Why I write ?

Dr Aniruddha Babar *

Speak, for your tongue is still your own;
Your lissom body yours alone;
Speak, your life is still your own.
Look into the blacksmith's forge:
The flame blazes, the iron's red;
Locks unfasten open-mouthed,
Every chain's link springing wide.
Speak, a little time suffices
Before the tongue, the body die.
Speak, the truth is still alive;
Speak: say what you have to say.

By, Legendary Poet 'Faiz Ahmed Faiz'

The question has been often discussed on the tables of philosophers and thinkers as to why Man must write. I personally too discussed this question with myself that how come I developed this craze to write. Craze? Craze indeed, otherwise, who opens up Laptop in the middle of the night and start romancing with the ideas which by the first light of the morning ended up on the paper as drops of 'intellectual orgasm?'

My parents taught me to play with the ideas. I was taught to live and rejoice in the invisible world exists in tangible reality of my mind, however, it is only at the age of 9 i discovered that I could paint the world living inside me on the paper. It all started with a one small story I wrote during my summer vacation about the 'Landing a Spacecraft on the Moon'. That was for the first time I discovered that my little fingers could bare the weight of 'Pen'.

Whole my childhood was a journey from imagination to imagination. I used to sit on the wings of an idea and would travel the world of possibilities. I think those childhood imaginations must have played an important role in copping up with the harsh, painful, unbearable, dark realities of human existence at very early age in my life.

I wrote when I was a child because I had none to talk with. It is not that parents never had time for me, but I never wanted to disturb and burden them by telling them the stories that I was then living in various circumstances. Experience of meaningless schooling, egoistic teachers, false teaching, cruel friends, caste discrimination, social hatred and cold loneliness carved a part of my personality which I carry today.

How would a child feel if he is constantly reminded that he is part of that society which has been condemned for eternity by the dictum of some religion?

How would a child feel if he is treated differently than the 'others'? What would a small boy do when he is stopped from asking questions? 'He was suffocating all his childhood; however, he did not resign'. I wanted to rebel.

I wanted to rebel against everything that was mocking at me. I revolted millions of times against those bad people, circumstances, challenges in my imagination. What a helpless boy; who was physically weak, emotionally suppressed, intellectually suffocated supposed to do if not imagining? I must have started writing to escape from the chaos in my mind. Mind gets overburdened too, isn't it?

Writing was a way to freedom that I 'built' for myself. As I grew older, entered college, my Pen started reflecting on everything that came across me. As a child I was a 'mute' spectator who would rarely uttered a single word in school, however when I was in class 12 (Jr. College) I met one 'Alchemist' that trans- formed me completely.

My Professor was my liberator. He liberated my soul, my mind, my body, my thoughts and most importantly my 'tongue'. He taught me to 'speak'. That was my new birth. Self-confidence that was murdered during 10 years of my survival in a 'Ghetto' called School came back to me when my Professor took my hand in his and taught me to stand for what I believe in.

This 'FIRE' that my Professor lit in me took me in future to the most prestigious Law School in 'SOUTH-EAST ASIA' to study Law then to the Trial Advocacy, Bombay High Court, to the Supreme Court as Law Practitionerand further energized me to finish degrees of Masters in Law, Masters in Political Science, then the PhD, and finally to the 'world'that God almighty wanted me to work and serve.

My writing got new meaning. Previously I would write for myself, as I found solace in it. However, after gaining my 'light' back, I started writing for those whose voice has been taken away. I started writing for people like me; those who have been the victims of the history. I became more and more fearless because I was writing truth. In no time, my words introduced me to my new 'reality', to my new 'nature', to my new 'truth'. I became a 'Free Man'.

I don't write stories. I don't imagine anymore. I don't need. My words now are filled with echo of reality that they are able to capture. My words are naturally attracted to the pain, suffering, sorrows, injustice, brutalities in the world. I never wrote love story. I never wrote romantic poem either. It is not that I never fallen in love in my life but, writer in me moved more by the tragedies of mankind than the comedy of love.

These days I use Pen like a weapon and shield. Previously I used Pen like a cushion, but not anymore. Admirers advise me to be a professional writer and earn money. I often wonder, how can I sale sorrows and pain and mint money? Suffering cannot be an asset. I write about those people, I write about that world which nobody knows exists. I write about darkness. I write about human struggle. I write about Justice.

I also write about my Dream of better world. If money has to come through my work, I will welcome it, but my quest for 'truth' will have to be continued. My Pen demands solace to the burns that the world has been suffering from since time immemorial. My father used to write too. My mom still writes sometimes I guess. However, the 'Dreams' that my parents have given as 'inheritance' to me were the dreams about 'Free People and Free world'.

A world full of love and compassion, where nobody will be the judge and none will be the accused. A world where Man will be treated like a Man. A world where there will be no Race, no Caste, no Religion and no Discrimination. A world where people will not fear to speak their heart. My simple, middle class parents used to dream about this world which I dream now.

People still ask me as to why do I write. I tell them, what else do I have in my hand? I must write. Somebody must write. Pen must be scribbled on the Paper so that the 'tomorrow' can be carved. Whenever, I see people struggling for freedom, trying to get free from the chains of the slavery, raising their voice for justice and truththat is something that I can resonate with as a victim of evil caste system and social discrimination.

I believe, no matter how educated you are, no matter how learned you are, no matter how much wealth you earn, if your heart cannot melt witnessing the pain and suffering in any part of the world, if you cannot feel desire to bring change in the life of people located in any part of this Earth, if you are so SELFISH that you are ONLY thinking about your own people, family and society, let me tell you that you are nota man of God.

A Man of God does not belong to his parents or family, he doesn't know any Religion, Tribe, Caste, Race or a Nation but he is a servant of humanity. Man of a God is A Free Man!

In the struggle for a life with Justice, Equality, Liberty, Fraternity and Dignity writers have always played a role. I am not the first, and I will not be the last.

* Dr Aniruddha Babar wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Professor of Dept of Political Science, Tetso College
This article was webcasted on March 18, 2019.

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