Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Footnotes in my head

3:00 a.m. trip to the loo:

I am fleshing a storyline in my head: must rope in that guy who shot those owlets at Nanmangalam, use local transport for flavour, get an illustration done of the travel route.

Come on, the dots illustration must move. It cannot stand there. I am wide awake now. Wait, is it a news story or a travel docu? Am I a film-maker or a writer?

Let me begin properly:

This is me. I edit news stories from about 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., sometimes 5 a.m. I used to make documentaries with my friends in the remaining hours. I used to do a 100 things in 10 mins and I used to be fine.

I asked my dad many times a day: "I want to quit and work with my friends." He screamed: "you are mad, you are a writer, do one thing.... steady job, respectable, respectable."

My dad never screams. He is a soft-spoken professor and always sweet. I must be wrong.

I did the graveyard shift for my friends. They adjusted. I love them. Sometimes we were happy, sometimes sad, mostly poor. But, oh, what fun we had.

But last year, at one point, when I could no longer answer questions of how I could manage to do this forever AND make money. I decided it was time to let go.

I must find people who are commercial for Stick. I must write in permanent black. Films are too expensive. Not for a middle-class daughter. And I must get an LIC policy.

I looked at that report but did not cut it for reference. I saw that festival announcement but did not jump. Those mails, those lists, those people... I painfully closed my eyes. I waved luck to Stick at the airport and it felt oh-so-sick.

I tried quants. I went shopping. I did family bonding. And I told myself "respectable, respectable." I had all the time to jog but I slept. My head felt rusty. Like the bhindis in the fridge, wet and stinky.

Maggie, Stick and I met sometimes. For doing books, for closing accounts. I could never do a sum to save my life but it felt like sunshine.

On a whim, months hence, we applied to a fellowship. It had history. The skies rained. My grey cells beamed. Colleagues loved me again, for I found my head.

In the long days since, for wait is habit to docuwallahs, I have tried many times. To write 8 coloumns of news print. I know I can wring it. It is in me.

But the thought of some tv journo making my a tale a 10 mins feature makes me growl. From the pit of my stomach. If it goes on air, it has my name on it buddy.

I can pop a pill for my head and hit the bed. But I have miles to go. I must become a serious birder. I must read so many books. I have to write so much, I have to learn that damn camera, I have to, I have to, do-oh-so-much....

When dad asks this time: "who are you? a writer or a film-maker?" I will say: "there was no contradiction in the first place. I write for films."

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