WHY I WRITE
Why do I keep gazing at the depth of the sky? Why do I lend my ears dead at night to the sound of the dew drops? Lying on my bed why do I listen to the ghunghurs of the bird, flown away last evening? Why do i suddenly shiver out as if experiencing the sufferings of a raped girl ? Why do a war-ravaged and injured baby's faces upon the television screen intrude into my slumber? What answers I do have with me for all these questions?
Tentatively, should I give the final remark of all these questions? Only to examine my own failures over and over again, I write poetry. Yes, I only study my own short coming. With this can be given a partial answer to "Why I write! But years of devoted life and poetic experiments cannot be explained in just one line. So, once again I ask to myself, really, why do I write?
Why, in my childhood, when I listened to a song, I imagined a couple of lines with that poem? In our house, my mother and grandmother, in each word mentioned some fitting proverbs quite often. My father was a freedom fighter, he loves music and drama. He was off lands. The language literature consciousness and love for poetry of the family at late Gopal Chandra Praharaj (my grandfather) was quite strong. Did all these factors work strongly in my unconscious mind? May be!
When I was at school or even during my first year in college,. whatever I was writing, were getting published immediately. I had no time to think over, whether I was writing something good or bad. Yet, at that time also this question-why I write, didn't occur to mind. The year was 1962. I was to appear the physics paper in the second
sitting for the pre-University science examination. That day, in the forenoon, was the Visual Milan award giving ceremony. Hostel superintendent reminded in a resolute voice you can't attend the ceremony. You have your university examination. but that dissenting voice could hot prevent me from attending the visuba award —giving ceremony-receiving the award I came back in time. I got a first class in that examination too. But the pleasure I felt at receiving the visuba award had no match for it.
The day I was married, a poetry collection of mine (along with my husband's poem) was released and also my result was declared- a first division. Some people congratulated me at my getting A first class. I also was elated and my heart was filled with pleasure and happiness. But, can't anyone see my poetry collection? Later on whenever I was reminded of that stupidity of mine in reality, how important was that first division for me than that poetry collection! Being a women of a lower middle class background, and for that academic result, I got a job and led a good life. But sometimes I think and ask to myself, why was I putting more priority to that poetry collection? Why? Setting foot in family life from a very young age I was really unable to manage my married life, study career and poetry writing career simultaneously. As if my health and mentality were crumbing down like a glass house. Yet, my husband stood beside me and inspired to write constantly. But that inspiration could reach me to a definite height. Like a mountaineer gradually loses all his co-climbers and finds him all alone, I became an isolated being in the realm of poetry. There was no one around me by that time.
At that time the question would have struck to my mind what I really get from this poetry? Why do I write? What I have gathered by putting such innumerable
emotions, realisations time and labour of my life? What I searched for all these years and what I got?
I wrote, only for what I have got , I have measured the earth under my feet in the cycling path of this world at the existence of my own standing —searched for the meaning of this living. I have tried to discover that invaluable formula from all the difficulties and humiliations. Sometimes I have taken bath in my own tears while collecting the helplesseness of my own existence. Realising this helpless human condition I have become compassion-stricken while attempting to draw an enormous painting of possibility. Poor man ! As much his vastness, as his darkness is. He can embrace the whole world, yet, he is unable to touch the top of his head. In other words. One can't just avoid this man- one's own self. Only because it can't be avoided I attempt to discover the bridge that really joins his greatness and narrowness. Innumerable nights go without sleep. Man's fruitful possessions go out of hand . How and when can man free himself from his helplessness and humiliation ? I question this to myself to the sky, to that imaginary God.
There is no answer from the God Almighty. The sky is always very cruel, Hence I ask the question to myself. The straight cut question-if you want to exist, you will have to answer, otherwise die and perish. I face the man with beautiful realisations and resolved in self-sacrifice. I can't kill him, nor do I push him to the pit of destruction. In the world of possibility, I start drawing the nearer picture of that all pervading God-Almighty.
But I myself don't know what I really get from this writing? Surely, there must be something- I get, whatever I get feel proud of being crowned of this achievement. I even forgive my own enemies. Keep them standing all the misunderstandings and problems of this world in a definite place, hold them tight in my left fist, catch hold
of my pen on the right. The pleasure of discovering myself, the ability to hold tight the real formula of my own dwarfness, recongnising my own longings, the nearer to death attempt to the necessity of establishing it, the outcome of this endeavour and the conmpassion that is resulted out of this result, mesmerizes me.
I get ready to drag the deadly cruel partial God to put him behind the bar. But He is the only symbolic figure of the best possibility of human being-realising this tears well up in my eyes. I become courageous in my ability to discover the best possible strength hidden within a human being . I make possible revolution through words, Because , I never tolerate the superemacy of time- I fail to push the mortals into the darkness of death. I fail to sacrifice the love and affection soaked human quality to the flaming mouth of violence and hatred. I turn to be a rebel of course. I don't touch any metallic arm. Because I don't have any enemy in particular. But the world of realization invites for a revolution. I stand on the opposite, yet , the God Almighty never tolerates the man who stands as a rebel in the natural course of movement. So I get my punishment ; punishment that is rigorous and cruel.
I write to dare with the God Almighty. I write to accept the most rigorous punishment-probably I right for these two reasons only. Also I write for some more reasons too, the reasons I fail to explain right at this point of time. The agony and ecstasy of mine that hid themselves within the space between my lines and hesitate to emerge till now- I write for them as well.
Dr. Pratibha Satpathy, Poet and critic Cell- 9438305224