Poet, Author, Editor, Creative Writing Consultant

Monday, July 26, 2010

Soft Encounter: Creativity writing workshop


The weather was very hot, it seems all weekends this month are hotter than the rest of the days of the week. I was less apprehensive this time, yet wanted the workshop to go well.

There were two more students today, so I have a class of 17, one a young girl who is an Economics student  at Stephen’s and another is a cardiologist who may be in his forties.  Today, the CD did not work and I was thankful that I had taken my pen drive as a back- up. Always have a back-up. The air conditioning went for a while and the generator came on. The fan above me rotated at a very high speed and that was the only speed at which the fan worked. We could not communicate over the din. I gave up and made them do a writing exercise while we waited for the mains to return.

The retired gentleman was more interactive today and also got up to change the fan regulator cover from one point to the other in the hope that the fan speed could be regulated, he had seen the electrician do that in one of the other lectures.  This did not help. We had to wait for the mains to return and give us back the silent airconditioning . However, I was very happy to see him interacting and contributing and he looked more relaxed and happy.

The process was again pretty smooth. Among the things which came up was whether we had a Pegasus in Indian mythology and one girl said that there was a flying horse that emerged from the ‘samudra manthan’  (sea- churning) that had occurred between the gods and the demons, and she would find out if it had had wings.

One of the participants mentioned how he wrote while a boring lecture was going on as part of his work schedule and managed to make one of the ladies present into one of the characters of his story. We had been talking about how to take out time for writing.

Another young girl talked of how she liked a story because it outlined race and gender differences in a particular country as being different from that in another, and we discussed this. There was also a story we did on how a gentleman lies to a very young girl and we discussed whether the girl was too mature for her age, whether it was okay for the man to put in reference to the chaos theory in the middle of a very personal incident, whether the story worked on the whole or not. We also worked on ‘impermanence’ and how it may be brought into a story.

What I noticed that there was a preponderance of yellow t -shirts and one of the girls wore yellow capris , another carried a yellow flask and someone else had a yellow file. The general colour in prominence was yellow which someone said was a symbol of energy. It was very much present in the room. We had fun, and one character of our emerging story, brought forward to participate from our earlier imaginings, was a gentleman who wore yellow pants! As usual the lecture overshot the scheduled time but no one was cribbing.

The older gentleman came up to me at the end and told me that he had enjoyed the class. Another young girl wanted to get a list of the books which I had given to the organizer for photocopying and she made my day by saying she loved the class and I had such a ‘vibrant’ personality.

I carry that compliment with me for it is very uplifting for my spirits. It energizes me.