Are you Leaving?

2:19 AM

Academic writing sounds socialistic. Being told what to write so that everyone is just like you. You are told that you are free to choose, but only from items in the basket they provide. Ugly words like ‘models’, ‘quantitative’, ‘results’, ‘literature’ and ‘conclude’ build up a rigid house in my head. A restaurant that doesn’t innovate. An artist that doesn’t create. A repeating rhythm. A reappearing demon. But such is conformity to standards. To expectations. Are we all stock pieces? Factory built to be later customized. Customized, yet restrictively.

I soaked in words. I waddled in it and let it marinate within. Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Reza Aslan, Dan Brown and Rowling. They put a ladder in front of me and told me, ‘Climb! Dream! My youngling!’ And I did. Budding, imbibing inspirations from them.

I went on, like a rolling stone. Gathering moss. Like a snow ball, gathering mass. I went on, like a bird with wings long and boundaries none. I love to flitter in the wind, with words, with text, with rhyme, with sounds.

I am a machine, I would like to imagine, if not too humble. Churning words. Churning thoughts, dreams, emotions and fire. Slowly growing, fed by the fodder of novels, fiction and non.

Then they came. Marching. With signs on their arms. Rigid. They had STRUCTURE! Oh Lord! Conformity they called themselves. Conform! Confound!

They had rules; they had grammar. They had opinions, pre formulated.

I stood by, watching them take over my house. My beautiful home. Etched in alliterations. Draped in metaphors. Sprinkled with a little form.

But they put things at ‘it’s’ place. That’s what they said. They told me, you are not doing this now. You should learn to love another. Another?

‘Yes. Another!’

‘Why should I?’

‘Because they won’t understand what you write! They don’t want to know what you feel! They want you to be plain! Respect the Data!’

‘Data! Oh Lord. What’s this now? I want my words, not data.’

‘But this is what you chose now. Imbibe. Soak. Transpire. You be creative. If that’s what you want. But choose from the words in this basket!’

‘Why??’

‘Because people should know what you are telling them!’

‘Why can’t they just feel? Why can’t they think for themselves? Where is the soul here? Why is it so mechanical? Why can’t my friends jump into the text as they please?’

‘This is how it is!’

I shuddered but chose to accept. Because this was my doing.

My words crawled up to me. Dragging their robe, robe that left sparkles on the conformed floor. They pulled with them a bag of words that I was deemed too high to use. They held my hem. Trying one last time to see if they could sway me.

I looked at them in their big deep dark eyes. My wet eyes struggle to hold a flood. The words sniff, know the onset of impending doom and remove its greasy yet sweet fingers off my hem and leave.

I sit and watch. My world was being turned upside down as I speak. Conformity was re arranging my home, my insides. My words were trudging with despair and walking out the door and onto the street.

I couldn’t hold it any longer. I ran up to them and stopped them. They turned back and looked with hopeful eyes. Eager to expect that I would let them back in. I hesitated. I turned back and saw a completely different house. Conformed. I saw that it was completely strange. It was polished. It was gleaming. But inside it, it was structured! STRUCTURED! So that others would understand me.

I looked back at my words. And whispered to them, ‘Go now my children. Wait for me. For every night I will sneak out to search for you. My affair with you is everlasting. Conformance is only momentary. I live and breathe for you. You survive me and I will come back for you. Our parting may be short, but not without secret rendezvous.’

And then I head back into my new house. My new abode, changing my self and my heading. This too shall pass. Wont it?



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