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I can’t write fiction

When I was around 10 years old, I decided to write a story.  I have no idea what prompted the story idea. I expect I was inspired after reading Children’s world, Target and other such magazines that catered to kids. The story was about a lonely little girl whose best friend moves away and how she gets another friend. I painstakingly wrote this on two pages that I had torn out of a note-book and even illustrated it , just as it appeared in all my favourite magazines. I don’t think I showed the story to anybody. Even at 10, I knew a bad story when I read (or wrote) one and (very rightly) wanted to keep it a secret.  I was probably quite traumatized with my writing output that I didn’t think about writing anything else for a long time.


The writing bug bit me again, three years later, when I was eighth standard. I remember sitting down with a piece of paper one night after dinner.  We were all gathered in front of the TV, Prannoy Roy was presenting the weekly news update in “The World This Week”.  My parents were understandably bewildered at my industriousness in completing my homework (that’s what they thought I was writing) , especially as I burst into periodic giggles while scribbling on a piece of paper.  After about 40 minutes of intense scribbling punctuated by giggling fits, I came up with a one page on how not to write stories.

write a story

Encouraged my how much I enjoyed writing, I wanted to continue.  My first few stories were about a boy who lost everything in Kashmir, the importance of not keeping secrets from your parents, and about an unhappy day where I couldn’t go on a much awaited picnic.  My father , in a bid to encourage me took these to his office and got someone there to type it up for me. I believe he was proud of the fact that I wrote—I displayed very few other talents at that time!

a day in august

As I tried to write more fiction, I realized in next to no time that I just did not have the imagination to dream up a plot and manipulate it enough to come up with an interesting tale.  My stories were very pretentious, contrived and did not have any substance.  I lacked the certain sort of skill it takes to weave a story that keeps the reader engrossed effortlessly.  So I stopped writing again.

telling lies

Around the same time, I started writing letters to a few of my cousins in Kerala.  I saw them only during summer vacations and while they all lived near each other, I had a different sort of life, in big city Bombay.  Besides being family, my cousins and I had very little in common in terms of hobbies or interests.  So, a large part of each letter that I wrote was devoted to recounting mundane day to day events.  But in describing those one thing became clear.  Although I couldn’t spin stories, what I could do reasonably well was to take an essentially true life incident and then turn it into a semi humorous vignette.  I wrote about being on pins and needles in class for forgetting an assignment and about dealing with my sister’s bratty friends.   But soon exams and other studies interfered with any writing pursuits. Between writing up lecture notes and class assignments, I did not write anything for a long long time.

not again

In my last semester of engineering, one of my friends was rather upset. I am not sure of the reason why—some matter of broken heart I expect.  We were comparing real life romances to Mills and Boons and I remember her complaining that her romance was not like that. I told her for a lark that there should be an Indian Mills and Boons.  We put her heads together and  came up with a love story between a biomedical engineer  (we were biomedical engg students) heroine and a surgeon hero.  And decided if there was an Indian M&B—there was only one name the hero could have : Rahul. It was the heyday of films where the leading man was always a Raj or Rahul.   In an attempt to cheer her up, that evening, I wrote down the first chapter of my Indian Mills and Boons story.  Unfortunately, by the end of the first chapter, the heroine had pushed the hero into a broken fountain pool filled with stagnant water.  There was no way I could retrieve the hero with some modicum of dignity.   And that was the end of that love story.


After that I have never written fiction again.  When I feel like writing , I scribble something here.

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3 Responses

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  1. Sidanshu Gupta says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!

  2. rajeev varma says

    nice read 😀

  3. Sandeep says

    That was nice!!! You should have continued writing…

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