It was after dawn, I had just finished reading this book I bought last year from one of those famous bookstores in Bangalore. I don’t remember the last time I pulled an all nighter reading. Maybe it was during final year’s exams of my college. From a while now, I have made it a point not to stay up all night. No matter what but this one was worth it. It was still very early hence the quiet. I was trying to compose myself from the overwhelming story I had just read. It was a story I knew very well because it’s already been adapted into a movie, which happens to be one of my favourites. I first started with the book to compare how much the directors must have excluded in the movie. Besides, I’m always happy to have more to the stories I absolutely love. You know, I have felt that books have more to offer in story than the movie. Nevertheless, I was not as disappointed with the directors as I anticipated.

In general, I like stories in all forms, reading, listening, or watching. In particular, I like reading books that have more to it than what’s just written. I like the depths, I like emotions, I like imperfect characters, and I like getting irritated because those characters have done something stupid bearing their shortcomings. All and all, I like and really appreciate the simple art of story telling. How someone’s words can build an image in your mind that lives on. How I wish, I could do it all too! Oh! I can write just about anything but to bring something to life is altogether a different story.

Few days back I wrote a post on a book I had read recently. My Bhabhi, who’s more like a friend I live with, asked me why I don’t write more often. She’s probably the only person I have met that has admitted on my face that she likes what I write. I’m guessing that is because she hasn’t really read all that I have written. Haha.. Jokes apart, I could read her expression; she was genuinely curious. She told me how she enjoyed the story so far in “The Boy Next To Me!” and was actually looking forward to read what happens next. It was a bittersweet feeling.  In my defense, I never really thought that people are actually reading this stuff I post. Okay! I mean, I know some do; but it isn’t that important… You know, it’s just another unfinished story.

It took me a while to make her understand what the trouble really was and then I remembered it wasn’t the first time I was making someone understand this. I was asked this question before. It was from a time when my best friend was still hopeful that I might actually finish it. As soon as my Bhabhi asked me about how the story will take turn, I remembered the first few days of making it. I still have that same notebook I first wrote it in. How determined I was to write down something different, something of my own making. 

I was about 17, already in second year of my college when the story “TBNTM” really began. In our hostel, I was sitting in a room next to my own and was talking to a friend about storybooks we can read from the library downstairs. I don’t exactly know why but in that exact moment I had decided to write a story. Like one full fledged story. In following days, I wrote the characters and whatever background my teenage girly brain could think of. Mind that, I have never actually learnt the art of story telling as they say. I was just another girl who used to write random diary notes from the age of 8. To my own surprise, I then managed to write a basic story-line and how different events will build up these characters. Few days gone by and I had designed a cover picture for the same too. It feels so funny to think of all that actually happened and I feel ridiculous thinking about the level of determination I had. The same day I designed the cover picture, I remember telling my friend next door about the story I was planning to write. It was the first time I had told anyone that I would write a story, ever. I promised her that whenever it may be but I’ll get it published. She wished me luck as she told me that she’ll look forward to read it someday.

(Irrelevant but funny that both that friend and my Bhabhi share the same name) 🙈

Yep, I have been writing the same story from last 8 years now. Here’s the thing… Like most matters, I lost my way around that story. I have picked it up from time to time though. I wrote those characters and events when I was 17 and as I grew up, I started feeling less and less like the person who has written it in the first place. One of the reason why I’m unable to complete the story is because I cannot get my head around it. As I read the original story, I feel that it’s really stupid. My understanding of human behavior has improved since then. I see things and situations differently now. My characters in their basic nature and I have different point of view and understanding of situations. I started making changes as I see fit but soon I realised, it was nothing like the original story. However, I do write from time to time about the turn of events Khushi’s life might take and try to be the same person who understood her and her reasons of acting out. More often then not, I end up writing the whole chapter at once and start second guessing myself about the proceedings. I have actually written a totally different chapter 3 then what I have already published. I might even post it.

There’s also the part of being unguarded as you write something. As I grew up, I became more aware of my surroundings and the cost of having to write down a piece from what I feel is right. I realised that every time I write something and put it out for people to read, I’m exposing myself a bit. As I put out something I believed in, I’m allowing myself to be read through. I’m allowing the person reading out there to see how I feel about certain things, what I’m afraid of, or what I fancied or held too close to my heart. I believe in zodiac signs, I’m scorpion woman. I like to keep it to myself, being secretive is one of my traits. I don’t like anyone to read through me; I hate it when someone manages even remotely. I know that’s complicated; in times when everybody wants somebody to understand them, I refuse. Yes, I KNOW! Nobody gives a fuck about all these things I thought and wrote about but I guess that’s just me. I read too much into simple things. Some might think that I’m just giving excuses not to write, so be it.

I know, I didn’t have to write this post but I owe it to the people who have read the story so far and had hoped to read it further. Just know, I will write it and post it but only when I’ll be ready to be vulnerable to the judgy eyes around me.

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