DID YOUR NANONOVEL MAKE YOU CRY?
I cry easily.
No, not the whingeing and the whining, victim-type of crying. And certainly not when things don’t go my way. More often than not I would rather tackle that ‘with a blow in the teeth of a wrong’ than cry.
I cry when I hear the National Anthem being played in the cinema hall before the movie begins and I am glad for the darkness that hides the surreptitious tear that slides down my cheek.
I cry (in a nice way) when I read a Mitch Albom. (It’s truly an emotional hazard to read Albom’s books in public).
I cry when I read soul-touching poetry written by my favourite poets.
Hachiko and Happy feet had me bawling (silently) while Taare Zameen Par had me bawling (continuously and loudly) for many days after.
And I am sure if I were to eat Bhut Jolokia, gallons of drinking water would not be able to stop the teary deluge.
And then one day, I cried while writing.
Having reached a dead-end in my nano novel, 3 years ago, I did what all wrimos do when the word count is at stake, I started rambling. Suddenly I found my Second Lead Male Character at the doctor’s.
Rohit (my SLMC) was a 30-year old dynamic go-getter who had been stationed abroad to set up his company’s office. His young wife, wanting to pursue her career, had decided to stay back. They had been brave about this separation but in a few months they realised they hated living apart. One of them would compromise (a toss of the coin would decide that).
Rohit had come down for a visit to tie up loose ends. The young couple was on top of the world and had stars in their eyes and love in their hearts as they discussed things all lovers and newly-weds do, about their love, their lives and starting their family.
A nagging dull ache in his left arm and his young wife’s persistence had forced Rohit to visit the doctor. A routine check-up really, Rohit and I thought. “This portion has to go when editing” was the thought even as I continued writing.
There were many patients that day and it was almost two hours later that the receptionist ushered them into the doctor’s consulting room. Rohit had been feeling a bit queasy even as he waited for his turn and as he now sat down in the chair he started coughing. In the middle of the coughing bout, Rohit collapsed, hit his head on the edge of the table and then he was still. His wife screamed and the doctor, caught unawares, tried to resuscitate him and finally called for the ambulance to take him to the hospital.
“Stop, stop, this can’t be happening to them, such a sweet couple with such a bright future.” Silently I screamed but my fingers refused to stop writing.
“Sorry, we have to declare him DOA- Dead on Arrival,” Nilima, his young wife fainted on hearing these words, such hateful words. As the writer I wanted to delete these words, this couple deserved to see their bright future, the way they had been envisioning for days and months.
The words on the screen were blurred, my cheeks were wet but my fingers refused to stop writing. (No wonder writers prefer to write in solitude). Yes, I did continue writing till I had placed Nilima in the loving hands of the Female Main Lead.
And it took an extra hour at the gym to shake off the dismal mood and get the endorphins flowing.
Have you ever had such an experience while writing? Did you ever get overcome by emotion (sad, happy, jubilant…) while writing a scene?