“Prashishna, you make me proud. This work is commendable.”
“I couldn’t be more proud, father.”
“Here, take this pen and keep creating magic.”
“Thank you so much.”
Was this the first time she was being praised by him on writing? She didn’t know nor did she want to think about it. She was ecstatic, unable to contain the joy. “Commendable”. She kept repeating the word holding the pen tight. How could she possibly contain all this joy?
Was it a dream? She couldn’t care for she was busy jumping over her bed with the pen.
She couldn’t help but remember the days when she was questioned to think again when she chose writing despite excelling at studies. It was a tough decision as a topper.
She couldn’t be more happy. She thanked her stars and sat down to jot another masterpiece.
But slowly, eventually, the look of disappointment was regaining its place in her father’s eyes.
“What’s wrong? You can do better than this. Please spend some more time. Think. Look at your previous work.”
Few days passed by.
“No. This is so ordinary. It lacks the power to engage or move. May be, you should just venture in different genres.”
Few months pass.
“What is this? You are getting worse. You are sticking to the same style. Same thoughts. Think out of the box. Use words.”
“This is beyond embarrassing. I don’t even want to read your work.”
It went on.
“It’s a request. Can you just try to do better? It doesn’t even reflect anymore in your writings.”
“Is this why you wanted to become a writer? You aren’t even able to complete your drafts.”
“You don’t even seem to be putting efforts anymore.”
Prahishna throughout couldn’t stop cursing herself. Countless nights she had cried herself to sleep were the lone witness of her efforts.
“Am I a writer? Was I ever a writer?”
Three years went by and all she could do was disappoint her father over and over again. She tried harder. She forced herself to produce something that would again create waves. She forced herself to think. She couldn’t bear the thought of writing up something that wouldn’t be worthy.
It was a fluke. A beginner’s luck, she said to herself as she cried herself to sleep again. She wanted to excel again. Make her father proud. She tried writing about everything she could think of. That could captivate the mass. At the least spellbound his father.
Why? Why couldn’t she just write something powerful again? Why?
She despised herself.
But that night was different. She told herself to stop crying. Worrying. There was a limit to how pathetic she could be.
In the middle of night she woke up. She took the very same pen to jot down the words with all her might.
That night ended along with a final period she had put on her suicide note.
“Was she ever a writer? A true writer?”
Years later, that wasn’t even a question anymore.
“I let the fear of falling down cage my wings.“
Amid the conference, Prahishna continued her reply on her comeback, “I might not have been here. It had almost buried me but I decided to fly instead. I realized that my work, my writings aren’t meant to enthrall or achieve materialistic objectives. They are my world where I feel, live every bit of it. And all I had to do was to go back to being that girl who just aspired to write without worrying about what impact it would make. And, may be, I am not that successful today. May be, I don”t make it to best-sellers list every time. But then, magic and art are never meant to be measured by these things.”
She walked out wearing a smile, with a heart that had no qualms. She was a writer. She was always a writer at heart.
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