Writing stories

The year is grinding to an end and the dark evenings are creeping upon us. Nature has been trying its best from the beginning of the year to cheer us up. First it was the bright spring sunshine, then the warm summer months and now vivid autumn colours. The colder months are not far off and as much as we try to stave it off Winter is gearing itself up to knock on our doorsteps anytime soon. Will it bring with it illness and more hardship, we wait to find out. The first time the pandemic hit, there was hope and light at the end of the tunnel. A possible vaccine, summer might kill off the virus, it won’t last for ever, some of the many hopes. Now we are learning to live with it and hope is fading as the days and months pass by. 

A friend wrote a short story for a UK malayalee publication. My medical school classmate and friend from years gone by. Three days in the life of two childhood friends, when they meet up years later. She has a lovely way of writing that draws you in and makes you read the story but I was left confused by the ending. It wasn’t the disappointing turn around of the friendship but the story left more questions than answers. Are short stories meant to do that, I wonder. Recently I was listening to short stories that were shortlisted for a BBC award. Stories depicting events from an afternoon, an evening, events that happened in one day. Stories that stayed in the present but intricately weaved to connect with the past and possible future. Stories with a beginning, middle and end. Stories which didn’t confuse the mind. 

My swim is almost coming to an end and I need to conclude my thoughts. I suppose anything goes when it comes to the art of story telling as long as it transports the listener into another world, a world of possibilities or maybe not. There are no rules. Even a short paragraph written well can read like an exquisite vase filled with the most fragrant flowers, like a decorative bowl in a water feature which transfixes your gaze and makes us want more. Maybe I should try it sometimes. Take a leaf out of Lakshmi’s book and let the imagination run riot. Write fiction and see where it takes me. First I need to ignite my imagination but where do I start. I leave the thought for another day, another swim. 

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