It was dark and threatening to be a stormy morning. But the rain had been playing truant for weeks with the clouds just being tossed by the winds. The look on our faces was as gloomy as the day outside, not helped by the blank Word page staring at us. The coffee shop attendant was AWOL, leaving the entire place to us, the only two customers; the responsibility, of the abandoned shop, weighing down on our already slumped shoulders. We didn’t know if we were meant to guard the stacks of paper cups, napkins, plastic coffee stirrers and sugar sachets or go looking for our coffee elsewhere.
But our situation was not conducive to any decision making. The month long writer’s block had begun with the closing down of our regular coffee shop. We had been meeting there every week, for the last few years, to write stories over coffee, sandwiches and conversation. It had started off as a weekly break away from our respective routines and had become quite a compulsive routine in itself.
Finally the coffee man/doughnut seller returned with stacks of fresh doughnuts on a trolley and showed no remorse for the delayed coffee.
After two hours spent over a by-two doughnut and coffees we achieved the state of glazed eyes and spaced out looks. The sporadic thoughts on story ideas having come to nothing.
PS: This writer’s block has been going on for far too long. I think I am falling sick. Do I have fever?(Holding out a hand)
LL: No, (perfunctorily checking for temperature.) I think it is the lack of rain, the drought is dehydrating our thought process.
PS: I am still blaming it on the trauma of our regular coffee shop closing down.
LL: OMG, don’t remind me, I am trying not to think of it. It is too depressing for words.
PS: We had better come up with something quick before it becomes our natural state of being.
PS: So what do you want to do? (Shrug shrug)
LL: I don’t know. What do you want to do? (Shrug shrug) Hey! I am not thin enough to be a vulture.
PS: And neither one of us is blonde.
LL: My cousin was here from Chennai last week…
LL: She has a blog. And her 10 year old has a blog. She thinks we should start one.
PS: What on earth would be write about? The whole problem is that we are in the middle of a writer’s block. The only thing we can do is talk.
LL: Then instead of walking the talk why not write the talk?
PS: But all we talk about is books…
LL: Can’t help it since we read so much. Maybe we can write about the reader’s experience.
PS: I guess. People do go on about how everyone is writing these days and no one is reading. So I suppose the readers, being a dying breed are much more important than the writers. Which is what Laura Miller suggested in her article as well. And our reading habits are quite variegated.
LL: Looks like soon the only people left buying books would be those in the business who just want to check out the competition. It’s already happening to an extent. Don’t you remember that both times when we attended the Jaipur Lit Fest, people were so surprised that we were willing to go all the way from Bangalore just as interested readers when we were not agents or publishers or writers marketing our wares?
PS: But what fun it was.
LL: We could also write about Bangalore…
PS: And trees, I suppose…
LL: Our fiction…
PS: If we ever get over the writer’s block.
PS: As it is we have enough of that all around us.
And so on and so forth we talked ourselves into the idea of a blog.
Which brought us to this point where we are actually going to be posting our conversations on books of various hues, Bangalore, its flora and fauna and even sometimes the occasional story that we write. Although we want to avoid discussing the law or the legal world, we are realistic enough to know that given our backgrounds, it is bound to creep in. Even the stories we write are mostly about lawyers and their doings. And we love Rumpole.
We are thinking of grumbling in the next blog post about writers like Patrick Rothfuss who take forever to complete their series leaving their readers hanging and thereby forcing them to re-read the earlier books, most of which they are likely to have forgotten.