Friday, December 25, 2009

I'm Back

I can’t believe it has been six weeks since I have posted anything here. Six whole weeks, with my last post being about toilets. I meant to write more after that, but one morning I woke up and decided I just wanted to live life, not really write about it so much and after about six months of a self-imposed hiatus from all things social, I was suddenly caught up inside the cyclone. It was kicked off by cocktails at Fio with various fashion people, and then from there it was a party for the fantastic design label 11.11 in their new studio, the absolute flop of a party for Lamborghini, restaurant reviews, boutique openings, and invitations to events and parties ranging from the breast cancer cocktails at Ferrigamo, the polo finals at the Jaipur Polo Grounds in Delhi, and some party at Louis Vuitton. There were trips to Chandigarh and yet another to McLeod Ganj. And there was the zipwire tour I did at Neemrana as part of a magazine article where we also filmed a bit of a pilot segment we hope will be used for the television show I am trying to kick start.

As busy as all of that sounds, I have spent the bulk of the past six or so weeks on my own doing a lot of nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, really, but thinking and reflecting. This past year has been one of the most painful and lonely times I have ever experienced. I spent the bulk of the year feeling angry, depressed, isolated and alone. Most of the people I considered friends no longer phoned or answered when I called or texted. So I decided to step back and take some time out and face what was happening instead of running from it. It hasn’t been easy. It still isn’t. But it is getting easier and I am realizing things about myself I never imagined.

I also find myself at a place where I don’t know what happens next. After over a year of not working (and television commercials, extra work in films and freelance writing may sound glamorous and exciting, but they don’t really pay the bills) I am figuring out what next. I have the option of going back to the US, which in some ways I am open to, at least for some time, but in others, I am resisting it. I want to travel more. I would prefer to stay in India or head off to Cambodia, Thailand, Bhutan or someplace exciting and new. I don’t know yet what I can or will do, I just know I can’t stay here, like this, in this space.

And in the middle of all this reflection, I have been writing and photographing for a magazine and have seen several of my pieces published. Yesterday, I received the coolest Christmas gift ever. In the latest issue of Yuva, which I bought yesterday, there is a letter from a reader commenting on my story. Did I mention it was a cover story? It was… Anyway, I digress. It is just a small blurb of a letter, but it may as well be the Pulitzer. I am so happy about it. It is one thing to have something published, but another thing entirely to discover that a complete stranger has actually read it. And then felt inspired enough to comment. I want to know how many other letters have come in about the story or any of my stories, but am too embarrassed to ask. I don’t want to seem desperate or needy. It is like a drug and now I want more…

I am reading the book, The Angel’s Game by one of my favorite authors, Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n who also wrote The Shadow of the Wind, a book I highly recommend, and the first paragraph reads:

A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood, and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.