we pass off as the sky?

As the cosmos, or the milky way?
What defines you?

What combines you,

As a human being or a multi celled organism

Trying to be what you probably wouldn’t even be

In your waking lives?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...