In the creative writing workshop I attended last weekend, there was an exercise, to write about a wild dream or fantasy or a happiest moment, or just something out of the ordinary – in our instructor Atmapreeta’s words, ‘go a little overboard’.
Having just ten minutes to think and write, I was unable to come up with the happiest day-dream or fantasy, or even the best moment of my life. Another exercise just prior to it had reminded me of a feeling of absolute ecstasy, the very thought of which had made the hair on my neck stand, and I thought I would try to pen that feeling. Not the best piece, and lacking perfection, but for whatever it is worth, I share it here, complete and unedited.
The 2-wheeler sputters to life. I’m in an open field, the wind against my face. I ride around the ground. The grass blows in the breeze. Is it the bike riding me, or am I riding the bike?
I almost lose my balance and put my foot down. This is the second day of Learning. I begin again. This time I complete three rounds before I put my feet down on terra firma. I am getting there!
On the third attempt, I have reached the heights of exhilaration. Then, I lose my balance. I am travelling at 60kmph, and tip over. I skid at the same pace. The wall at the far end looms large and hurtles closer to me. I close my eyes and wait for the impact. It never comes. Dread in my heart, I open my eyes and see that a large bird with colourful wings and a beautiful crown has swooped down, snatched me away and was now carrying me to Paradise.
When I finished reading this out, someone said, “I think you really wanted to ride a bike!”
I said to him, “I did ride, and I did fall, but the bird never appeared.”
What I wanted to add, but didn’t (probably I realised it only later) was that… the whole thing was a metaphor. It was not just about a bike and a fall and a bird. It was about Life itself – or phases from it. The Ecstasy, the Agony, the Fear, the Rescue.
I hope you can relate to it.