What does it take?

Kathmandu | Sunday, June 2, 2013

|By Rajesh Chaudhary

It has been more than 10 years now since these newspaper writing, articles, blogs, novels and whatever sort of writing materials has engrossed me to my fullest. I have just somehow found myself to be submerged in this fascinating world of literature. In this course of voyage through this fascinating world, I have learnt some of the things which is crucial for becoming a writer – at least a simple blog writer or diary writer, if not a dexterous novel writer.

As I have mentioned in one of my blogs about fear, it is our fear that is being a kind of impediment for what we long for. It is an apprehension to open yourself to the public and it is quite understandable. Whether you have to present your paper in an international conference or you have to be a moderator in some international meeting where participants are from different backgrounds. Being public is not a cakewalk, but this fear also brings fortune along with it in case if you are able to overcome it.

Fear has gagged us so overwhelmingly that it is very difficult to unfetter yourself from its grip. For me breaking this sense of apprehension has not been easier either – it took my money, my time, and even my demeanor to accomplish what I wanted so desperately. But, after all it is my desperation which gave me company to overcome it.

For a newbie like me it was a benediction to be born in a country where written and printed English materials can be bought at the cheapest price compared to the rest part of the world; not to mention, though there might be some exceptions. Ten years ago when I started my own home-grown learning library for English literature, it was just merely NRS (Nepalese Rupees) 2, for a copy of national daily newspaper. Classic novels and story books from “Wordsworth Classic” use to cost hardly NRS 100. I still have my first “Wordsworth Classic” by O. Henry containing 100 best stories which I finished in 20 days, 2006 democratic movement of Nepal.

One of my friends had ever commented on my way of reading novels with a dictionary by my side. He said, “You are killing the charm of reading novel by your dictionary by your side”. And, I can’t discount that he was wrong. Yeah, people should be reading novels in park, during traveling, on airport while they are on transit to kill time, while they are on vacation on sea beach or during trekking, but at least not on the study table with table lamp on. But, again, that is how you are going to learn language, literature and be able to comprehend the theme and meaning of the real matter – specially when English is not your first language, and there is no shame in doing that. After all, no body is “Mr. Know All” right from the beginning of their birth.

But, these days it is much easier to find contents online on internet. You don’t have struggle to find books, newspaper articles and stories by visiting libraries. I think, internet is the best possible way these days to hone your skills online – you just need to grid yourself to internet and there you go.

So, basically, there are just few steps you have to follow: overcome your fear, subdue your ego, grid yourself to internet, and express whatever you feel, learn doesn’t matter how crude it appears in the beginning – after all, that is how you are going to learn. Take my words: “If you don’t express, you will never learn!!”


Inside writer’s mind: a delve approach

After a long pause in my regular blog writing routine, I thought its time to make a come back and put something to my followers, which is for the reason that I do  not want to lose them for nothing. If I am not wrong, it has been more than a month after which this is my first blog – which has been one of my longest hiatus in my regular blog writing routine.

For me, reading, writing and learning something new in English language and literature has been my passion since my childhood. But, today, this is not about me – it’s about you! – about those who are passionately into the world of writing and in most cases for those who want to turn their regular writing habit as their professional skill.

What I personally believe is that in all of us there is a potentiality of becoming a good writer or may be a full-time professional writer. The only thing we have to pin-point is to tickle those feelings which will hold us, guide us and push us sporadically in times when we are stuck with some intricate nuisances.

The biggest problem in common we have is that we are afraid of ourself  and once we can overcome it, we are gagged with another fear – a fear of the people – a sense of fear that, “The world will think me gawk” because they will be able to figure out my mistakes, my shortcomings —  sense of fear that, “People will start judging me after they will figure out my strength and weakness.” And, finally, as a result we end of confining ourself in our imagination – but, when the fact is that NO BODY CARES WHAT WE DO!

As I am writing this post, I know how many people are going to read it and how many of them will just stop even skimming with a vainglorious look on their face and a quick smirk. 

There just two ways by which we can overcome our fear; either thinking that you are alone in this planet and no body is looking at you, and another is, you are the only one – an image of mastery of this entire universe!

A couple of days ago I was reading an article from “New York Times” and the topic was “Zombie Nouns”  in editorial section. I was so fascinated by the way columnist had indicated and explained how a zombie noun affects our writing and how it tries to amalgamate things in a confounding manner that it becomes virtually impossible for the reader to extract the idea – in fact, the writing was meant to emphasis how we can make our writing better.

In a similar incidence, I have just come across an article in “Nature News” which talked about, “Why writers should not get scared of jargons?”.  More specifically, in scientific writing there are jargons being incorporated and inserted even deliberately to make readers even more curious when they will not be able to extract the exact meaning what the author wants to convey. Though, jargons are not allowed to be included in scientific writing which is fettered with stern set of rules which extract all juice out of it leaving the readers with little or no option rather than pushing themselves to read it and enjoy with it even when they are not willing to.

Basically, the gist of all these writings, articles, opinions are the same – do what you want to do, write the way you want to write. After all, you can’t become a good writer without reading a lot and without making a lots of mistakes, errors.

Every great idea starts with a scratch!  So, make your own scratch your weapon and your strength!




Investigation? Seriously?!

I am about to finish a book called “The Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell”. A book being written by the lone survivor of SEAL TEAM of US task force deployed in Afghanistan. The story is about the team of 4 soldiers that includes all those who had been in their task within Afghanistan for more then three times. I am very much fascinated by this book and the way Marcus has written, and I duly and truly respect him and for what he has done. I feel like he is one of those US SEAL who deserves true respect and the acknowledgement of valor for what he has done for his country, and how he and his family rose from the ashes and made his capable for that revered position and status.

US has done a great deal for thousands of people from all around the world. But truth to be told, no body does anything for anyone unless there is some ulterior motif hidden inside it which is in favor of yourself. The reason is: “Have you ever given a single penny to somebody – even a beggar who is in desperate need of food, habiliment or something else?  I guess not! Yeah, there might have been certain circumstances when you/I might have been moved by their pathetic condition, but that is just some rare situations which do not normally happen and it should not be counted.

I do not want to hurt the sentiments of our those American friends and families who have lost their sons, daughters, wives, brothers, fathers, sisters, fiancée in the tragic incidence of 9/11. Even rewinding and reminding those events time and again through any means is like being disrespectful to those family, hurting them every time and I am not here to do that, because I know the value and the feeling of losing someone.

I an not in favor or against of some particular group, people, ideology or set of believes or country. I do not have to do anything with these things. The only thing that irks me is: “Whether there is any difference between a developed nation, civilized society and the so-called uncivilized society?” I mean, how are we going to define those terms? On what basis? There has to have some basic level of differentiation or some extra-terrestrial kind of virtues, either logically or hypothetically which might help us to define those terms – civilized and uncivilized.

There have been piles of thousands of document being investigated in the Iraq war, mistreatment of prisoners in Guantanamo bay prison: prisoners eye pocked and blinded, sleep deprived, bored in chilling water, confined in isolation hell dark dungeon, sexually abused (you can guess how, and whether they have anything left with that thing specially) – and surprisingly the investigation is going on and on. Few of them died because of the harsh treatment in the prison and the rules which immunize the soldiers dealing with those guys. Its already been more than 10 years now, but still there are those thousands of documents which have not been finished being investigated, the badger elements  has not yet been held accountable, and they have not yet been prosecuted. We all know these things even though we do not have some valid solid reason or proof to prove this. And, now, I am sick of this term “ INVESTIGATION”.

Honestly, I am infuriated with the latest news about the US soldiers urinating on the deceased Taliban body. At first even I felt like this is just like some other news, but when I kept on hearing and the responses from all over the world, and I felt this is not really good in any sense, at least not morally. This is the high time to question ourself and start looking at the mirror. It’s the time to question ourself: “Where do we really stand?”, “Are we really civilized and moral?”, “How can we differentiate ourself from those who lacks those moral sense, vibes and virtues?” “Will we be able to bring back those we have lost by indulging in such mortifying activities?” If not then what’s the use of denigrating ourself being a part of it?!

Our governments investigates the issues, take months, years and more years and finally they come to a conclusion after 10 or 20-years that the decision they made earlier was a mistake – a BIG mistake, and now they want to induct someone who is the real culprit, one who is the real offender and who have been at large for more than 20 years or something. They find those guys, prosecute them and finally put them in the list of capital punishment for their heinous crime. I don’t understand the use of carrying out all these investigation and sentencing someone of 70 or 80 years old or near about who are already half dead and they are naturally on the death list.

Nothing makes any sense to me at this juncture. I think it’s the time to take it more seriously and we should not count on their another new excuse — “INVESTIGATION”.