#blog

I Write To Keep My Faith Alive And I Write To Keep Another’s Faith Alive

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My earliest of memories, is an image in which bent over a sunmica dining table I can be seen scribbling on a single-line notebook opened at the last page. I am writing away on that inviting spread of lines. Apparently, my masterpiece. It’s a Saturday morning. I know this because the stale breath of sleep is still dried up in a dribble down the corners of my lips, while across the verandah of our flat in Amar Colony, booms the cry of the sabziwala announcing the arrival of fresh tomatoes for sale. The golden glow of the morning sunlight has slanted and the world outside is alive to a quotidian bustle. Any other day, I would have been in Tr. D’Souza’s class learning to write the alphabet with just the right curlicues on the pink and blue lines of my four-lined English notebook. My sister is sprawled on the floor in a short, red, corduroy, buckled-up dress. A steel bowl filled with water shivers beside her as she dunks her paintbrush into it splashing droplets along its periphery. She is painting the chips on the floor, one dark-brown chip at a time. I can see each gleam as she progresses with her mural.

Years later, I am following my passion. My sister, umm, perhaps as a hobby.

Now, do you come across scenes in your day, when you see things: commonplace, not so commonplace; a tad underhand perhaps, a slip here, a sly slip there; a smile, a raised brow maybe; or something big, world-changing, at least shaking the one in which you live? You want to turn around and talk about this big event, only to realize no one noticed. Banal, blasé.

But, but…you could not have been that dumb? That social-media self-assessment quiz did pronounce you as normal. The world is normal, we are normal and normal has been conditioned to suppress positive responses in public. It takes the courage of exceptional leadership to raise a lonely voice. I lack one but I notice the seemingly banal tectonic shifts; I do. They were tectonic, shaking a belief that I might have held onto for long or my faith in humanity. You’re normal.

The world is normal, we are normal and normal has been conditioned to suppress positive responses in public. It takes the courage of exceptional leadership to raise a lonely voice.

I go home and I write. I write the story of the blasé shift. I write so others will see that little flicker, so others will take note of the flutter in another’s heart, because someone’s heart did flutter and that is worth a word, a voice. I write to give that voice. I write to understand that voice. I write to form new principles and truths around it. I write to form new beliefs to live by. I write to keep my faith alive and I write to keep another’s faith alive.

Cause people need to know about the good and the bad that exist around the world. We need to know the goodness human beings are capable of, and the evil they can stoop down to.

Cause people need to know about the good and the bad that exist around the world. We need to know the goodness human beings are capable of, and the evil they can stoop down to.

The East needs to know the West and the South needs to know the North. Not just in the big, but in the small. And, it’s in this small, minutiae that I find joy; in the missing nail that I find the tragic loss; in the brick in the middle of a wall, that I find myself and my readers often find themselves.

Cause, when we zoom out, aren’t we all merely ants rolling the third rock away from the Sun.

Donna Abraham Tijo has been an Instructional Designer for 18 years now, but is a novice at writing fiction. She has a short story in Escape Velocity published by Write & Beyond in 2018. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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