Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Short Story: Being an Author

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me begin by thanking you for entertaining this humble soul today. I do not know what each of you does for a living, what your thoughts are, what your ideals are, what keeps you awake at night…. infact I know nothing about you. You are but a face that I see, faces that I most likely will not remember, nor will I be able to tell apart. What I do know is the fact this 30 mins will change your life profoundly, it will provide you a beacon of hope in your dreary humdrum existence, it will help you connect to what is possibly your most important possession: a book.

What does a book represent? A book is but a means for an author to propagate his thoughts. The author is the representative of the sane voices of society. We live in an extremely topsy turvy world, a world where change is the only constant. A world in which you are looking for symbols, something to hold on to, something that will keep you from going insane. The book and hence the author is your route to sanity.

Writing a book is a tedious and mind altering process, something that the author goes through so as to help humanity. Each word is carefully weighed, thought upon, rehashed and then re-written, do you even understand the meaning of such careful thoughts? I bet you just read every book as if it were a piece of fiction, without ever bothering to read what the author is trying to tell you.

Every author goes through a self discovery process. He travels through different lands and sometimes time itself, he meets different people, assimilates different cultures, adopts new ideas and acts as a funnel to supply you with words that best represent all that he has learnt during the course of his life. He is a mirror to the society that he is a part of, he probably defines what a society means. You look at a terrorist and you feel insecure, the author feels for the terrorist because he has grown to understand what creates a terrorist in the first place, the society itself. You are bound for fickleness, living for the next moment, whereas the author is looking for the larger piece that will provide you meaning in you life. If you have not read an author who has changed your life, you haven’t lived life at all.

“Is he usually like this?”

“Not really, this happens once a fortnight, rest of the time, he is deeply reading”

“So what next?”

“What next indeed – keep watching?”

Professor Rudrasen – don’t you think that most authors are just writing for commercial reasons?

Well young lady, it is true that some people have sullied the profession by writing purely for commercial purposes, but what else can they do, they have succumbed to the same need to attend to the basic instincts that inflicts mankind today. That wouldn’t have happened if society at large maintained a funding mechanism for authors, who are the true purveyors of art, not some random movie maker or your next youtube hero.

So professor, in your opinion a fiction writer is upto no good? – another young voice.

Hardly my friend, fiction is just a stepping stone for one to think of higher reaches of literature, a stepping stone towards realizing one’s true kind of author. As you rise up the level of literature, you shall find the life-changing author.

“Hmmm, who all attends these lectures?”

“All the junior doctors here and sometimes the senior doctors who are interested in literature too. The Professor is quite good you know”

“Is he harmless?”

“Yes, he needs an audience to talk to every fortnight that’s about it”

“Since when has been here”

“Since the time Professor wrote his seminal work: Being an author – a guide towards sanity.”

“Hmmm, it figures”

“Yeah I guess, time to put the good Professor to sleep for today, till the next fortnight”

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