I have always been a daydreamer. Right from my childhood, I have lived in my comics and fiction. I still remember when I came back from school and mom had to sleep in the afternoon, I would build stories lying in the bed. I was not allowed to make noise or play outside because of the heat.
I use to devour “Hardy Boys”, Enid Blyton’s fantasies and then dream about them. I never found the elfs and goblins, Enid Blyton wrote about. But my imagination would run wild and I would imagine the rich British countryside. Of course, Mumbai never had countryside but it really had some good places where we use to play our fort fights and chor(thieves) police. Now the place where we use to keep the chors (Thieves) is a big township.
I had read almost all the books written by Enid Blyton in our school library, yes even the Noody ones. Then there were the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew too. I could not get enough of them. We use to exchange the library book once a week. I would read the whole book at the same day and then the rest of the week would be spent re-reading and re-re-reading the book this time savoring the whole book slowly.
Then there were the Indrajal comics, Chandamama, Chandoba, Tinkle comics and Champak. I never got to read Diamond comics much. They didn’t appeal to me that much. Every night I use to sleep reading one of those story books and when I did not have anything to read, I would read my English, Marathi and Hindi text books. I would be fascinated by fiction.
Then I read Enid Blyton book about 5-7 school children and I guess it was called Secret Seven and then I was impressed. So, at the age of maybe 10-12, I wrote my first novel. It was called “Triple Three and the secret of the fort or something”. It was a hundred pages book with the best of my handwriting. I ended the story abruptly because the pages in the notebook were getting over. I still have the notebook somewhere in my drawer. It was one of the most stupid and the most pathetic book I had ever read. It was a story of three boys who go on their vacation to a village where there is a haunted fort and something like that. Heavily inspired from Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, Famous Five and Hardy Boys novel. The three people in the novel were because in those times, I had two best friends and we use to hang out together. So, it was also inspired from real life, actually based on real life in terms of friends. The three friends in the book did everything that we three never did in our boring life. Now when I read the first page of the book starting with “Triple Three”, it sounds like a porno book.
Years later I switched to Sydney Sheldon, John Grissam and Frederick Forsyth but never moving beyond thrillers, mysteries, fictions and paperbacks. I did not attempt writing for a long time but day-dreams I did. While in colleges, attending boring lectures, I dreamt of stories. This helped me to two ways, one it kept me awake and two, it gave a false impression to the teacher that I was listening. Only once I got caught when I was smiling at my own story in my head, when the teacher caught me smiling. I had to stand outside the class because I could not explain what was so funny to smile about. I learnt a valuable lesson that day, never to smile while day-dreaming.
Years later, in October 2003, I stumbled into bloging. I wrote my first post then. The next post came months later, then the next came months later. It was not until I came to Amsterdam, that I started bloging regularly. More of it was my experiences in Amsterdam and most of it was my memories in India. Another reason was that I had a lot of time in my hands and the voices in my mind were more vocal now. Bloging was restricted to non-fiction until I wrote my first so-called fictional story on June 2005. It was an imaginary account of a person I knew who had retired.
I choose to write the story as simple as possible without using many unpronounceable English words that you need to have the dictionary to find the meaning. After that story, there have been many more. Most of them have been inspired or based on true incidents. I prefer to call my stories, incidents rather than stories. I cannot play with words neither can I make it dramatic, though I try hard. I have also tried to keep them short but could never do it. Once I start writing they turn out to be bigger then expected. It may be due to the fact, that I watch a lot of movies. So when I think of a story, it mostly plays into my head like a movie with the complete sets and dialog. What comes out may not be even close to what I have imagined but that makes my stories very big. I cannot even claim that these stories would be original. But I guess these are what they were supposed to be, just stories.
Then there are stories which got lost, remained incomplete and well, just lose steam. I don’t know how writers write because I am not one, but for me, stories have always been like ideas to a scientist. A moment, a word, a sentence and your mind starts playing games. You keep your eyes open but there is a big 16 mm screen playing the big movie in your mind just the way you want it. You are talking to people, but the characters in your mind are saying what you want them to say. If you sit and write those thoughts, then the story captures the mood with which you had started writing. If you don’t, then what comes afterward if like a movie you saw two years ago and trying to recollect what you saw and then remembering the scene in them, not quite like it. These are the stories which remain hanging in there when one day you find them sitting somewhere and you think “Why was I writing this stuff?”
So, even though with my non-existent grammatical knowledge, I try to write and weave tales. People, who read it like it, some don’t. But I continue to write because there are voices in my head, who refuse to shut up. I don’t know how long I can do this but yes till those voices stop, I am going to write this crap out.