Finishing the Fifth Draft of a Story

I want to write every day but I don’t. Most of the times, I am so lazy that I don’t want to lift my pen. Sometimes, the things I’m writing is too personal and sometimes, the stuff I write makes me uncomfortable.

Right now, I am writing a story. I’m still not writing daily but I am more regular than before. I finished the fifth draft (fourth complete draft) today. Every draft has changed the way I am looking into the characters and the plot. The overall theme and plot has remained the same but the way to get to them have been varied.

I also found a way to calm my inner editor. Every time I see a problem, I promise myself to look into it in the next draft. Following expert advice, I used to wait for some time to revise. This time, however, I am not waiting. As soon as I finish one version, I begin another. It’s helping me a lot in remembering the things I wanted to change and it has also helped me regain confidence in writing.

I hope to complete the story in the next couple of drafts. Then I will move on to the next thing I have on my mind. Wish me luck!

I got stuck (Is it a good sign?)

I was thinking about it every time I had some leisure. I had discovered a “mind-blowing” way to convert my short story “Leave Me Alone” into a novel. I had worked about eight chapters within a month. These chapters would end the first part and I was ready to move into the crucial second part. Then I suddenly felt I needed a prologue. A chapter apart from the rest of the story that would create suspense. (It already had some suspense. I was trying to mix some spices.) That prologue introduced me to the major problem in my plot: how was my heroine doing what she was doing?

I had worked out the “why” and I had thought I knew “how” but things got complicated. I was teleporting her to places where I wanted her to be, and she was doing things the way I wanted in an unnatural way. My story is not a fantasy. It’s a contemporary psychological thriller. No way was I going to introduce myself opening doors for her (I feel this would make a good sci-fi!), and neither was I going to let anything happen just like that. So, why the plot hole?

I don’t know. Maybe, I planned in the wrong manner. Perhaps the changes I had brought about in the prologue rang the bells. Whatever it was, I believe, was for the best! How would I make others believe in an unbelievable story? I’ve stalled it until I find a solution.

***

I felt an itch. Actually, I’d been thinking about it for a few days now. I had linked “Quest” with “Leave Me Alone”, and the latter with “The Peacemaker” (I have built its concept but not written a word yet. Or, can I say it’s first chapter is already in “Leave Me Alone”, just in another POV?). So, because there was a link, I was thinking of completing “Quest”.

The biggest problem in this rewriting was that my old computer is dead and until it’s repaired I had no access to the “latest” version I created about last year. Or, so I thought. Then I searched my phone. I found the original version (Thank God!). I checked Google Docs. There were eight chapters each of last two versions. Now the problem is: I first need to sort out which “doc” belongs to which version. Then I need to compile and (probably) rewrite.

This rewrite is going to be fun. I have a guide. I have versions in third person and in first person. I need to decide what to use now. I have events in different orders. I might have to reorder, delete and add. I have written four or five versions of “Quest” already. I must make it my final. The solution for the plot problem I had discovered last year, is going to make it interesting. But the biggest challenge is to stand out as the self-proclaimed genius! (After sorting out the problems, I had called myself a “genius”. Damn, that’s a crown I cannot handle!)

Leave Me Alone-2

Previously on Leave Me Alone:

In the first chapter, Sasha takes Ajay her home. Ajay, who had never gone in before, is mesmerized by the decorations. However, the portrait of a woman on red sari who looks similar to Sasha (Sasha says it’s her mother) grabs his attention. Later, he sees a woman on a red sari. Before he can who she is, he is attacked. Ajay flees away from Sasha’s home.

Continue reading Chapter 2 here. . .

Ajay was gasping. The chilly wind that hit his nose and lungs did not help him. His legs, too were giving in and his feet were burning on the cold pitch. He did not stop, however. After a few minutes of run, he had realized that he was not being chased anymore but his mind had warned him that it could be a trap. Even under fear and darkness, his sense of direction had helped him reach the police station. As soon as he had stepped in, he had collapsed.

Ajay opened his eyes upon a hard wooden bench. He saw two men in front of him. One of them was a bespectacled man of about sixty. He had white beard and his demeanour spoke of experience. The other was clean-shaven man of about thirty. He looked the more curious of the two. “Bring him something to drink,” the younger man ordered. In less than a minute, Ajay was offered a cup of tea.

“Hello, Ajay,” the bespectacled man spoke, “How do you feel now?”

Maybe because of the tea, Ajay’s body had felt a little better. But the very thought of what had happened at Sasha’s place chilled his spines. “Sasha is in danger,” he said to the old man. “You don’t look like a policeman. Who are you? How do you know my name?”

The old man smiled. “I am Madan Shrestha. I am a doctor and I live nearby. I had been called here by Inspector Pradhan,” he pointed at the younger man, “who also happens to be my son-in-law. We had personal matters to discuss. That was when you stumbled into the station.”

“And I asked him to helped you,” Inspector Pradhan said sternly. “We took your identity from your driving license. You look well off. How did you come up here without your shoes? Who is Sasha? You were muttering that she is in danger even while you were unconscious.”

“She’s my girlfriend,” Ajay said and gave the Inspector her address. He took the case in his hands immediately. Leaving a junior officer Krishna and Dr. Shrestha with Ajay, he set off with some cadets. Krishna, who had been intently listening to everything earlier, spoke asked, “Let’s know what had happened to you and your girlfriend, shall we?”

Ajay said, “We met at a conference about a month ago. We discovered many similarities between us and we soon got fond of each other. We exchanged numbers. Text messages soon converted into phone calls. The more we talked, the better we started knowing each other. A week later we went on our first date.”

Ajay told them that he had planned a special treat to celebrate Sasha’s birthday. A cake and dinner was ordered at 9 o’clock that evening. He had reached Sasha’s workplace ten minutes before her duty would end. He made a call, which Sasha had received on the eleventh time. She had soon come down, smiling. He had gone to her and had dragged to the car. He had opened the door and pushed her. He had been a little harsh and Sasha had been face down upon the seat. Ajay had never wanted such a thing to happen. She had looked a little furious. He had run to his seat and played her favourite music before he had driven them to Sasha’s house.

Sasha had smilingly asked him to come over at hers. Ajay had thought that she was angry with him because of what had happened earlier. He had not struck a conversation because of the very reason. He had been surprised and had denied the offer as he had often done. But she had pressed him hard. He would not have given in if he had not planned the treat himself. So he agreed. If he had agreed to go to her house earlier, she would not have been as excited at that moment.

Sasha had walked off the car and opened the gate. She had also shown him the garage, where he had parked the car. While he was walking towards the main door, he saw Sasha standing still on the porch. She looked like she was thinking something. When Ajay had called her, she had come out of her trance, or whatever it was, and had said that she had been waiting for her. Soon she had taken him through the main door, which opened into the living hall.

He had been mesmerized by the grandeur of the room. Its floor was covered by fine red carpet all over. In the middle of the room were three couches arranged in the shape of ‘U’. The bigger middle one faced the door that they had just entered from; one couch on its left faced the kitchen and the other in the right faced the bathroom. A low table lay in front of the bigger couch.

Two stairs went up from the living hall, one just from a little left from outside the kitchen and the other symmetrically left from outside the bathroom. They met on the other floor to form a balcony. Under the balcony, within the living room, there were several paintings. Due to low intensity of light on that part, however, Ajay could not properly see them from far.

While he had still been wandering about the hall, Sasha had entered the kitchen. He had heard the sounds of the gas stove being lighted up some minutes ago. The God of Mischief had led him into the kitchen. Sasha had turned her back towards the door and had been watching the milk-pan. Ajay had walked up slowly looking at his own face in the mirrors on the kitchen wall. He had also noticed a small mirror over the sink. As noiseless as a cat, he had reached Sasha and all of a sudden, grabbed her from behind. At the same time, the milk had boiled up and fallen over the stove, ceasing the fire. Ajay had been scared. He had made a mistake again. However, instead of punishing him, Sasha had pulled him forward to kiss him. The stench of the LPG had hit her nose at the very moment and she had pushed him away and had taken care of the situation immediately.

Though Sasha had not said anything, Ajay felt that his mischief had been enough to make her angry. He had quickly left the kitchen and had rushed into the living room again. He had explored the part under the balcony that time and had seen a portrait-like photograph. It was a life-size photograph of a woman on red sari and a matching blouse. Her shoes and bag too were red. She had put on a small bindi on her forehead and sindoor above it up to her hair. Her hair had been tied in a bun and curls were left out just above her ears. The photo stunned Ajay because the woman looked so much like Sasha but the photo did not look like it had been recently produced.

Therefore, while Sasha had entered with two mugs of coffee in her hands, he had asked if she had taken a photo of that sort. She had said that it was not hers. An idea struck into his mind that the woman on the photograph could be her mother instead, and she had confirmed it.

“After that, there was no question in my mind,” Ajay had continued. “I had strolled a little, sipped the coffee, I sat on the long couch. She had soon come and rested on my lap. I could see her beautiful eyes. They were full of love. I could not keep my own eyes off them. All of a sudden, her facial muscles twitched. The eyes that were filled by love had become furious. They looked as if she was about to pounce upon me.

“My reflexes tried to keep me away from her. As I jumped up, a little coffee fell upon her uniform. She lamented for a while and shot upstairs. Meanwhile, I emptied the coffee mug and put it on the table. I also noticed that Sasha had taken her mug upstairs for I could not find them in the room and I clearly remember that she had not gone into the kitchen either. I do not remember how long I sat alone in that living hall waiting for her. I was attracted to her mother’s photo and had taking a closer look at it again when I heard the sound of breaking glass from the direction of the kitchen.

“I hadn’t noticed if Sasha had come downstairs or not. I had no idea if she had been into the kitchen. I guessed she might have and dashed into the kitchen. Fragments of glass were scattered on the floor. The big mirror on the opposite of the sink had been the victim. I was careful not to step on them. (I had kept my shoes on the shelf outside the living hall.) Then I saw a woman advancing at me from the right corner of the room. I don’t understand if the photo had enthralled my mind already, for the woman who was sprinting towards me looked exactly like the one it.

“”Get out of the house,” she shouted at me. I refused to budge. She came forward at me and furiously swung her left arm at me. What I had not earlier realised was that she had carried a knife. By the time I could notice that, it had already landed upon my face.

“I howled, cursed and ran away with my hand pressing the wound on my face. Whoever this woman was, I was sure had gone crazy and was after me. I don’t know if she was Sasha’s mother whom I had not seen earlier; nor can I say what she has done to Sasha. At the time I fled, I just wanted to escape the wrath of that woman on the red sari. A little later, I mind just told me as I ran hard, ‘Go to the nearest police station, Sasha needs help.’ That’s what led me here and I collapsed before I could speak out anything to you.”

 

 

← Read Chapter 1                            

  Read Chapter 3→

Read More on the Story                         

A Story that took eight months to complete

I began writing Leave Me Alone through a concept while I was writing Quest during last year’s NaNoWriMo. I had written about a book Arun (the main character of Quest) reads during his vacation. Sometime later, I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I write one such story myself?’

On 31st December, 2015, I began writing the story. I had set a goal to write about 4,000 words that resembled the story of the book Arun reads. I decided to use the first-person narration from the girl’s point of view. The first statement in that version was- “I was cold. So cold that it felt like my heart was frozen.”

When I read the first draft later, I was sure the story would not be completed in 4,000 words. Nor would one person’s view was enough. I decided to add one more character- the girl’s boyfriend. I made them enter the girl’s house together, where the boy would be attacked. Until then I had not given them names.

As I added more characters- a lawyer, a maid and a doctor- who, obviously had no names, I had to name the girl and the boy. That would make the narrations of latter characters easier. I gave them names- Ajay and Sasha. That was on May-April, I guess.
A month after I finished my notebook (not a computer) draft, I started typing. By this time, Ajay’s narration had preceded Sasha’s and each character was speaking in the first person PoV. When I reread that draft, I was distressed. They just looked like collection of judicial statements with only two characters having a little interaction.

Then I jumped to the PoV I am more comfortable on- the third person. And I decided to limit it, focusing one character during one chapter. ‘That will add suspense,’ I thought.

So the first time I typed it into the computer, Sasha’s PoV came up in the first chapter again. Sasha and Ajay would go to the girl’s home and Ajay would be attacked.

The same thing would be narrated by Ajay in different place. But there are differences and they are intentional. The foremost chapter has now become the third. The fourth, fifth and the sixth chapters have the stories of a maid, a lawyer, and Sasha’s dream on a back story linked with attack on Ajay. When the story ended, someone else than I had previously thought became the antagonist. I have not pointed them. 

I want you to unravel the mystery.*

*Note:The story is going to be published every Friday beginning on September 2, 2016. Be prepared!

How Difficult Writing a Story Can Be!

It’s been almost six months since I have been working on a short story- “Leave Me Alone“. It is a psychological thriller, where a boy is attacked in his girlfriend’s house. I can’t believe it is taking such a long time to complete!

It’s not that I haven’t written the story. After hours of thinking, I began writing on January 1, 2016. At that time, it had begun with the first person experience of the girl while she finds herself unconscious on a cold night. Then the next chapter would be a continued by the experience of the boy (in first person narrative). I did not write further because I thought there was problem with the plot.

Some months later, I revised those chapters trying to see if I can continue the story. I got stuck again. Several problems arose. The characters were unnamed. They carried on the story with whatever they saw or knew. I got muddled up in my own story. Gosh!

Then again in May, before my exams, I decided to bring up a little twist. I thought of the names of the main characters and separated each of their statements (diary entries, police statements and court statements) in five different chapters. The story seemed complete for the first time. Problem was- nobody spoke, not even once, the title phrase. According to my planning, it would have to be spoken. I don’t know how I missed it!

I started typing that version out. I had already thought of the places I needed to modify. But did not continue because of my exams. And then when I looked at it about three weeks later, I thought, ‘Why not change everything- the beginning, the ending and the PoV?’

So this final draft (until now- I am still modifying things here and there) has a third person limited point of view (PoV, if you had been confused by the abbreviation earlier). Each character got their names (Hurray!) and one of them is going to shout out, “Leave Me Alone”. Finally, I can see it reaching the finishing line. But this particular story has been like a hurdle race to me. The beginning of every chapter is like a hurdle. When I pass one, I can gain speed but another hurdle threatens to break my pace immediately. I guess I only have to jump over the last hurdle now. Once it’s done, I can run fast and end the race.

When it’s done, I would love to share my happiness with you as well.

Have you ever written anything which might have taken you longer than you had initially thought? How often do you modify your work? Would you like to share your experiences? Comment on the box below. Thank you!

Fan Pressure?

Who do authors, singers and actors crave for? Fans, obviously. It is good for them to have a good number of people following them and their works. Is it always good, though?

Even if celebrities want to keep their lives secret, their fans want to know each and every aspect of their lives. This gives rise to (most of the times) nonsense gossips and “entertainment news”. We know many celebrated people, especially actors, being the victims of the paparazzi. I am not talking about actors and musicians, though. I am talking about authors. That’s because, not until recently, I have realized that author can succumb to fan pressure.

Authors want their books, and their stories to be read. They also want to huge number of faithful fans who read their stories, appreciate them and correct their mistakes, if the authors have made any. They would like to please their fans most of the times. The editors and publishers, too would want to publish their works quickly as possible. They think of caching in the popularity of authors at the moment so that sales increase. Writers complete their work. Publishers publish them. Readers read them. Errors- linguistic and technical seem to have increased. The authors have given what the fans wanted but they are not satisfied. Why?

Let’s look at a few real life examples, shall we?
The first in my list is Amish Tripathi. It was a post on his Facebook page that inspired me to write this article. I don’t remember what the post was, though I think it was about Lord Ram. His most recent novel, The Scion of Ikshvaku is the first in the Ramchandra series published last year. The first thing my mind said was, “When is the next book in the series coming up?” I went in to look at the comments and saw that some of his fans had already posted the thing that was in my mind. I paused for a while, scrolled up and down for a few seconds, and I realized, “We fans can be so impatient.” It has not been even a year since the first book’s publication and we are already demanding the sequel. I restrained from making a comment and moved out of the page.
I also remember reading the same author’s biography on Wikipedia. He had published his first two books of the Shiva Trilogy just within eleven months. The second book feels a little weaker than the first one. But because it was a trilogy, one could expect answers in the last book. Imagine the pressure he might have had in completing the series. He could just satisfy the readers and escape the questions related to the narrative. The last book is much bulkier- almost the size of the first two books together. Yet, it felt incomplete to me. Maybe because Shiva is not the hero he should have been. (See, I am creating a sort of fan pressure.)
So he came with the Ramchandra series. And in creating a perfect hero in Ram, Tripathi made him too idealist and one-dimensional. That’s what people are saying in the Goodreads, too.

Subin Bhattarai comes in next. It is hard to believe that a Nepali writer came with a Bhagatesque idea of young romance and gained a massive popularity among the youths. Summer Love (English name for a Nepali novel!) gave its writer a taste of success. Readers, especially teenagers, loved the narrative of a love-struck boy. But just as people are getting bored of Chetan Bhagat(who inspires the term Bhagatesque) , people got bored of his second novel. Saya (sounds Hindi) the second novel and a supposed series speaks with an altered narrative. Readers knew what would happen. So they just did not want the girl’s perspective on the story. And Bhattarai did not make it much convincing. Maybe some fan of his had asked for a story based on the girl’s perspective, he had written the second book, or maybe his initial success on a similar story might have inspired him but he could not impress his fans. Most of those who had not read Summer Love liked Saya, however. So if he can come up with a different content or a different taste, he still has the potential to become a good writer. (Plus, he has a good publishing team and that can be helpful to him.)

Some authors are lucky, however. The last author in this article is JK Rowling. When she published ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, she had never thought of the popularity it would gain. Yet her target group were children and all her mistakes were forgiven. She had a huge loyal fan base that helped her out. There are now so many information now available on Pottermore that were unanswered during the seven books of the series. I was not convinced. That’s why I have never visited Pottermore.

What shall I conclude that the end of this blog? I believe we all need faithful supporters, who can help us out when we are in trouble. But we should also be careful not to give in to the interest of the crowd. It’s your creation after all.

Coincidences

A Coincidence

I was writing a story on the last evening of 2015. It is my second story on horror/thriller genre. Sometime later, I thought, Had this happened earlier? I thought it had. I knew I had written something on Facebook about writing a horror story on New Year’s eve. I immediately searched on my ‘Activity Log’. There it was! I had posted on December 30, 2014:

Fear is a strange feeling. I had started writing a horror story after reading a fearful incident, the fear increased in my mind in such a way that I was filled with horror one day. Lo! It attacked my vivacity and I feel sick. Now all I want is to resume my writing overcoming the fear.
#writing_horror_story

Though I had posted on Dec. 30, I remember beginning on 31st because it had been planned. This year, although I had a concept already on my mind, I had not begun writing and I wanted to complete at least the first draft before I went on the field tour from my University to Malekhu, Dhading as a part of my Geology course.

Another strange coincidence which had occurred some hours before the aforementioned incident:

On the last day of 2014, I had clicked the photographs of clouds. Similar thing happened at the end of 2015. At around 2.15 p.m., dark clouds came up all of a sudden and my sister suggested that we click some photos as we had done last year. Disturbed by the sunlight to some extent, photos were clicked. Clouds were not as strange as that of last year, but they turned up good.

image
Cloud on 31 December, 2014

Clouds on 31 December, 2014.

image
Clouds on 31 December, 2015

Clouds on 31 December, 2015

A Question:

How do we define such mysterious coincidences? I have no answer. I don’t think the answer would amuse me either. So, here I am, happy to be ignorant on the mysterious ways life moves.

[Note: The first draft was ready on the first day of 2016 and it neither looks horrific nor thrilling. I know I need to add those elements. When? I am not sure.]

What NaNoWriMo did to Me

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, popularly known to the participants as NaNo (though I would prefer WriMo because it’s more a Writing Month and a National Novel. Is the name appropriate, though? I will come to that in a while.) is a global event, (that’s why I will discuss that again!) for the aspiring novelists. Thirty days of work for at least 50,000 words, the golden number for something to be called a novel – did not know before I signed up the event! That’s what NaNoWriMo about.

On October 17 of the year, I saw a post from Rashmi Menon on Blogging 101: Alumni, a forum of WordPressers. I clicked the link and there I was, where I could have been earlier if I had not been confused by the name of the event (it’s irresistibly coming up again and again). Anyway, I signed up. I already had something on my desktop that could be a novel, but I had no plans for it. So I decided- within five minutes since I signed up- that I would write on novel based on a short story I had sent to the Fiction Park section of the Kathmandu Post, but had never been published.

That was the beginning of it. Once I decided what I was going to write (type for most of the part), I built up some characters and drafted their personalities, thanks to an ebook, Crafting Unforgettable Characters, I had downloaded from K.M. Weiland’s website. On the first day of November, I started writing. About twenty six hundred words I typed that day. (Never broke the record. Such enthusiasm! Phew.) And then with the short story I used, I quickly moved to a higher word count than most of my buddies in the website.

Days went on. Managing at least 2,000 words per day, I was cruising slow and steady. Among my buddies, only Kristina Van Hoose was ahead of me. (She was updating her word count at rocket speed and was the first among my buddies to reach the golden number! I can’t really tell how she managed it.) From the second week of the event, festival of Tihar gripped me. The festive mood did affect me, and I was slowed down.

The third week was terrible. College had commenced after the vacation and I had an exam. While focusing on that, I lost hours of time for creating the novel, but whatever time I got, I crawled along. By the end of last week, there have been horrible things. Power cut off, college time, and assignments, all reducing the time  I sit in front of my computer. That was when I got traditional. I began writing on a exercise book. And that had its own perks.

Sitting in front of the computer, adding new words to the novel, I have heard complains from my parents and my little sister. Ignoring their talks and discussions, keeping aside the political issues that enrage me, and keeping aside the matter of the fuel crisis going on in the country, I wrote and wrote. I finally reached the golden number in time, but there was a big problem: HOW DO I VALIDATE?

At the end of the 50,000 mark, the website asks to validate the novel (an official word-count) to declare the participant a winner. Now that I wrote the last few parts in a copy and that I can neither scan nor type within the last moment of the event, I don’t know how I will be declared winner by the site. Therefore I decided to declare myself a winner. I even got a feast. Well, actually that was because of the birthday of my mother.

Typing a novel from an unknown location (for the site; Asia: Elsewhere in Asia), updating the word count every hour from a computer that can break down any time, I have learned one great lesson: Novels come out of great effort. Novelists are just as crazy as my father thought. One month is an extremely short time for a quality novel to come out (mine has not finished yet), but it’s an initiation and a great experience. It’s time I get out of the hangover now. (It’s also a high time I get acquainted with all new WordPress, which my friend Anish had said some days back, had lost its word-count on the editor. I saw it while scrolling down. How excited I was seeing that!)

 

Wait, did I forget something? Oh, yeah. The name of the event of course! You must have noticed the contradiction while I wrote National Novel Writing Month is a global event. Had I known that the event was actually a GloNoWriMo (Global Novel Writing Month) and not only for the USians, I would have prepared myself. Would I have, though? That would definitely have made another story.

A Conversation

Location : Between Jamal to Chandol, Kathmandu on a Micro(bus).

Time : About 2 to 2 : 30 PM

(The following is a real conversation I overheard during my trip back to home from College on Thursday. I recalled each and every words and then translated them. It’s a random conversation between a girl and a boy.)

A: I don’t get time to do read. There are too many homeworks to do.

B: It’s more important to read than doing homework. Board exams are not conducted on that basis.

A: What to do? They (teachers) threat that they will not give marks. Today, one said that he will give 0 in class activity.

B: They won’t do that. They can’t. While providing marks to the board, they have to say that everyone had done at their best. It’s a matter of reputation for the teachers and the college. (That’s true!)

A: May be. By the way, why are you absent most of the times? Do you roam around often?

B: Yeah.

A: Alone?

B: Do I need three, four (girls) to roam with, then?

A: No, but I have heard that you have a girlfriend.

B: Now, who is that back-biting me?

A: I just heard it, alright.

B: Who said that?

A: No one in particular. I just heard it.

B: Actually I go around alone. I don’t have a girlfriend.

A: Most (boys) do. But I don’t have (a boyfriend).

B: Most don’t (have boyfriends or girlfriends). It’s difficult to stay in a “relationship”.

A: I don’t think I will ever stay in a relationship. I can’t.

B: Don’t lie.

A: No, it’s true. I can’t think of it.

B: I don’t like to walk alone carrying a heavy bag.

A: I used to walk a lot with my friends when I used to study at…

B: It’s a different thing to walk with a friend. I can’t dare to walk alone for long on this scorching sun carrying this load… By the way, I don’t know your name.

A: What? We have talked so many times and you don’t know my name.

B: I forget names, what is it?

A: …

B: I keep forgetting people’s names. I will write it down…(takes a copy and writes) You know my name already, don’t you?

A: Yeah. I know you are … but I don’t know your last name.

B: Rai. And yours?

A: … Pulami(Oh, Magar!). What’s yours? (Didn’t she listen?)

B: Rai… I have heard Pulami for the first time.

A: Can you guess what Pulami is? (Magar, Magar!)

B: What? (Magar!)

A: Like Bahun, Chettri, Newar. Can you guess what Pulami is?

B: Hmm… Chhetri. (Don’t you follow Nepali cricket? There is Rajesh Pulami Magar in the team. You should have known that.)

A: No, Pulami is Magar.

B: Magar? You don’t look like a Magarni, though you are a little chhuchi (while speaking, of course!).

A: My mother is Chhetri.

B: Oh.

A: Yeah, usually Magarnis are nakkali. They don’t study much, but I am not like that. I used to be first in my class and one teacher used to say the same. I had been asked if I was a Bahun. I said that my mother is Chhetri.

B: Love marriage, hmm?

A: But most people say that I look like a Newar.

B: Oh, you do look like Newar.

A: Even the pure Newars are confused at times and call me a Newar.

A: You lied. (While saying that you don’t have girlfriend.) I don’t like people who lie.

B: You have to lie sometimes.

A: I can’t lie. Today in class, most of them were lying, one was showing the others’ copy. I stood up and said I had forgot to bring my copy and I was punished. (The teacher had threatened to give 0 because of that. Why do those who speak the truth are always punished?)

B: I don’t give a damn about lying.

A: My mom says to speak the truth always. I think I should also lie sometimes, if I can benefit from it. (Oh no, end of innocence! Never do that.)… I’ll try speaking lies from now on. (Never do that. You can never succeed in it.)

B: Which subject you like the most?

A: Bio(logy). I don’t like Physics.

B: What will you do after reading Science (taking Science in Plus 2)?

A: I want to become a doctor. That’s why I am reading Science. (Your interest in Biology is justified.)

B: Specialization?

A: I want to become a surgeon. (Another good student getting off the competition. Wanting does not work. You have to be desperate. I know that.) But I am scared of doing operations. (That’s really bad! You might have to change your aim of becoming a doctor.) We have to cut (dissect) frog in (Grade) 11. (It might go well after that. You never know.)

B: What interest you have besides studying?

A: I don’t have much interest in anything. But I like dancing.

B: What do you do?

A: I watch reality shows a lot. I like dancing a lot.

B: I mean what dance form you like to do.

A: Hip-hop, Locking and popping. Those sorts.

B: Don’t you like classical?

A: I like it but I find it boring most of the times.

B: Oh.

A: I like Salsa also. I wanted to join dance classes after SLC but my mom did not approve of it.(Damn!) She thought that I would be more involved in dancing than studying. (Why parents do that?) I don’t think I will ever. There is no time now. (You’ll have missed a lot.)

B: What will do after taking science? (Iteration of a previous question)

A: I’ve already said. (She remembers!) What about you?

B: I’ll take Law in the Bachelor’s level. (Oh, a lawyer!)

A: I don’t understand Law. Not at all. It’s too complex. You have to rote a lot of things.

B: I don’t think so. There are many interesting things. It’s all about knowing and practising. And there will be interesting cases (to deal with). It’s not like Science, where you have to rote something because you can’t understand. It’s not always possible to understand everything. (Point!)

A: Anyway, I have to do my homework and take them everyday. I don’t want to be punished always.

(I had to get off within the next thirty seconds. I couldn’t listen anything else. As soon as I reached home, I wrote them down, trying to keep it as accurate as possible.)

Note

  1. The … denotes time interval, which ranged usually between one second to less than 30 seconds.
  2. I neither know nor remember the girl (A) and the boy (B). If you ever came across  this, I apologize that I overheard your conversation. Not only that, I converted into a writing. If I have hurt you somehow, please forgive me (again).
  3. The letters, words, terms or sentences within (brackets) are for explanatory purposes.
  4. The italicized words within (brackets) were my spontaneous responses. In my mind, of course!
  5. This post does not intend to hurt the ethnicity of people. It was a light-hearted conversation and I hope everyone can understand that.

Some typical Nepali words used in the conversation:

  • chhuchi (also chhuchchi) : a girl who speaks in a rude manner. (Used as a joke, here.) To describe a rude-mannered boy, chhucho or chhuchcho would be used.
  • nakkali : a girl who is inclined to do a lot of make-ups or facial expressions. (I don’t know a single word in English for that!) A boy inclined to doing make-ups would be a nakkale.
  • Magar : an ethnic group of Nepal especially in the Western and Eastern Hilly regions of Nepal. A Magar lady is called Magarni.
  • Rai : a major ethnic group in the Eastern Hills of Nepal. Both Magars and Rais are Mongolian in appearance. A Rai girl would be called Raini.
  • Bahun : a colloquial term for Brahmans in Nepal. A lady would be Bahuni.
  • Chhetri : also known as Kshetri. A colloquial term for Kshyatriya. Ladies are known as Chhetrinis. They are the most populated caste according to the census.
  • Newars : a major ethnic group of Kathmandu. A lady Newar would be Newarni.
  • All the caste names used in common are masculine. Adding ‘ni’ as suffix makes it feminine. (You must have noticed that above. I hadn’t thought it was so before I had written this post.)

Between Dreams

Dreams – imagination and aspirations. Dreams – something that inspires me to live a better life. Dreams are seen when I am asleep. Dreams are also seen when I am not asleep. All my experiences are in many ways related to dreams.

When I am asleep…

Dreams are usually less vivid. They are strange combinations of present, past and future along with little fantasies. When I was around 10 years old, I used to recollect the dreams I had seen and write them down on a notebook. That practice improved my ability of writing. While I read those accounts again, I get back to the dreams and I remember some characters like Supspir Man (Combination of Superman and Spider-man), colourful Robocop and my friends who I used to see then. I also discover that my dreams during my sleep have changed only a little during this time. There are strange characters, strange consequences. One dream was so inspiring that it made me imagine Star-Man, an all-powerful superhero with the powers given to him by Lord Brahma, the creator of universe in Hindu Mythologies. A recent dream introduced me to the word, jellybeans. I never knew the meaning before that dream. The same word became inspiration of my science fiction, Jelly Beans.

When I am awake…

I am an eternal dreamer. I imagine many different things. If I have to talk well to other people, including my family members, I have to imagine the whole conversation. I dream of the things I need to speak and things they might tell me. Without such thorough imagination, I can not present myself well. Every second when I am not sleeping, I dream of achieving higher. Higher in the sense of becoming better than what I am now. I have to recollect the memories of errors and then have to improve on them. My dreams help me achieve the goals of becoming a better each day.

boats-372098_1280

The interactions I make when I am awake also have been important in shaping my dreams. A gossip with my little sister, one day inspired me to imagine the Hindu mythology of the Tripuras in a different way. Words have made me dream of the past, the present and the future. They have been the ways of expressing my dreams. Drawings and movies have always inspired me to dream big. Literary works from different writers have also expanded the ways I dream of the world.

When I am  not dreaming…

I am what many would call as normal. I am an intent listener of the talks of my parents, my sister and of my friends. I don’t remember all of their talks, though. It’s really strange that I can remember just a few things that I want to learn from them. The other times I am not dreaming would be the times when I am dead asleep. Dreams, however have always been with my life as my guiding star. At times, I think, how awful would life without a single dream?