Now that I have read a couple of Sir Ken Robinson’s books, I understand his point better. I could digress and discuss it, but I want to talk about something else.
Can I still write a story? I was certainly capable of it in childhood, I could imagine in detail and with clear beginning, middle and end. I don’t know. I began this blog with the hope that I will rediscover a love for writing, and I have.
The other problem is, the story I plan to write must be anonymously written, yet would reveal more details about me than this blog ever would. Secondly, do I have the discipline to write the story I want to tell? I don’t think I do.
I think I need a proper outline.
Chapter 1: We meet our protagonist. I will call her Diya for now, but I would look for a better name. What would her family consider a “good” name? Maybe Aditi. It was a common enough name in the 90s. Anyways, she will watch a delivery. She will be shocked, and then numbed by what she sees, the complete lack of empathy important, because we can then deconstruct it later. I do not want to introduce heroics yet. I want to talk about intellectualism, and the disconnect from people and their lives that medical training is.
Yes. Everyone is nice, but has a callous cruelty and and the protagonists POV shows shock and amazement at the baby’s head turning- just like the books said it would. A connection between her academic life and reality but not to life. Not yet.
Chapter 2: We meet her friends. Girl 1- lets call her Aparajita for now, only that is a Bengali name, and I don’t think I can write a Bengali character- and a Bengali girl wouldn’t have this particular problem- has a demanding boyfriend. He is extremely intelligent, beloved of faculty, do I give him lots of papers and a path to US? No, because the story can’t go to a country I have never visited. So a commitment to stay in India. But that makes the guy nicer than I planned. Maybe I can give this interesting boyfriend to Aditi. Or call her Aparajita. Maybe he intends to stay because exams are his natural habitat, so entrances are not a problem, and his parents are rich and successful and expect him to stay. Which brings me to the problem of parents. Rich, successful. Brahmins. From where? UP. I suppose. That’s the only other background I can do, as long as I don’t have to do any details. So revised chapter. We meet her boyfriend. And then her friends. Now Girl 1 has a secretive relationship to a guy she doesn’t want anyone to know about. I want to do secrets, but I don’t see how to justify them. Anyway, something to think about. Girl 2 is single and would make a happy arranged marriage. I won’t invent any other girls because of the problem of writing about cultures. Or maybe I can put my medical college in UP/Bihar and that would solve that problem.
Chapter 3: Parents on phone, traditional, sweet, not too rich. Older sister, traditional, young gynecologist. In a okay arranged marriage? Maybe change to brother. Older brother, IIT, secret girlfriend she knows about. Or maybe finds about in this conversation with brother. We start to get the theme of secrets. And also of studying. Everyone is studying all the time.
Chapter 4: You are starting at the wrong place. There will be too much setup required at the time in their lives you want to start at. Too much detail about marriages and disapproving families which I do not want to write about. Make everyone about 3 years, or even 4 years older. Here, let me spell out the story I want to tell. Of a country changing rapidly. and yet stagnant. Of the problems of intellectualism.Of men who were brought up to be retirement plans and are incapable of becoming real people. Or maybe are capable.
But how to make this story interesting? This is the story of life, and life is boring. And a bit depressing. Let me think about this. Some magic? Some sense of danger? Where would one get danger?
Let me think about it some more.