What word can I use to describe this? Writer's block? Being stuck?
Many years ago, when I was nine I remember sitting in a bullock cart on my way to this village. And what a village it was. Bela. Tucked away in the interior of UP, not reachable by any road, it was a haven for deer. Everyone in the village was sworn to protect the deer. If hunters from some other place would chase them, herds of deer would thunder into Bela. They would run into people's homes, confident of their safety. We arrived on the outskirts at dusk.
I looked up, sleepy, every bone rattling in my body and then I forgot it all. Not even ten feet away, a herd of spotted Indian deer looked straight at me. It was something special. Those large, black-rimmed eyes, the tension in their bodies, the slow, precise movement of their necks as they nibbled at some grass. And then, in an instant, in a procession, right in front of our cart, they ran past headed for some other more peaceful place where they could eat and not be gawked at by some idiots in a bullock cart.
The cart driver tried to get his bullock to start walking. Nothing. He even flicked it gently with the thin stick he carried. The bullock strained. Nothing. The heavy wooden wheels were wedged in the hard-baked dry earth, in the ruts where thousands of carts had probably gone past. But we were stuck.
That's how I feel. If I look away from the useless churning of the bullock cart wheels I can see the intense beauty, that feeling of excitement mingled with peace, of something being right...I can taste what I feel when I am writing regularly, when the words are flowing, when images burn behind my eyelids and my fingers can barely keep up with them.
Instead, I am churning my wheels, stuck in place, as I try to figure out what to put in this second novel of mine. I don't want it to be usual, to be trite, to be all the things that good writing should not be. And so I wait and churn and hope that one morning, just like that, everything will slide into place and like a freed wheel...the words will flow and I will write and all the threads of this story I want to tell will weave together.
And I will be content. Till then I am stuck.