calliope, calliope 2018

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photo credits here

by oviya

Warning: This contains unedited thoughts, all typewritten with minimal deletion. Proceed at your own risk.

Across the concrete river between us stands the cosmos.

Then it is striking, is it not, that this vast space of vacuum can be crossed in a few sentences, a few words is all it takes to feel as though we’ve known someone all our lives?

Even now, as I sit p̶o̶n̶d̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ meticulously pondering over each word that traverses across my fingertips and end with a mechanical clackety clack probably reminiscent, I imagine, of the long past times of the industrial revolution – revolution – of the typewriters aged elegantly like fine wine, minus the convenience, minus the comfort, minus anything that makes today any different than from years ago, actually, no, this is what is termed as romanticizing the past, is it not? Or perhaps a passing fascination with what is now considered a novelty? In any case, I digress. Starting from the top, even now, as I sit meticulously pondering over each word that traverses across my fingertips and end with a mechanical clackety clack, I feel like this is too long to convey too little information, that this can be improved further.

Too purposefully florid, I think, not unlike the overwrought muscles of the statues of Greek gods. This could have been phrased better. Searching online, I find “…the overwrought muscles of the Parthenon Poseidon exaggerated in torsos of the altar frieze.” Not all the words are part of my vocabulary. I would never be able to articulate my thoughts in such ornate language, I think to myself.

The first writing I distinctly recall reading – of my own accord – is Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox. And what a wonderfully memorable book it was too.

“Boggis and Bunce and Bean,
1 fat, 1 short, 1 lean.
These horrible crooks
So different in looks
Were nonetheless equally mean.”

I type this without referring to the plot or the specific pages. Nearly 11 years later since I first read the book, the plot is as striking as ever. Words have the power to be remembered even after our dates have expired.

In year 3 and 4, I took English literature as my humanities subject, not out of any particular desire to analyse books – no, by then, the Twilight Saga, the Harry Potter series, and the Alex Rider series had run their course and, along with it, run a sledgehammer through any semblance of interest I had in reading books ever again – but because I was awful at everything else. We peered over every other sentence in To Kill A Mockingbird, Boom, Brave New World, about diction, symbolism, imagery, and much more. The writers’ intentions seemed clearer than ever before.

It was then that I redeveloped an interest in writing again. It is an iterative process, writing down what I feel, and changing every other word. It is a method of self-reflection, while also doing useful work at the same time.

Why some word choices over others? Am I feeling the aftereffects of doing badly in the Biology Quiz earlier today? There are too many ‘I’s used till now. Am I being too self-absorbed?

The quality of the paragraphs is decreasing exponentially, I should come back to it later. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps. If I feel like it.

Maybe later today, I’d successfully finish this piece after many rounds of editing and think to myself, I would not be able to write that now. That it was a job well done. And times like these are what motivate me to keep writing.