My dearest French friend C, has been goading me to take to writing a diary. Well, not in the sense of emotional rambling, daily chores types, but putting together 25 years of experience, different interactions in my professional and personal life. I was reluctant initially, coz I can be scandalous, I’ve very strong view. read my blog for evidence and most of all i’ve lived on my own terms. Now i will enlist many reasons why i strongly believe i can write a diary better than a book.
I do believe introspection is necessary, do it but think it is also pathological if we write. Then again i’m very concerned about the misuse of one’s diary, i often equate writing diaries with depressed, suicides, having covered crime for over 20 years. I’d rather flush it out that day than carry forward anything the next day that can haunt me or others. I’ve made it a compulsion to sleep over everything. and if one can sleep over any issue, then it wasn’t one of matter of life or death. And the whole idea of a diary is cope and sleep over a death.
So then we discussed writing a novel. Now for years friends have been telling me to write a book. I tighten up, my brain freezes, i can’t focus and i mentally feel i’ve been forcibly put on a roller coaster with my stomach ready to burst. I am the last to ever write a book. I don’t mind doing a book on photographs with stories of people, but NO writing a novel.
Firstly anyone and everyone across the world is writing a book. Now I don’t feel equipped and qualified to write one. I live on fiction, mainly thrillers and crime, espionage and cold blooded murders. I DESPISE ghostly, scary types, I admit I can’t sleep at night. And more so I draw up a list every night for those I wished to be dead, so I dream they are killed in them. That list i would rather see unfold than feel some nocturnal spirit hover around me. In real life I love peace and hate violence, I’m dead serious.
Now more important than all this is I do NOT have a thought process and skills to write fiction. many speak of discipline too..not interested.. and many ofcourse say words just come flying out of their head, ohk. No such sort happens to me nor do i crave to experience it, My life and experiences are to do with real life issues, too much of harsh realities and I’m sorry I refuse to write them in form of fiction. I tried hard. I was told of a fantastic love story that unfolded on the night of 26/11, a couple that lived through that night in the Oberoi. The lady’s first male cousin told me about it, a prominent doctor family. I tried to write in fiction, but i can’t fantasize. How could i? Dammit I was focusing on the blood bath, terror strikes and I could not imagine any love and romance in it. i was there present for those nights and days, i directed my childhood friend and his wife to the officials to enquire about his sis and brother in law who he found lying dead in blood. That couple also need a break having witnessed so much violence in one night, that can last a life time.
So, after lots of bouncing off of ideas we conceptualized a form of diary writing. I begin with that day’s incident and link to the previous such in my personal or professional life. In this manner, my work gets recorded, references to the past, historic information too is recorded. So today there will be 2 entries. 1st the introduction as to why my blog looks naked, with no picture Where I can give a pictorial reference I will, else bare body text. I love pictures, cartoons, videos. I get bored of only text, may be this the dominant reason for me to not write fiction.
Now being the political season, with State elections in Bombay and Maharashtra on October 15, I will begin with some of these current issues with connections to the previous elections I’ve covered. I often feel I was a dog or predator in the last birth. I rely immensely on my sense and mainly the olfactory senses. Tis has helped me greatly in covering news. I could smell something will become news. Firstly, it is a gut feel, other is of course the professional drill. But I believe one needs to be born with a news sense, even if you try to develop it, it is not the same as being born with it. So strangers and general public can get pissed off with journalists who get excited in the most tragic, extreme incidents. There are stories in it. But you will get pissed off if I said I get uneasy in most peaceful times, when nothing is happening in the society and there is an eerie peace. My antennae go up, I smell some trouble and experience has not proven me wrong.
One sees a pattern in things, in events and situations. Being a journalist and covering news all these years teaches you a lot. We are like hungry wolves and I find it difficult to believe we lead normal lives. Many things we couldn’t report and still many we can’t reveal. I’m not sure I can tell a lot in this diary, because somebody may read, make a reference to it and then misconstrue. I’ve been privy to few things and then one wonders whether these secrets will go with me.. What I can remember and reveal I will tell as the diary travels through the decades.