The Unwritten Diary

Staying in my present position I extended my hand, as I took out a book from the drawer. It was peculiarly a beautiful book with the smooth leather bound hardback consisting of creamy papers yellowed a little by age. A kind of book that must have existed for about twenty-six years at least, with a soul that must have survived decades preceding that.

I had seen it lying on the window of a frowsy little junk shop in a slummy quarter of a town. A quarter which I flimsy remember and had been struck by an overwhelming desire to possess it. Accompanying a certain group on the ground, I ventured into a shady shop. It had weird products- torn shoes and handicrafts on display. Giving a quick glance up and down the street, I slipped inside and bought the book for a few bucks. At that time there was no conscious want of possessing the book for any particular purpose. I guilty carried it home in my ragged backpack. Even with nothing written in it, it was a compromising possession.

What was I doing? I was about to begin a diary. It isn’t illegal to possess a diary. It is reasonable and certainly not punishable by death. Unlike the acts taking place on the streets these days. 

I fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. The pen was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, and I had procured it, furtively and with some difficulty, simply because the creamy fine paper deserved to be treated with respect. It needed to be written with a real nib instead of being scratched with any pencil. Actually, I was not used to writing by hand or as a matter of fact at all. Except for some official notes here and there, a majority of the work constituted of dictation to the assertive yet the slimy technology, which of course is impossible for the present purpose. 

I dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for a second. A tremor had gone through my bowels, delivering goosebumps throughout my nerves. After all, to mark the fine paper is a decisive act. In clumsy letters I finally wrote: 

October 30, 1991.

I sat back, with a complete sense of helplessness descending upon me. To begin with, uncertainty loomed over me, I didn’t know what was being scribbled down. It must fairly be around that date, for that’s the representation of my age. However, it isn’t possible to pin down the memories in words these days. 

For whom, it suddenly occurred to me, was I writing down this diary? For the future? For the unborn? My mind hovered over the doubtful date on the page. For the first time, the magnitude of what I was painting through my words levitate above me. How would I communicate with the future? It was by nature impossible unless through texts or pictorials. Either the future would resemble the present or it would be different from it, in either case, none would read or listen to me. And the entire predicament would be nothing short of meaningless. As I sat gazing idiotically at the blank papers, momentarily the thoughts fluttered towards the strident music being played at a distance. It was curious that I seemed not merely to have lost the power of expressing myself, but even to have forgotten for what it was that I had originally intended to convey. For weeks I had been preparing myself for the moment, but it did not occur to me that anything that would be needed is courage. 

All I had to do was to transfer the intermittent restless monologue that had been transmitting inside my head, literally for years. However, at the present moment, the monologue had dried up. The seconds were ticking by. Conscious of nothing but the blankness of the page before me and the blaring music at the distance. I closed and kept the book back.

Sometimes it’s better to leave the pages of history blank. Some excerpts are better off unwritten. Better off as an “unwritten diary”.


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25 responses to “The Unwritten Diary”

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  2. Blocked: when the fear of desired excellence freezes every thought from your mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And none is achieved, excellence nor desire. Thank you for the words of wisdom April. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautifully written piece. You have used language so thoughtfully.

    I know what you mean about starting a piece of writing like this, especially on paper where any mistakes are permanent. It is almost stressful and bleaches creativity. I have this issue every time I start a new travel journal. The fear of marking fresh paper and saying something meaningful for the years to come. I hope you manage to come up with a good first page 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the kind response. I am always delighted on receiving a positive comment.
      I personally correlate a diary to the subconscious effect. And maintaining a journal is such a tedious task, how do maintain it?
      The only journal I have successfully managed is my sketch book that too consists of unorthodox creations.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I only keep a diary when travelling. I am so keen to write down my experiences for posterity that I force myself into it and muddle my way through. Making some mistakes is inevitable when writing on paper. Something is always better than nothing. oddly, once the fear of creating something ‘great’ dissipates and you relax into it, the words begin to flow very happily. Writing often and finding the time is tricky. I always write when on the road if travelling.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. You are such an inspiration.
      Haha, I remember keeping a diary during my college days. I used to write it in mirror image so that nobody could read it easily.


    4. I used to do that too!!! Haha. Then I started creating languages to write them in when my brother sussed out the mirror thing😂😁 turned I to a very odd hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Hahaha, you must be extraordinarily bright to be able to create your own language.
      My hostel people used to think that I started writing in Urdu (right to left).
      But then got confused when realised that it was English in mirror image. Soon after I had to hide it from them.


    6. Haha. Mirror writing is fantastic if you can master it. Could only ever write it with my left hand though, when I am right handed Had to teach myself to be ambidextrous. You the same?

      Liked by 1 person

    7. Haha, it feels like you are narrating my story. I remember being partially left handed until I was made to use my right hand.
      So I write and work with my right hand, and use my left comparatively well.

      Liked by 1 person

    8. There is such a difference in the way your brain utilises them. Fascinating. Did you also use your left hand to mirrir write or did you teach yourself right handed?

      Liked by 1 person

    9. I think I was kind of natural while writing in mirror image using my right hand, although I had to focus a lot with my left.


    10. Maybe you are a natural left hander 😊 they say it depends which side of your brain is dominant. I wonder whether left-handed people see the world in different ways to right-handwd people?

      Liked by 1 person

    11. That’s an intriguing thought. Although am a right handed person, I don’t know how I happened to be good with left hand (I discovered that when I saw people working differently).
      Aren’t human brains alike, it’s just how they learn and train out to be. Probably we happened to have had major exposure at an early age to have a different way of thinking than other people?


    12. Perhaps . An interesting thought indeed! For me, I found my left hand automatically wrote mirrored, so it was easy to adopt writing in this fashion with that hand. Interestingly, writing the correct way around left-handed takes concentration.

      How fun is this? two people from entirely different cultures and backgrounds randomly connecting online and finding so much in common. We must be several thousand miles away physically but so very similar and close in our thinking. How nice it is to find like souls😊

      Liked by 1 person

    13. Haha. I realised one day that I was using folk and/or spoon with my left hand while the other children were using right. Probably it was easier to synchronise it this way. Although some religious beliefs have issues with left handedness. 😅
      It definitely is surprising, to be able to connect to a person countries and cultures away. Like mindedness is a rare phenomenon.
      I am sure people find you easy to approach.


    14. I have understood in some places, without going into details, it is also linked to hygiene. I hadn’t heard of the religious issues though. I have always thought writing left handed must be so frustrating because your hand will always be smudging your wet ink! (Simple things!!😂🤣😉)

      The internet makes such friendships possible. We are very blessed to have such technology.

      Liked by 1 person

    15. Hahaha, hygeine and smudging are definitely the primary cause of concerns. I further encountered the orthodox thoughts such as “omens” and “negative vibes” if you enter with your left leg in places of religious interests. (Not so simple things. :P )

      Internet, at times, feels like an abyss. It’s beautiful yet a never ending platform with infinite possibilities.
      We are indeed blessed. (Inserts a religious quote- too blessed to stay stressed) 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    16. Omens and negative vibes! Sounds like no more than superstition, although it is odd how superstition has caused some terrible behaviours of people in history, such as the burning of ‘witches’. I am sure you have similar things in your own country.

      Liked by 1 person

    17. It is a sad part of human history and behaviour. I have heard the trial of the Pendle Witches.
      Once in a while I do end up hearing news related to brandishing of females from rural parts of India and other nations. Wherein people actually use the technology to capture such incidents and boast about it. Definitely education has done them no good.

      Although I have also met people who tried to convince me that these things do exist. That includes some established academia. (Probably their childhood fears or experiences).

      Liked by 1 person

    18. This is all very sad. It is shocking what humans can do to one another. It is quite sickening really. I like to think we are/ will change as a species, given time and understanding. I tend to be a cup half full sort of person, often to my disappointment :(

      Liked by 1 person

    19. It’s always good to have a positive outlook towards life. I am generally one of those persons who would empty the half cup of water before measuring it. 😅
      Indeed, we as a species are evolving, but the changes are a bit spurious at times.

      Liked by 1 person

    20. Nicely put :)

      Liked by 1 person

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