The soul is missing

One of my friends, who regularly reads this blog, told me recently that the quality of writing has gone down in the last 2-3 posts. Even though the last post had found mention on Desipundit, I thought she was right. On hindsight, I think the last post was mentioned partly because it talked about love and relationships, finding the perfect woman/man etc. But she was right: the post on free pizza and drinks was a sort of forced humour: something that could have been written more hilariously or perhaps with a dash of sarcasm. The next post on the human billboards was well, sort of ok. But I'd rate it to be a 3/5, but not a 4/5 or a 5/5 because umm... something was missing.

As I ponder over the phenomenon, I think this applies to a lot of things, not just writing blogs. When I used to go to debates or elocution contests when I was absolutely convinced of what I was going to say or speak, I used to come out with flying colours. When I wrote essays, or even answers in the language exams (be it Bengali or English), sometimes it would be just an exercise of scribbling the pen on the paper: writing meaningless lines and circumlocuting over and over again the same topic without adding anything useful. On some other days, a topic would just click instantly with me: a slew of ideas would come up, they'd get organised easily, efficiently and effortlessly and I'd know by the time I finished writing the essay that that was one hell of a good job. Why should I even go looking at an essay for citing examples? Some of my earlier handwritten letters used to bear the trademark, and sometimes my emails still do. Sometimes I used to be surprised at the final product myself: two and a half pages of clean, straight Bengali script without a single scribble, and one hell of a job at convincing the reader that what was written was written from the heart. But it is intriguing: what makes the difference? Be it an email, a blog post, an essay, whatever: it is just be a collection of words strung together to form a few sentences! But no, there is something deeper: somewhere hidden in itself there is a soul, a message coming straight from the heart.

Swami Vivekananda called it the power of concentration: that a cook who concentrates on the cooking will do a better job than one who does not, even if both of them used exactly the same ingredients. A cobbler who mends the shoes with concentration with make a much stronger shoe although the next man used the same thread and leather. Truer words were never said: when I concentrate on the job, somehow I am linked with the job at hand. That soul, that intrinsic connection lingers on with the final product, so that when it is presented to a person afresh, that power of conviction spreads subtlely from the product to the human. I don't need to use tough-sounding words, or complicated thoughtful quotations. Simplicity, lucidity --- that is the key and it comes naturally. To be pure in my mind, have a pure thought, and that thought is transferred somehow to the reader. It is not just a thought, then: it is the soul of the material product, something that carries my convictions. Sometimes, I know, the soul goes missing. And sometimes, like in this post, it just comes back...

Comments

  1. They say that you make a spoon bend by concentrating hard. But that never worked with me :(

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  2. Also,Guys - you shd know how to cook(and what to cook) before you start checking Swami Vivekananda's premise :)

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  3. Sajid, there is no spoon... only an illusion. 'Hard'-er concentration is the key, and it'll bend! ;)

    BTW, to check Swami Vivekananda's premise, you can start with an omlette :)

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  4. Ur post reminds me of a story. Once, there were three masons hard at work. Someone asked each one of them what they were doing. One of them said he was earning a living. Another said that he was building a part of a wall. And, the third said that he was building a temple. I don't have to say who did a more satisfactory(if not better) job :) Guess, attitude and love of what u r doing works wonders.

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  5. You are doing a wonderful job on your blog so don’t feel bad:-)

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  6. Alpine Path, ahh... thanks for reminding me of that one. Yes, attitude does work wonders!

    Mommyof2, :) Thanks... I appreciate that.

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  7. Sudipta, if I might be brutally honest and analyze your writing. You were very good at one point when you stuck to subjects you were fairly familiar with. It showed very clearly what you were talking about in your prose. Your ideas come out clearly and lucidly.

    On the other hand, of late, I've noticed a tendency to become very philosophical, which, I feel doesn't suit you at all. Your writing about marriage and partners lack authenticity probably because you haven't that kind of experience (if you're married and I don't know about it, I beg your pardon). In those cases you tend to rely too heavily on popular notions which you take for granted.

    Overall, I do like your posts because they are thoughtful and on the odd occasion humourous. I think you are a good blogger because you don't over-exert your resources.

    So keep up the good work! :-)

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  8. Hari, thanks a lot, really, for your feedback! Yeah the marriage and partners deal does lack authenticity because I'm single yet ;)

    Thanks a lot again for the complements: I wasn't worried that my standard of writing had gone down: was simply trying to introspect. Thanks, anyway... some more 'cool' posts coming up.

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  9. I think there isn’t much going on in student’s life to blog about but if you pen down your thoughts we will get to see your other side unless you don’t want to talk about your personal stuff:-)

    Anyways check out this teenage girl’s blog.. She is brilliant.. http://keshigirl.blogspot.com

    I think you will love it...

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  10. Mommyof2, trust me, there is a lot going on, at least inside my head :) All of that is not bloggable ;)

    I'll check the other link now.

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  11. Wat u've expressed is very real...the best creations in the world werent 'made' rather they just happened....creativity comes 4m within..the soul...it doesnt need time n space-'Anonymous who isnt a MAC'...hehehe

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  12. Sometimes, I know, the soul goes missing. And sometimes, like in this post, it just comes back...

    Your soul has indicated that it's coming back... I wouldn't say it's come back yet...
    Why don't you stick to those wonderful everyday-life posts, instead of going philosophic???

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  13. Non-MAC Anonymous, thanks! You are right... creativity can't be forced.

    P.S. - Thats a cool way of identifying yourself! :)

    Arunava (Manu?), yeah all right... the next one will be against these darned doors that they have here! :)

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  14. Only great writers could maintain a level of elevation all through in their creative writings..
    Soul may fluctuate when it comes down to experimenters like you and I.
    So nothing to worry about.
    It is the deficiency which focuses the soul where it is present.

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