Friday, July 24, 2009

Office Office

This was part 2 of the first assignment at Writers Bureau.

I have written a short description of my office and some colleagues in the office. I’ve titled this description ‘Office Office’ after a famous TV series in India.


I scan my access card to unlock the door of my office. The door opens into big AC hall twice the size of a basketball court. In the centre of the hall are five rows of five rectangular cubicles each. The rows collectively form a big rectangle equidistant from the peripheries of the hall. Employees sit in the corners of the cubicles, facing the corners. An aisle runs through the longer sides of the cubicles. The wall bang opposite the main door and the one to its right are made of stained glass that makes even a hot sunny day look pleasant. Small shrubs line up at regular intervals along the glass walls. To the left of the main door is a cabin, a printer, a small pantry, washrooms, a meeting room and a cabin, in that order. To the right of the door are one more cabin and a few cubicles.

There are three balding men occupying three corner cubicles each in central set of cubicles. All three are also the tallest men in the hall. Thanks to their heights, we can see the shining scalps just above the partitions even as they recline on their chairs. Each has a distinct peculiarity: one who sits closest to the door has a smiling visage that frequently reveals two of his central teeth pushed back to give way to protruding canines and a baritone voice that more than makes his presence felt, the second one has the largest of paunches that cannot hold the trousers if they slide below the navel causing him to keep pulling it up frequently. The third one is so quiet it sometimes takes effort to know his presence.

On the farthest left corner from the entrance sits the big boss in a makeshift one-meter-high polymer enclosure that forms his cabin. His chair is cleverly positioned facing the main entrance of the hall to keep a watch on his team. He is a diminutive, mustachioed man in his early forties. He has jet black hair, sharp nose, dimpled smile and a slight paunch. I sit on the farthest row from him so it is very inconvenient to go all the way to his cabin only to find him busy on phone. So if I wish to know – without getting up from my seat - whether he is on phone, I just look at his cabin and check whether his head or elbow is visible above the partition. When on phone, he reclines as far back as possible, one hand on the phone and the free hand stroking the hair at the back of his head or caressing his upper back inside the collars with his elbow raised high. Consequently, I see either his hair if he is glued to the laptop or his elbow if he is on a call, never both simultaneously. I choose to get up or continue working based on that information.

Why do I write?

This was the part one of the first assignment at Writers Bureau.
The word limit was 300 words:
I was in sixth grade when I first wrote a very forgettable poem on God. I never knew then that the act was actually a precursor to something I would enjoy immensely as an adult.
Years rolled after that poetic escapade. Long dry spells of non writing were punctuated by sporadic bursts of creativity through writing greeting cards on friends’ birthdays, writing witty four-liners for friends during parties and so on. Time flew. On my younger sister’s twenty third birthday, I wrote a poem for her. I then performed an encore for her next birthday; the time in between, however, was a literary drought.
What characterized these impulsive spurts of writings was an immense sense of satisfaction and calm I rarely felt doing anything else. The feeling was surreal, almost like home coming, as if that was where I belonged. That was something I was made for – and vice versa. My soul quenched its astral thirst every time I penned something.
On December 31st, 2003, I wrote a poem that I thought catapulted my writing to the next league and forced me to consider writing seriously. I haven’t looked back since. I wrote scores of poetry, articles, short stories and blogs.
I send my work to various websites, magazines, newspapers etc. with occasional success, most of which is non-remunerative. My biggest success so far is a short story that got selected for ‘Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul.’ Other than this, I’ve not come close to being paid for my work. As a writer, I’ve matured as much as I can on my own and feel that I need professional help to leapfrog into the next level.
The world is seldom seen through the prism of words; I want to change that.
This is where I need Writer’s Bureau; not just to hone my writing skills but also to develop in me the art of approaching a publisher or an editor with reasonable or assured success.

Will this give me the break?

As most you know, I am writing for a few years now. I have had intermittent successes with each holding its sweet little place in my heart. However, what was missing was a ‘wow factor’ of success.

In order to take my writing to the next level, I enrolled for ‘The Writers Bureau.’ This is a correspondence school designed specifically for people who need professional help in improving their writing skills and taking it to publishable standards and dare to more than just eke out a living out of writing.

I have been asked to submit two assignments to begin with.

1. Why do I write? and

2. Go to any market, soccer match, or any place of your liking and describe the place in your own words. Make the author feel the place.

Next I will blog assignments that I submit and would eagerly wait for your feedback. Please review and help me improve through this course.

Thanks a lot in anticipation.