Medicine is my lawful wife and literature, my mistress.
– Anton Chekov
Greetings, dear readers!
What began as a teenager’s digital writing pad turned into a more cognitive notepad inking the bittersweet ramblings of a medical student stuck in the labyrinth of the infinity of life, before finally evolving into something that I could proudly call rubatosis – the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat. Whether you are lying in your bed alone at night with only your thoughts by your side, or you are in a crowd of strangers and the not-so-strangers; you feel the unsettling lub-dub thumping away within you, telling you everything and something and also, nothing.
In the words of Meg Rosoff, “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”
I remember having to bear with the scorch of having a ‘bad handwriting’. Looking back, it gives me a good laugh. The journey from having illegible school journals to an obsession with black coupe de plumes set obstinately between the two margins of a sheet of paper has been worth it.
It was, perhaps, the exercise of filling in a ‘Dear Diary’ that makes me relish the act of inscribing – be it colourful flow charts summarising Rheumatoid Arthritis and the biological synthesis of melanin, or the words of Khalil Gibran adorning the refrigerator, or even my own ramblings.
Carving your thoughts on the innocence of the papyrus as you leave behind a scent of your identity while spilling the lyrics of your mind and the logic of your heart using the digitalis muscles of your handwriting. This simple act is both a luxury and a basic necessity; a luxury because this act that I infuse great pride and joy is nothing but a dream for many. And a necessity because it is the oxygen that makes me breathe life and love, and defines my identity.
Penmanship. Chirography. Literae scriptae.
Sadly, the tradition of handwritten letters has been overtaken by the speed of e-mails, and the joy of receiving greeting cards has been overshadowed by Facebook posts.
And amidst this dying romanticism, the mysticism enveloping the simple act of writing has granted it an astral status that will quench the thirst of many a thirsty like myself.
But in keeping up with the advancements of this century, I turned to this – this blog that you, dear reader, have chosen to visit.
Back in grade tenth – along with my very dear friend, Khushboo – a younger me had dreamt of founding a literary magazine that would catalyse a literary revolution here. Little did I know that a few years down the lane, a part of that dream would come true in the form of The Ziauddin University Atlas. A student-run publication with a blog and a very well-maintained Facebook page, the ZU Atlas was the beginning of a lovely, exciting journey of friendship, arts, poetry, prose, my very dear Docs’ Diaries, music, and even anime – life. It was enchanting to see how, through the Atlas, we spread smiles. Every artist breathes into their work a small part of themselves, and first as the editor, then as the Editor-in-Chief, and then as the Chairperson of the ZU Atlas, to see that being appreciated, and nourished, is what we are all about. Taking it a step forward, wanting to spread these smiles, was Walking Thoughts – my humble little venture; a Karachi-based literary house offering online English Conversation and Creative Writing courses, aiming to make English language learning easier, and accessible to everyone, especially the stay-at-home moms and women entrepreneurs.
You can find out more about Walking Thoughts here.
To quote Amy Tan, “Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”
As a future health physician, I will have the fortunate opportunity to come across living miracles, to feel their stories, to share their stories, and to give a story to someone. Maybe, that will make this life a little more meaningful for that life, and maybe then, I will have all the answers.
So I’ll be myself, and write everything, and smile with everyone.
Here’s to hoping that you have an enjoyable read, and you keep coming back for more.