I read a post recently, about every writer having an ideal place to write. That made me think. My ideal place faces a wall actually, instead of a window, and that is not because of lack of trying. My table just didn’t fit in front of my bedroom window, without disturbing the rest of the arrangement.
So my ideal place usually begins at this table –
the bric-a-brac consisting of my grocery account book (red diary), the magazine/notebook holder (brown box above), files and folders of myriad disciplines tucked underneath the white wooden box I got made to cover up the eight ugly plug points hoisted up by several tenants of this house, and the glass shelf above holding this and that, that a slim sheet of glass cut out of a parent table top can hold. The stick notes are placed there because I don’t have a pin/stick-board yet and because I need inspiration practically staring at my face. Excuse my colourful hairbands, I have messy hair!
Afternoons often see me moving from the office station above to the comfort of letting my legs stretch on this endearing sofa below –
Let me admit before you assume. Yes, I take the occasional nap here, very peacefully. But that is not all. More often than not, I use this awesome place of retreat to let my mind wander and write my thoughts. It is my Harry Potter alcove, it is where I feel safe.
I don’t know if I can manage to write anything in a busy cafe, so kudos to JK Rowling and her fraternity, really! I try hard to be contemporary but I think I do belong to the writer squad of the yore, seeking a quiet spot to write. The image of a poet, wearing a bluish grey khadi kurta and white pyjamas, carrying a beige jhola bag, serenely sitting near a river and composing what humanity would reward in literary festivals later, is my queer idea of romance in writing. It is archaic, I know, but then, I don’t belong to this age either. So it works for me. At best, I can put on some ambience music on Youtube and let it pervade my mind’s space, relaxing it like a spa.
Writing is a therapy that counsellors and psychiatrists insist, would help anyone heal. If you don’t believe me, watch Nick Carraway write away his disturbing experiences and notions in The Great Gatsby. That gives the image of writing as a peaceful exercise, doesn’t it? Spoiler alert: it equally makes me heave and pant in fury and then force myself to calm down. Blame it on solely depending on the weapon of writing and not something more tangible and dangerous by appearance, to hit the nail with.
Pen and paper had eluded me for a long time, as I chained myself to a copyeditor’s desk for six years. I was also getting robbed of my patience to go beyond a sentence without thinking if it could have been edited or rewritten to make it more understandable. But three years hence, the effects of leaving that desk for my own, are showing. I can now, commit myself to reading for longer periods of time, unaware of the sun going down. I can also bring myself to write on paper without cursing the awkwardness of my fingers in holding a pen. In fact, writing on paper is a respite I take from time to time (including the grocery book), as suggested by many bloggers. I can assure you that it is rewarding.
The writer’s spot is invariably a personal space that any writer enjoys, with or without music and chatter. In my house too, my writer’s spot promises me a space that is exclusive. I might or might not enjoy the same train of thought (or in my case, the bus of thought, because trains freak me out), in some other place. I adore this ensemble, even without its Good Housekeeping perfection. I try to make it as utilitarian as I can and it doesn’t fail to please me.
If I had to say all of this more succinctly, well, I *heart* my desk!