That Which Must Not Be Named


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.

Books for life: Celebrating #IAD


Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Writing is not everyone’s cup o’tea, but reading is, or at least it must be. It’s not onerous to read – a book, a magazine, an article, a paragraph, or even a single sentence. Reading is a habit that will take you places, through magical universes and realms you have longed to visit, through the past and future while you read them in present. “I have been an avid reader” – I bet many of us must have begun their #IAD blog posts with this claim and they are very well so. Debdatta of b00kr3vi3ws has been extremely prudent in conceiving the idea for International Authors’ Day and a blog hop. We’ll write all about books, reading, writing and more – for you.

Few favourites.

Few favourites.

I can’t recall how long I’ve been reading, but it has been nearly three decades. And now when I introspect, I haven’t even read a sensible portion of everything I ever want to read. My parents had been kind enough to hand me books along with food from a very tender age. The rhyme and picture books have slowly graduated to fairy tales, mostly translated in Bangla/English from Russian and Ukranian folk takes. I’ve been lucky enough to scourge through those books in the Kolkata International Book Fair for a few years and enhance my collection. Shelves started spilling books and my father had to find me a study desk with bookshelves beneath. As my trips to the Book Fair increased each year, the bookshelf started shrinking. Innumerable Bangla and English books spilled over to my bed, the dining table (except for lunch and dinner times), the television stand, a piece or two inside the almirah, on the fridge top, and even inside my school bag.

I couldn’t buy every book I wanted, as I have been taught to respect and judge the value of money. I used to wait for gift cheques and solid cash from my grandmother(s) on birthdays/Durga Puja/Saraswati Puja/Poila Boishakh (Bangla New Year). My first Tintin (in Tibet) was courtesy maternal grandmother and I still cherish the copy for a handwritten note from her. I would demand for books rather than dresses on each occasion and it certainly made my relatives wonder if I were feminine enough. My father wasn’t worried, he built huge book-almirah with four shelves for me. For us.

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Top 5 Reads of 2013

I had set a target of reviewing twenty books when I began a new inning at blogging this year. Surprisingly, at the end of the year I realized that I have achieved the target. It fills me with immense pleasure to share with you the five best books I had a scope to read for review this year.

Author: Sid Bahri Genre: Fiction/Romance Publisher: Srishti

Author: Sid Bahri
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Srishti

Author: Aporva Kala Genre: Fiction/Philosophy Publisher: Srishti

Author: Aporva Kala
Genre: Fiction/Philosophy
Publisher: Srishti

Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti Genre: Drama Publisher: Prakash Books/Fingerprint

Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Prakash Books/Fingerprint

Author: Somnath Batabyal Genre: Crime Publisher: Harper Collins

Author: Somnath Batabyal
Genre: Crime
Publisher: Harper Collins

Author: Devapriya Roy Genre: Contemporary/Women Publisher: Harper Collins

Author: Devapriya Roy
Genre: Contemporary/Women
Publisher: Harper Collins

What were your best reads? Hope you had a great reading year too. Happy reading in 2014!