Saturday, 23 August 2014


 I was averse to begin my tryst with the role as a writer with my autobiography, for two reasons.

Firstly, I did not find the material for the book interesting. There was nothing dramatic or captivating about my life or my career. It was a run-of-the-mill kind of topic.

Secondly, by stating truth on several issues, I did not want to lose the few relations and friends I happened to have and speak the truth I must, if I undertook to write my autobiography. I let it rest, the best way, in my case, to win friends and influence people! Dale Carnegie would turn in his grave, if he read this!

Was I being dishonest? Maybe. Was I frightened? Maybe. Was I being disloyal to the cause of free writing? Maybe.

The simple truth is I was already plagued by diffidence and lack of self-confidence vis-à-vis the new cap I was going to don. I did not want to begin the arduous journey on a disastrous note, I mean story, when I was not confident whether I could handle the task at all.

After discussing with my guardian angel and telling her unequivocally that I would not be beginning with my autobiography, I pondered for several days. My primary concern was whether I could sustain my writing skills, expression, etc. over the length of a long story, a novel. I decided to take up a topic, albeit oft repeated, and test my alleged skills against it. Thus, I embarked upon my first-ever novel, which I would later christen “Dance of Life”.

Wait for my next blog to learn how I grappled with my “Dance of Life”.

Be seeing you...

Monday, 18 August 2014


Although retirement or superannuation, as it is officially called, is a stage in one’s life to put up one’s feet and relax forever, it is often filled with anxiety, uncertainty, and indefiniteness. Mine is no different.

My prime concern was my not possessing my own residence. Hence, I needed to augment my pension amount. My attempts to get an employment suitable to my status of retirement, age and physical limitations got me a couple of opportunities that eventually proved to be untenable. I concluded that I am unsuitable for today’s corporate job market.

I was depressed and directionless for a while, not realising my potential in “other” fields.

Then I received a kick in the butt from a guardian angel of mine. She urged me to take up writing. She felt that I possessed the essential “qualifications” and talents to take up the onerous task – good command in English language, good expression, good vocabulary, and good narrative skills. What she meant was I could spin a good yarn!

However, I was diffident. Having grown up on some classics and the contemporary works of master storytellers like Agatha Christie, Irving Wallace, et al, I knew how different spinning a yarn to one’s own children is from spinning a yarn to a vast number of readers out there. To say that it is fraught with risk would be the euphemism of the century.

I expressed my misgivings in so many and in many more words to my guardian angel. She brushed my misgivings aside as unfounded and almost commanded me to embark on my journey into the world of writing.

While I tentatively decided to take the plunge into the new activity, I was not sure of the topic. All my alleged writing skills during my 36-year long career were laid bare at the altar of fiction writing. I painfully realised that never the twain shall meet.

Writing an article, an essay, a report, etc. on a single point is easier, be it non-fiction or fiction. However, writing a short story or a novel is an entirely different kettle of fish. There must be a storyline, several characters, multiple incidents and situations, and dialogues. All these must be interwoven by means of coherence, cohesive narration, plausible logic, and cannily dramatised. Above all the readers’ attention must be attracted by an effective narrative style.

Did I possess any of these qualities?

Yes, I was definitely diffident!

Well, more of it in my next, folks!

See you later, ciao...

Sunday, 10 August 2014


Natural flair, inborn talent, urge to express, fertile imagination, good command over language, rich vocabulary, and good knowledge of men and matters – are these sufficient to make one a good writer?

Not going back far into time but restricting myself to contemporary, modern writers, I find that the above-listed qualities are not sufficient. Writers of news reports, articles, form one category of the writing community, while writers of fiction, non-fiction, of different genres form the other.

The second category requires much more than the qualities listed above, mastery over storytelling and narrative style, for instance. Germination and development of the central plot, creation of characters to carry the plot, coherence in narration are some other essential qualities for an engrossing storyline.

Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery, used to weave a web with her words and drag readers along with a nose ring.

Irving Wallace was an acclaimed master storyteller.

Alistair MacLean was nonpareil in descriptive prose.

Frederick Forsyth has an uncanny and incredible eye for detail.

These are essential facets of effective storytelling.

The above are but a few examples of what I am trying to say. There are myriad other great contemporary, modern writers with their narrations and inimitable narrative styles for generations to enjoy e.g. Leon Uris, Erle Stanley Gardner, Arthur Hailey, Harold Robbins, to name only a few.

All the above and may more writers have left an indelible impression on the reader in me decades ago. Much later, when I took to writing, this impression was to carry over to my writing ability and style, too.

That will be fodder for thought in Part #II of this blog.

Be seeing you...