One of the greatest joys in life is that of meeting people with common interests (Not on facebook, thank you!). This is the exact reason why I signed up for the writing workshop by Gaurav and Nisha. First of all, thanks to Ashwan, a man of many talents, my colleague at HasGeek, for bringing the workshop to my attention.
As much I love working and being a part of HasGeek, I was constantly wondering whether the city had something else to offer me. The last two days have been wonderful and the city assured me that there were wonderful things that it had to offer. I just had to get out, open my eyes, and look.
A few writers, 9 to be specific, including yours truly (if you can call me a writer) got together at a certain open, airy and yet shady place to share their passion for writing as well as to help each other out. Gaurav and Nisha, the ones who organized and brought together all of us.
Gaurav was this calm person with a gentle voice and a wonderful smile who sat there, listening carefully to whatever was being said and discussed, to offer advice out of his long years of experience. It was evident that he had the big picture in his mind and it would be years before I could get even somewhere close.
Nisha, on the other hand, had this very outspoken attitude which got through to all of us. A very friendly person who had almost the same amount of experience as Gaurav, she was pouring out suggestions of various books to read that none of us had even heard of before. The critiques they both gave for our works were very thought out and clean that we could identify where we were doing it wrong.
In no particular order, here comes the rest of the crew.
Azeem, a good looking, well built fellow who was an avid lover of fiction. All through the two days, he kept fictionalizing whatever was thrown to him and he did a marvelous job at that too. It is always heart warming to see motivated people who yearn to achieve something and as such, I hope he soon finds his graphic designer and gets his comic book published asap.
Deepak, the plump man with a wonderful humor sense whose writings were more directed towards the little hilarious things that happen in one’s life. We almost never tend to pay attention to those little things that brings a grin on our face. He captures those moments wonderfully with his writing, at the end, leaving all of us laughing, and making us think of those little incidents in our own lives.
Ranju, the cute lady hailing from Chennai. Words flow from her fingers so smoothly and yet so meaningfully and hilariously that you feel alive listening to her read out her writing. It is admirable to see how wonderfully she establishes her thoughts through a few quick sentences. I’m never going to forget how she merged the blog writer’s and drunk guy’s story into one!
Sam (I wonder where Frodo is. Also, her real name evades me at the moment). Maybe I am wrong describing her as nervous, but her face lights up with emotion, be it laughter or tension, when she expresses her thoughts. A writer seeking to find that perfect rhythm which would entirely convey her ideas to the world, she was a lively character through both the days.
Lalana, PrintOooooo! I don’t know why I put it like that, but I just did. Hey, it is “sosaysharis” after all. Just kidding. Well, frankly, I really enjoyed listening to her talk. She had this highly animated style of saying things that you could never feel ambiguous about the feeling that she was trying to convey with her words. A lady with a really nice smile, in her writings, I felt envious of finding the one thing that I always sought. The attention to detail and the vivid descriptions which capture the imagery of a scene so beautifully. Someday, I hope to write like that.
Last but not the least, Leanne Pais! WhooHoo! “The girl who kept turning back to assure me that she knew how to drive and her brakes were working”. Man she is going to kill me for this! Oh yeah, the only girl in the world who has had the privilege of having me on her bike. He he… I could have said that she was the first girl with whom I rode on a bike but hey, I’ve just been to a writing workshop and I should write things differently. All in all, her suicidal story (or “The story about one guy committing suicide”, as she would have me put it. Lol!) and the ghost who was enjoying his own funeral really made us all stand on our toes. I hope she finishes her work and gets them published soon.
It was a fun two days. Even though I had attended the workshop with writing just fantasy stories in mind, the way they structured the course and the feedback that they gave ended up in me writing up a small, non-fiction story from my life itself.
The idea was to pick one of those embarrassing moments of your life that had a lot of potential to be written but, you were too embarrassed to write about it. I roughly drafted one such incident that I had when I was a kid and wrote it down in about 250 words, as per their request.
They made us elaborate what we had written to double the size. That was interesting because you had to elaborate the already laid out content. Trying to do that (and in my case it was pushing the limits), I realized it was possible to breathe life into your story in more than one way. Setting the scene, including those tiny bits of information that you think has no relevance at first, etc, came out.
The critiquing of this piece was done seriously. No one held back and the thoughts we shared on each others’ pieces were really helpful for the next re-write that we did. Both Gaurav and Nisha were extremely serious in pointing out the subtle tweaks that could have made the stories better.
After this round was over, we were asked to re-write the story once more. The difference that sprouted in everyone’s writing was unbelievable! I never thought I could put more description into what I had already written, but, following the advice that all of them gave me, I really did make the scene more descriptive. I will post my piece shortly so that you can see what I mean.
It was an awesome experience and extremely fun. Thanks again to Gaurav and Nisha for putting this together. I look forward to more such gatherings in the future.