The Writer in Me

Wednesdays are vaccumming days, which I always look forward to. I have never actually sat down and wondered though, before this particular Wednesday, as to why I love vaccumming as much as I do. I hate all manners and form of housework. Thankfully, I was raised in a family which didn't impose much of it on me by dint of me not owning the Y chromosome. But vaccumming is something I naturally graviated towards. The 'why' of it finally came to me today; while I hovered the vaccum over a particularly tough spot where a few chocolate cookies were brutally devoured by a five year old the previous night, leaving behind a gruesome crime-site.

 

I like the rage it holds, the power it comes with, I guess. A combination of which removes every last atom of dirt and debris (at least that is what my vaccum cleaner brand claims), by digging deep enough. Sometimes in order to understand things, that is how deeply and ferociously one needs to go after it. And once they have, it easy to purge all those unwanted elements and get things spotlessly clean. The metaphor isn't lost on the writer in me. Because isn't that what we do with our pens (or...errr...keyboard in my case)? Go after things - emotions, incidents, facts - that are as unsettling and unsightly as the chocolate cookie crumbs on my handwoven almond-beige carpet . And in that process of digging and sifting and purging, sometimes we find our stories. At least I do.

 

The hum of the vaccum rises as I switch modes, and in that noise comes the most calming and comforting thought. That this process is something I have acquired (or perhaps developed well) in the last two years of being a published writer. I now see (or at least try to) metaphors everywhere. In everything. Metaphors that lead me to the doors, behind which lie the stories and characters I seek. My love for vaccuming given my abhorence for housework is a metaphor of sorts too, if you will. Of me wanting to dig deep and forcefully enough into the matters, so as to churn what doesn't belong there rise up to the surface. I reckon that I do process a lot of my latent thoughts while I vaccum; almost like meditating to the sedative drone of the machine. I also saw a metaphor in a biscuit falling off into my cup of tea this morning, because I had dipped it for far too long - prolonged exposure to heat breaks off the hardest of us, doesn't it? Brewed that thought for a few hours, and out wafted the aroma of a story of a woman who has given her entire life for others, melting with the heat of all that pressure. But thankfully, one day, just before she is about to dissolve into nothing she pulls out, away from that heat. From the man raking dead leaves and fallen logs on the road under my balcony - which he would undoubtedly  use to build a fire on one of these cold winter nights - out comes a story of a man who takes in the world's so-called rejects and destitutes and gives them a new sense of purpose. And of course, in that one stubborn smudge on my well-vaccumed carpet is the mataphor for some hard and ugly realities of life, that are impossible to hide and hence one must learn to live with. Something like a story of an accomplished political leader who got so busy leading a country on a new path of development, that he didn't notice his own son being led astray by bad company? And now, for all his glory, he must learn to live with that failure too.

 

Being a writer is like wearing a new set of presciption glasses and discovering that your world has previously unseen details and dimensions. Or like in my case, seeing metaphors everywhere; little buds of green in the soil that can be watered into full grown tales. And being a published writer assigns a certain legitimacy, a sort of agency to it too I guess; because now there is an audience for you. It's an addiction I have shamelessly given into in the last two years. And it has been rewarding beyond my wildest imagination.

May the metpahors abound in the coming year too, and the stories they bring in their wake.

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