It was the worst block I had suffered. A writer’s block can be a dangerous thing. It can make you do everything, but write. The longer it lasts, the more ludicrous things you do and the tougher it gets to get back to writing. Some writers take to alcohol, others get jobs, some get married and most go mad. I went on an entertainment binge. I wouldn’t miss a single movie. I attended all the marketing shows in shopping malls. I invited long-forgotten folks home and threw parties often.
It was on one such binge that I took the kids to the circus once again. We had already been to the circus thrice in the last two months and the experience was growing stale for the kids too. Still, I pulled them along. Once there, I could bear the show no more. I grew restless. I left the kids with my wife and walked around the huge circus tent. I lit up a cigarette and looked around. The elephant enclosure, leopard cages and caravans seemed to be a wonderful exciting world. Suddenly, I wanted to join the circus. ‘I’ll join here, learn some acrobatics, buy a caravan and just travel the world,’ I thought. Somewhere, from the realms of my heart, I felt a pang. ‘I’m a writer, aren’t I? Why am I not feeling inspired to write?’
At that moment, I saw him. It was not a pretty sight. A clown, a dwarf, dressed in his garb, crying with loud sobs is an unusual sight. I went towards him and put my hand on his shoulder. He looked up at me with eyes filled with pain.
“She is no more. My wife is dead. I just got the telegram. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it for the funeral. The only person who loved me is no more. I can’t bear it.”
Suddenly, a man walked towards us. “Raju, I heard about it. I’m so sorry. You are on next. You are going, right?” The clown nodded his head and walked away. I walked behind him and peeped into the tent, through the rear entrance. Raju was completely normal. He passed some jokes, got a few laughs, played with kids and had a smile on his face all along.
When he walked back from his performance, I was enthralled. “How did you do that? You were smiling and laughing, even in so much sorrow!”
He looked at me, surprised. “Jokers joke. That’s my job,” he said.
‘What a simple profound truth that is,’ I thought to myself. ‘Writers write. That’s my job. If a joker needs no happiness to laugh, why should I need inspiration to write? It’s all in my mind.’ I went home rejunevated, picked up my pen and started to write. The words flowed through so easily, as if they were waiting for me. I have never been blocked again.