Her fingers raced across the keys on her laptop. Even from the flickering reflection in the window of the bus, it was obvious that she was hard at work. Brows furrowed, deep in concentration, lips twisted in a way that showed that whatever was showing up on her screen was far from good news. After half an hour of pounding the keys and somehow balancing the laptop while the bus jerked along the puddle filled roads of Bombay, she gave up and gave in to the nagging headache that had been wrecking havoc for the past few days. Even packing away the laptop in its case seemed to require too much energy so she just let it sit in the seat next to her and stared moodily out of the window into the incessant rains outside. Monsoon was certainly at its peak and she was caught right in the middle of it. After a minute or so when her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she became aware that she was far from home, it would take atleast another hour to get there and then she had an appointment with the gym. She groaned at the prospect but she had promised herself that the next three months nothing would stop her. She was to be married come December and she wanted to look her best and the thought of that made her smile sleepily before she drifted off into exhausted sleep..
And that is where it gets interesting, for you see, this is where I am lost. I can set up the picture perfectly and make you feel like you’re actually there, its so vivid but when it comes to imagination, feelings, thoughts, there is very little I can do. That is probably the reason why I have half a dozen half finished stories lying around somewhere or the other, I kept telling myself, its just a problem of mine of mine, I just can’t write stories. Essays? Monologues? Speeches? Anecdotes? Interpretations of events? Philosophy? All those things but never a complete story with a beginning, middle and end. I had resigned my self to the fact but that’s where apparently I was wrong. I read a book that told me otherwise. It said that the only thing that kept me from writing a story, which I clearly wanted to, was my fear of what people might think of it. Having read this a few times and digested it, I set out to figure out what it really meant. I had always prided myself on not caring much about what the world said and thought, indeed on occasion I have deliberately gone out my way to do things differently and questioned things that ought to have been left alone. So you would think I wouldn’t be afraid of what people might say to a story that I may choose to write, right? Wrong. The book went on to tell me that the more the things are dear to us, the worse this fear of failure gets until we’re so paralyzed by it we can’t even bear to think about it. Well that made a lot of sense and again I’m not just referring to writing here. The fear of failure and rejection is always there tapping on our shoulders until we crumble and give up. The trick is to just not let it do that. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet it is the hardest thing to do on earth, it is actually probably easier to pull the trigger of a gun! But just think for a moment that if instead of giving in to the fear we learn to accept failure as a part of life, knowing that we’d be richer in knowledge because of it, life would certainly be different. I like to call it the ‘practical power of positive thinking’. I used to be skeptical about the theory that if only you would believe and imagine the best would happen, it would happen. It sounded too idealistic to be true. But lets just twist it a little bit. ‘Think Positive’ needs to be more interpreted to mean that whatever happens should be used as an opportunity to learn something new. So now instead of naively saying, ‘Oh I’m going to think positive, I am going to be rich someday’ and expecting to sail to the finish line; we would be a position to learn from the mistakes we make, hurdles we cross, ridicule and criticism we attract and because of this learning, we would be rich in more ways that one!
So here is a solemn pledge to shut out the fear and make the best use of the life I’ve been given to learn something and do some good in this crazy world! And I think some stories might see the light of day after all!