Monday, April 29, 2013

Writer's Block

She stared at the word file. Her slender fingers resting on the keyboard, she was willing herself to write . . . But, no thought, no idea, no words came to her . . . her mind was as blank as the document opened in front her. She stood up and walked towards the lone window in her one bedroom apartment. She stood by the window and glanced out. She loved the view, especially in the mornings. The kids would be laughing and stomping their way to school. The men would be driving off to work. The women would be seeing off their kids and husbands. The street dogs running around barking. The maids would be reporting for work. The newspapermen and the milkmen would be cycling around delivering their respective goods. Doorbells would be ringing, birds would be chirping. In the mornings, the street itself felt alive and pulsating with the cacophony of sounds. But, now, it was three in the afternoon and not the favorite time of the day for her. All was silent. It was a sleepy afternoon. She could see a huge Gulmohar tree in the veranda of the house right across the street from her. It was in full bloom and the ground below was littered with red flowers that had fallen from its branches. In the morning, the tree seemed to be dancing in the gentle breeze. But, now, the wind had stopped rustling the leaves. The birds had stopped chirping. A dog was lying lazily on the ground in the shade of the tree as if lifeless. The street looked and felt dead. She pictured all the housewives and the kids lying on their beds with the AC's on full blast taking their afternoon naps after consuming a hearty lunch. She looked up at her rusty creaking fan. She smiled sarcastically.
Such is life
She went back and sat in front of the laptop. Staring at the blank document filled her with anger.  
Why is this happening to me? Why can’t I write? Everyone is going on with their lives and I am just stuck. I need to write something . . . anything, but something.
She, once again, placed her fingers on the keypad. Once again, she was met with a wall . . . strong and indestructible. 
Maybe I need a break. 
She closed her eyes to rest for some time. In the descending darkness, she could see a murky path underneath her. She was walking on it looking around trying to make sense of where she was. In the distance she could make out a vague shape. As she inched closer, she realized it was a giant bookcase. A huge beautifully-carved wooden case filled with numerous books. She quickened her pace. She wanted to touch it, smell it, feel it. . .  she ached to run her fingers over the smoothly carved surface and caress the various engravings. She was getting closer. Her pulse quickened. She inhaled the scent of freshly carved dark wood, the intoxicating aroma of old books. She took a long breath so as to fill every pore of herself with the musty scent. She touched tentatively the carvings of flowers and butterflies engraved intricately on it . . . the wood felt cool as ice underneath her wandering fingers. She was close enough to realize that there was an empty space between the many books stacked neatly. There was space in this magnificent bookcase for one more book – hers. The idea made her giddy with excitement. She felt as if her heart would burst with happiness. She extended her hand to slide her book into place but her hands came up empty. She searched around frantically, but she had nothing with her. She noticed the bookcase had begun to recede in the background. She took a step towards it and the case slipped a little further behind. She realized with growing anxiety that it is moving farther and farther away from her. She shrieked, “NO!” and started running towards it but it continued to elude her until the darkness swallowed it whole.
She woke up with a start. She looked from side to side. She was all alone in her tiny room. Apart from the rhythmic creaking of the fan, all was quiet. She glanced at the open laptop in front of her. It stared back at her, mockingly.

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