The first thing we had to do in class was write.
Write about what we hear when we closed our eyes.
I hear the sound of the fan working hard blowing out air from the aircon and yet I still feel warm as ever.
Indeed, that is my short mouthful writing for the exercise. Amazing. What I should have written upon revision (we did not share it):
I hear the fan. It’s working hard, blowing out air from the vent. Yet, heat radiates off me and a trickle of sweat goes down my spine.
Shorter sentences. More imagery. That’s what I think.
Honestly, my notes are not making sense. They are short. And sometimes vague.
If I were to recall, incorrectly or not, the importance of characters in a story. That what characters do, other than driving the story, is that it creates empathy. It provides the story with history, culture and views.
Then we dived into meaning. How we make meaning out of things in a story. How we can look beyond a setting. We show the reader our mind. We let ourselves go there. “Putting yourself in the room = you no longer see the room”. So we detach ourselves from it, we distant, we take a step back to see the bigger picture. We look beyond from what we can see in our vision.
Then there were more short notes I could not expand. Unfortunately.
The second writing exercise however was a much more engaging one. We were to pair up, talk to each other, share about ourselves and then write about the other. Without them as a character in the story.
We could make them into a dog. A cup. Anything.
Delhi is no place for a girl, I tell the heart. She should stop going with her emotions — always feeling something and feeling too much.
She just feels. But that’s the heart for you.
She doesn’t think. I do.
I think for all of them.
For the hands that carried the bundle of joy in my arms, vowing to keep them safe always. For the legs that guide them to safe places. For the body that accompanies their sleepless nights after a bad dream, keeping them warm. Keeping them safe.
But the heart. Nostalgia, she says.
She misses the familiarity of the city. And so we are back in Delhi, but this is the first time in 16 years we have been back.
I have kept us in Singapore, I have calculated risks, I have explained logic to the heart. But the heart of a fathers want still the daughters to learn about the the history. I tell her its the same, the crowd, the culture, but thats the heart for you. The heart wants what it wants.
But me, the mind of a father, wants them to learn.
This is such a bad piece of writing. I said that I went abstract, to show J as a father. That it was the battle of heart and the mind, questioning why, trying to reason and the what ifs? But honestly there was nothing in this for me. I don’t even want to bother to rewrite this work.
So I get it. It was for us to bring a character to life and be able to personify an object. Take ourselves out, and put the self somewhere else. Think something else. Write something different.
Short, eh? Don’t be surprised I’m just going to lump the next 2–3 classes together because I didn’t write down notes (so smart), or keep the writing exercises I did.
Of course I’ll start doing it now. For now, I’m going to try to bring 1000 words to class for workshopping.
See ya. Write on.