That Which Must Not Be Named

spicysaturday

This piece was pending since long. No, it isn’t about a blogging contest or a product/book review. I don’t believe in creating a Utopian blog that oozes paradoxes in the paradise of blogosphere. You’ll find them aplenty and you’re free to hop off in search of gayer blogs. Each of us has secrets, including writers. And since most of them are shy people, it is often exemplified in their works. A line here or a passage there, opening up small attics of memories and secrets in the stories they write.

But this isn’t about writing. This is about – not writing. I think the last time I wrote fiction goes back to two years ago. Well, I have plots brewing in my head but they haven’t been converted on paper since long. There’s a reason why not, and that is the whole crux of this article. I have diagnosed myself with what I call LD (Literary Depression), and I’m already tired of it. I know friends, people, writers, bloggers, who have serious LD but are ashamed to admit it. It is definitely considered downmarket. In our country, you’re still not allowed to talk about any kind of depression – be it literary, personal or professional. While we still don’t come out about personal reasons for depression unless we’re celebrities/film stars, LD is probably worse. If you are diagnosed with LD, you’re doomed as a writer. The publishers would trash you (sooner), your family would abandon you, readers would steer clear of your blog, and friends/fellow bloggers (the worst part of it) would PITY you.

Let me make it clear in the beginning – LD is not what we call Writer’s Block. It’s worse, the worst, actually. In the latter case, you are just unable to write. There are stories and characters swimming in your head, and you can’t catch them to make a good stew. But in LD, you lose everything – your confidence, conviction of being a writer, plots, characters, stories, twists, sentence construction – all of it goes on a toss. And you’re left with naught. The very feeling of naught, void, of being unworthy of a single printed word. Every article you read, every book you touch, every newspaper you pick up, every film you watch gives you a dump. A well constructed sentence in an otherwise poor article makes you realize that you probably can’t write better than them. You read nincompoops and feel it in your bones that you haven’t written in eons, they have books and you don’t. Trust me, LD is all encompassing. It affects your writing, your reading, your perceptive abilities and your sensibilities. You not only can’t write, you can’t even read. Every book makes you feel inadequate, every article invokes that sense of loss (of writing) inside you and you take solace in staples – like I have, in reading Bangla books, my childhood favourites.

LD is a slow killer. It takes eons to even detect it, and when you’re done, it probably gets too late to recover. I’m not ashamed of LD, just tired of it. But, there is hope, always, that someday you’ll be able to write again.

I’m certain that I will write again.

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Layers..

Depression and more of it. Chocolate colored depression, not sweet either. It tastes like bitter cocoa and raw, which makes you wanting to puke awhile later. Layers of it, unfolding like slightly brittle, luscious dark chocolate, expose more and more bitterness. It is inviting though at the beginning, the enigma of it. But as you gorge on more in your excitement, it chokes you. There you are moving around, brimful of depression, wanting to unload it. But that is the catch. It is mostly one-way. Once it lures you successfully with its beauty and mystery, and you gulping the bait so naively, it won’t leave you, despite showing doors and windows. It will lurk behind the blinds of your soul, and peep gleefully at you, the poor you, feeling like a fish bone stuck in your throat.
You want a remedy? I have one, but it is not easy. You will need a soulful of love, pure and rich, laced with strains of belonging. While the love washes your depression away, the strains bind your eroded pieces together, not letting you crumble. There won’t be exactly the same assemblage of you later, still. You will be back newly awash with love, and togetherness. Isn’t that worth it?