Thursday, July 3, 2014

A toast for my novels past

I always loved writing, though the past few years saw me write pretty much just work-related emails, and no literature. Sometimes I blame it on writer's block, but may be I guess I'm just lazy to sit down and start writing.

Its interesting, that when I look back, the most I used to write was probably when I was in school through college, during which I authored numerous poems, about half a dozen novels/long-stories, a lot of short stories, a handful of dramas, some essays, and an earnest attempt at a book on Christian spirituality. The novels were all in English; the poems were mostly in Malayalam, a few in English and one or two in Hindi. The short stories and essays were a mix of English and Malayalam, the dramas were all Malayalam (except for the English dialogues from British characters in one of them), and the book on spirituality was entirely Malayalam.

The novels always bring a great smile on my face when I think about them - I had started with my first one when in 5th Standard - "The adventures of Sunny Harbor", and it was an absolute hit with my classmates :-). A 200-pages ruled notebook was set apart for the task; I used to write at home and during free periods at school, and my classmates (occasionally, from other classes too) use to borrow the book to read it when I wasn’t writing :-) I have faint memories of the absolute joy it felt to let them have it, and sometimes watch the expressions on their faces as they read it.

When I was done with 'Sunny Harbor', which was a fantasy-adventure, I had started with a spy novel - I was probably in 6th Standard during the time, and that too was an instant hit. I remember folks exclaiming that the new novel was even better than the earlier one, and that they couldn't wait to read what happens next (well, you know, they just kept reading as I kept writing). I forgot the name of this novel, but I remember that the climax had a major part under the ocean :-)

The one that I wrote after the spy novel was an action-adventure, that was mostly staged in the Himalayas. The protagonist was a boy who lived in seclusion in the mountains, and I have vivid memories of the scenes from that novel than the storyline itself, specifically that it ended with a slight snow shower :-) I probably was still in 6th Standard when this was complete, and moved on to the next one, a teenage detective-adventure series. I probably completed the first novel in the series when I was in the 7th Standard. The story was staged in Canada, and all my background research for the story line came from a globe that we had at home, the Encyclopedia Britannica at School, and a Malayalam Encyclopedia at home. It was also a hit with my classmates, and they specifically loved the variety that came from my novels.

I started with the second in the series when I was in 8th Standard - I don’t think I completed it. Sometime along this timeline, I had run out of pages in the original notebook, and had started on another 200-pages unruled notebook. The rest of my works like poems, dramas etc. were mostly in diaries or in foolscap sheets those were pinned together, and shoved away safely in the drawer of my study table. I left all of them back at home, when I set out into the open world to chase my destiny.

The works are almost all gone now, unfortunately, due to exposure to dampness during a period of home-renovation. Sometimes, I feel it would have been nice to touch those early works, and read them over with a chuckle, but then sometimes I feel that they are better left as sweet memories those tend to appear more beautiful than they probably were :-)

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