Reading vs Hearing

Yesterday I was dinnering with a friend and talking about The Nidhi Kapoor Story. While we were at it, he told me something very insightful about the way I write. He said, “my sentence structure is very conversational.

I did not understand this at first. When I prodded him more, he said that he meant that when he reads things that I write, he does not have to make any special efforts to comprehend what he is reading (aka what I’ve written). Its like someone talking to him. Its like a regular, everyday conversation that two people are engaged in. There is back and forth of ideas, thoughts. The words, the sentences, the meaning is plain jane and is commonplace. He said he could consume it while sleeping and yet comprehend it.

So, next, I asked him, “What is the other kind?”

He said, the one where you use flowery language and you write with the intent of using words to exaggerate the meaning, club them with other interesting words to create poetry. Poetry not as poems but poetry as expression. Where, while reading, you need to focus on what is written. Where, when you do comprehend what is written, you are filled with pleasure. Pleased at the ingenuity of the writer. For example, Jack Kerouac‘s brilliant timeless piece, “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

When was the last time you heard someone use “burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles” in a day to day conversation? Unless you were talking to a drunk man. Or unless you were sitting across a poet high on something. Or unless it was a philosopher. Such people, like Jack, they think in rhymes. They ponder over deeper meaning of words. And they have a mastery over human emotions. And then equipped with all this, they coin new words and twist the rules of grammar, rules of language to create masterpieces. It must be such a pleasing sight to see such masters in action.

Truth be told, I would love to create poetry like that. I believe that its my reason, my purpose. To create poetry I mean. But I am not equipped to do it right now. In some time may be. I shall wait. Hopefully you guys wait as well.  

And, second truth be told, I could get offended at the entire commonplace and plain jane remark but I choose to take it as a compliment. The Nidhi Kapoor Story is an important milestone in my writing career and I plan to, want to, evolve as a writer with every such milestone.

Anyway before I get into a rant, to summarize, writing is a battle between prowess with words to create poetry vs intent of narrating the story as if you’re talking out loud. I am definitely the later kinds. What about you? What is your forte? Writing poems? Talking / Thinking out loud?

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