Friday, July 25, 2008

Bangalore Bombs

Scene: Creative writing workshop, day 3.
Location: Sristhi School of Art and Design, Bangalore.
Time: An hour after lunch.
White board Graffiti : Thought, feeling, Visual and Incidence
Assignment under discussion: Childhood.

Student 1
When I was a kid, I once got burned badly on both hands because I touched a burning stove. And, a few days after that, I saw my mother ironing clothes. She switched off the switch and went for a nap. And I, well, I knew I would get burnt, but, I had to go and touch that iron! So I touched the iron, and I got burned!

That is an incident. A visual. What is the feeling behind it?

Student 1
I don't know. I guess I just wanted to see if the iron was really hot.

This is a thought. What is the feeling?
A writer should always be in touch with the feeling behind every little scene that is written. What do you feel now when you look back at your childhood. Anyone?

Student 2

Yup, that is a feeling. What else? What did you feel when you told us the story of burning your hand on the iron?
(Student 2 walks out of classroom)

Student 3


(Student 2 walks into the class)

Student 2
I hate to disturb the class, but I just got a news alert, that there have been two bomb blasts in the city.

Much later.
After the kid and I are safe at home.


How do I feel? How do I feel? This should not have happened. No, that is a thought. How do I feel? Do I feel scared? A little, but it passes. How do I feel? How do I feel? Angry. Because this might disrupt my plans to go to Tiru. This passes too. How do I feel? How do I feel? Sad, for the woman who lost her life. Pass. How do I feel? How do I feel? Nothing, at all. Seven bombs and only one woman dead? And this is supposed to scare us? I am not scared. I feel brave! I am an Indian! I have gone through Gujarat! I have gone through Mumbai! Bangalore blasts are a chill pill. How do I feel? I feel brave!

A terrorist somewhere plants explosives. And the ego here explodes.


Banno said...

I wonder some times if we who write actually do know what it is to feel without words. Your honesty is healing.

Irene said...

The way we react, and how we live in our own shells... but even the shell breaks. It never struck me that you lived through Gujarat. Must have been shattering.