I started writing at the age of thirteen. Back then people said my writing is ahead of its time. I had written an essay based on one question. ‘Is fire, air or matter?’ My Godbole sir had laughed at me. I demanded an answer and he in turn reprimanded me, saying I was two years younger to other children in class and I should not ask such questions.
He even went to the extent of saying that, I should immediately stop writing and get back to my studies. I grew up in this kind of environment and system. Many years later with the help of Oxfam fellowship, I travelled all over Maharashtra to conduct a research on sugar cutters and in the process met many workers and came across many isms’ at Gandhi Ashram, Vinoba Bhave’s Ashram, Konark, Naxalites, Leftist movement or office of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had tea with Rajju bahaiyya.
I wondered then why these isms’ were born. My interview with Sharad Joshi, founder of Farmers Association is on You Tube. They all agreed on one thing, ‘this society needs to change, our world needs to change.’ But what I think, the real question is, to embark on search of one self. Everyone, from Gandhiji to Sharad Joshi, tried hard to find answer to these questions and is labeling it as, ‘social change’.
Who am I? To find answer to this question, one has to go deep inside, through a dark tunnel. People are afraid, it scared me too, for I am a human. Then we search for an escape route. There is a beautiful story of a famous saint. The saint, was caught in an Earthquake in Japan. He remained calm and sat through out while his disciples fled the place. When everything came back to normal, one of his disciple returned and asked him why he did not run and if he was not afraid.
On this he questioned him back, “the place you ran to, was it safe? Tell me one place you ran to, where there was no earthquake? It was all in your mind. You could have died anyways, if you had to”. The same principle applies here. You escape from the fear of unknown. Even I, am scared at times. When there was an earthquake, even I fled.
The difference being, I ran inside and you ran outside. A writer always runs inside, as he is an escapist. A true writer runs within, while an impersonator runs outside. One who has the power to change, is capable of running within and a writer should take that stand. One main reason being, only a writer can change the world. In any regime, communist or other a writer, is either killed or sent to Siberia for he really takes effort from within.
A writer’s efforts, are always organic in nature, hence those who try to climb up the ladder using organizations, system, people and corrupt people are wary of him. This is the uniqueness of my writing, which I started at the age of thirteen. Since then, I have written in many periodicals at the age of 17-18. At the age of 21, my articles began appearing in English newspapers.
But, I always remember my first essay which my teacher had condemned. ‘In condemnation lies honor”, I believe. I, was felicitated with many awards from Gyanpith to Sahitya Academy. For instance, when I wrote Sachin Gladiator Tendulkar people condemned my thoughts but I was committed and stood by my views. One day, when our society will be reduced to the level of Mohenjo Daro, what will remain behind will be my writing. I am not saying there is no one who writes like me but if I come across anyone, I will surely tell them so.