4 years and counting…

“In Other Words”…

Hello my readers,
I was reading ‘In other words’ by Jhumpa Lahiri, one of my favourite writers. I wish I could read it in Italian but I read the english translation and the feeling was indescribable! At many places, it felt as if I was reading my own diary! There is no question of comparision as she is a great writer and I am not even a published writer; the amount and the scale of work is worlds apart. What I want to convey is ‘Antar-yatra’, the inner Journey of a writer. I try to write in English and I am not even a native speaker! And Hindi is the language with which I grew up because of my mom, who not only introduced me to many great writers in the language but also encouraged me to explore more and more. She had a great collection of Hindi literature and she even subscribed to a famous magazine (Dharm Yug)at that time for us. Finally Gujarati, my mother tongue, which I read solely during my school days. Most of my early poems(published and unpublished on this blog) are written in Gujarati.
At the time when I started writing this blog, due to my profession I was continuously conversing in all three languages simultaneously and inside I was feeling insecure of losing my voice, my own language. When I had just started, I could’nt write even a single sentence in one pure language, struggling for the appropriate words, perfect words. More often than not, I left many poems or stories half written or avoided writing. I thought I would never be able to write with the fluency I had acquired in Gujarati language, earlier. Though Jhumpa Lahiri started writing consciously and courageously in Italian language, for me it was a struggle to find which language to call mine.
So, not clear about the choice of language;I continued to publish my work and share others’ works in whichever language my thoughts would form up at that point of time. May be if I could have stuck to only one language, I would have made some progress, measurable by number of publication or being known as a writer of that particular language, I don’t know for sure!
Do I regret now? No. It has been a great journey and still it is. What I discovered along the way is a layered personality or may be three or more personalities that I am. Thinking and expressing in different languages differently, even when I translate my own work I cannot use the literal meaning words, I go by my instinct and the words grow within me, they evolve and come out in a language they have chosen to be born.
One more realisation I had during these years; it is not important to be sensational, dramatic, spectacular or shocking in presenting your literary work. What touches your heart, penetrates you deeply is more subtle, day to day simple revelations that life has to make, your daily triumphs and heartbreaks, moments of solitude and loneliness, a sudden flow of joy or may be a sense of failure. What we live, breath, eat, sleep, cry, laugh becomes a great poetry.

Thanks for being there in my journey,…keep flying with me.
Nehal.