The Art of Writing
“Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well”, Andre Breton
My early childhood years till age ten were spent in the outdoors playing joyfully so much so that when my mother punished me and refused entry into the house, I would happily go down and resume play. Reading a book, even a comic book, was not my idea of fun. But thankfully, at age ten an awakening led me to realise that all play and no work makes a person just as dull as all work and no play.
Over the next decade, I became an avid reader and later attempted my hand at writing which helped me gain my sense of balance. I read both fiction and non-fiction voraciously and for years the Time magazine from cover to cover and started contributing to university newsletters and later to business magazines.
My quest for balance was accompanied by a search for equanimity and a path to an inclusive life. Whilst growing up my parents would recount the horrors of India’s partition and narrate their journey – along with extended family – of migration from Lahore (now in Pakistan) to start life afresh as refugees. These tragic tales were occasionally accompanied by exemplary stories of compassion and courage and I would reflect on what troubles the human race.
In poetic moments I would ponder on the essence of Murphy’s Law and would wonder what would it take to reverse it. I saw identity as an easy but regrettable way to divide the human race. But daily challenges in my personal, professional and social life went beyond identity and there had to be some way of making things go right.
I soon came to the realisation that even Murphy’s Law could go wrong. So, I invented my own law, Shakti’s Law which says “If Anything Can Go Right, It Will Go Right.” Essentially, I assumed a mental model of things going right and applied that at a conscious and unconscious level.
The three ingredients of Shakti’s Law consists of dhamma, Systems Thinking and social justice. Dhamma is the universal law of impermanence of mind and matter the realisation of which leads to Wisdom. Systems thinking is the art and science of unearthing and understanding the interrelationships between people, phenomena, planet and things that help us improve our understanding and our ability to see life as an all-inclusive process. My quest for social justice is an exercise in enlightened self-interest and a change in the world that I wish to see in myself.
In 2017 I took to light-hearted but serious writing by commissioning Shakti’s Musings. I owe the Muses flame within me to not just events which shaped my upbringing and life but also to my exposure to great poets, writers and souls, both Eastern and Occidental. These include the likes of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello S.J., and renowned English poets William Wordsworth and Thomas Gray.
Although, I enjoy writing on a broad range of topics, as a part of my recent initiative to start Shaktify I now write on many societal issues. Shakti’s Musings has thus been transformed to be not only a vehicle to reveal who I am as a person but also for communicating Shaktify’s goals. In this new look, you will find, in addition to articles on societal issues, topics on well-being, culture, travel and in fact, just about everything under the sun.
Welcome to the world of Light, Love and Laughter. Let us make things go right!
Mumbai, October 2022
Photo by Daniel Álvasd on Unsplash