“Imagine,” she said, batting her phenomenally lavish eyelashes, “just imagine.”
“Imagine what?” I asked politely.
“Close your eyes and just imagine.”
“The last time I closed my eyes,” I said in a whisper of regret, “she flicked my wallet.”
“Who was the ‘she’?”
“A brief acquaintance.”
“Ah there we already have the seeds of a story,” she sounded triumphant. “You can title it, ‘A Brief Acquaintance.’”
There was an awkward pause. I quickly cracked the ice with a pick axe. “Can you tell me something about this creative writing workshop you’ve announced?”
I didn’t get an answer to the question but she introduced a new conversation. “Being creative is all about going with the flowing, riding your thought waves like a surfer.”
“Ahoy there lady,” I wanted to butt in, “I’m scared of water.” But I didn’t say anything of the sort. I wanted to hang in there and find out what her creative writing workshop is all about. How is it the same or different from the numerous other instant inky fixes that splash Pune. There’s the Maggi noodle-type instant three-hour kick-in-the-pants that assures you the blossoming of a creative spark in your very being in such a ingenious manner that from your calcaneus (the heel bone, for your info) to your cranial vault you become a mercurial blob of wordage. Few have ever heard of the ones that she has thus electrified. They’ve vanished into the blue like the gypsy camp.
Then there’s the one that ingeniously gets you to create bridges of words that lead to no where in particular. Oops, nearly forgot the intellectuals who rattle your post-modern bones like castanets until they start talking in tongues, you know like when you are visited by divinity that makes you talk in a baffling array of languages. This city is a goldmine of originality.
“You said something?” Asked the one with lavish eyelashes. A good way of reminding me that I had lost myself in a bhoolbulaiya of wayward thoughts.
“Yes,” I smiled, returning the ball with a strong forehand and keeping myself from landing on my rear with a bump.
“What was it you were saying?” she pursued me like a hound after a scared hare.
But I turned the hound and was surprised at how fast I managed to do that.
“So can we get back to the details of your creative writing workshop?”
“Surely. It’s a residency really. Not any ordinary workshop. You check in on the evening of Day One. Six pm. You can have a single room or a shared room. Clean. Well-cooled. Attached bath. We have a coffee session where we get to know each other and then go off for a long walk. Lovely grounds the venue has. Then dinner. After dinner each participant is given a creative gift….”
“That’s a secret.”
“And you are sent to sleep with it. The next morning…..”
She had lost me. It sounded more like a getaway from family and friends, a kind of ‘lose yourself in the city’ kind of experience.
“But tell me a little more about what creative writing skills I’ll learn in the workshop.”
“It’s an absorbing experience of three days. When we finish with you, you’ll have alphabets flowing in your veins,” was all she said. I signed up ….just for three days of pure entertainment.
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