Changing Habits to Keep Yourself


It has been a while since my last post and I totally blame my iPad. A long, long time ago a lady with white hair introduced me to my first classic: Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield. She was my grandmother. I was 6 and enthralled. To me, everything else ceased to exist. What was in the book, whatever I learnt was the truth. Moving on to Bronte, Austen, Dostoevsky and even Doyle inculcated in me this need to express but sadly or not, most of it on paper and no less than two sheets long.

Scouring for writing books, the obsession to read every classic I could get my hands on turned into a yearning for writing. The smell of new paper arrested my attention, the sight of pens called on me to endlessly doodle and even copy random things in my notebook. After reproducing countless books in my own handwriting as notes, I finally mastered my cursive.

It was no longer loopy and incoherent but elegant and flawless. All good things come to an end but only to give way to much better ones. I don’t really know if the transition away from writing in notepads to typing on MS Word was a blessing, I just knew I had to get used to it. Time and tide waits for no one and I was really too young to embrace being old fashioned.

From a person known for their handwriting to a person who became known for my “scary” typing since it freaked people out to see my type without looking at the keyboard, I think I did pretty well. What I lost in the process was, however the habit of reading. I could no longer sit (or lie down) with a book for ages. The time on the computer and then subsequently on the laptop was too demanding.

Even the typing happened after much procrastination. But it had become a part of my life and a part of me. I, after all fashioned myself as a writer and what is a writer without the tools? The idea remains an idea, forgotten next instant, remembered later but then tainted with mockery and the desire to think of something better. Writing or typing it out always makes thing permanent. Makes them look more credible. Like its a fact that requires a lot of research if it has to be refuted.

My sob story didn’t end here. Just a month or two back, I realised I might have to make the switch again. Twice within twenty years. From typing furiously, I was seen moving my fingers gingerly around a 10 inch long screen. I am not really sure whether it’s unpleasant. On the bright side, I can read books which I couldn’t on the laptop. There’s something about bedtime reading that requires you to curl up in a blanket with a hot steaming cup of your preferred beverage that using the laptop or the PC totally did away with.

It’s new but it doesn’t feel timeless or classic. Even though i can read and write as much as I would like, the autocorrect would someday be the death of the language. The sight and smell of loose parchments, pens and notepads however, no longer make me as elated as before. From being akin to the lure of a new mistress, they are more like missed calls from estranged friends who you want to visit someday, just not right now.

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2 thoughts on “Changing Habits to Keep Yourself

  1. “The idea remains an idea, forgotten next instant, remembered later but then tainted with mockery and the desire to think of something better.”

    Loved the post riffat!

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