City Vox Popili – A Life in Affan’s Day, Delhi
As part of The Delhi Walla series asking citizens to “write down everything you did in one day.” Send yours in 400 words max to firstname.lastname@example.org
[Photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
[By Affan Alig, a graduate student in Delhi University.]
I woke up today with the same thought I’d slept with—a worry, a perennial distress that has taken over me. Yet, I’m doing nothing to relieve myself of it. “Everyone is being published, and all I’m doing is letting life slip away, seconds by seconds, into the abyss,” I murmured, filling myself with the sense of accepting my resignation from the act of writing.
Hours have passed, and it’s almost eight in the evening as I write the muse of the whole day. I’m coming to terms with the fact that if I keep postponing to sit and write, I’d perhaps be forgotten and reduced to a never-existing entity in the memories of the people whom I keep promising that my book is due next summer.
What specifically horrifies me at this moment is realizing how the style in my writing is slowly losing charm. Now, I want to read Hemingway all over again, to understand and learn from scratch how to pen down effortlessly and flawlessly. But I doubt if I’d sacrifice my comfort.
Besides this, whatever happened today in my life is the same old recurring incident. I woke up, felt bizarre, left for college, and didn’t want to lend my ears to the professor’s lectures. Instead, I retrieved “The Elements of Style” from my bag and gave it a few moments of reading until I felt unbearably empowered to begin writing. I played Beethoven’s Für Elise, thinking that’s what writers in Paris must be listening to, and so I must too if I want to write as beautifully as them.
The clock struck five, and I was ready to leave for my home and grieve about having wasted another day.
I have nothing so significant to bind a tale about. All I’m worth is a few good books I have collected over five years, a few DVDs of Tarkovsky’s, Kiarostami’s, and Godard’s films, and my curated list of the most beautiful songs. It’s not really that I’ve nothing more to write about, only that all writers are pathetic losers and procrastinators. They grieve about it, and later on, write about grieving. Writers live a trivial life, and that’s why they exaggerate.
Now that I’m about to doze off to sleep, I can see I’m sitting in front of a thousand people. I hear applause. My book is out there displayed on the hoardings. I can’t carry on; I’m too sleepy.