#WritingWednesday – a memoir in a moment

On writing a memoir

Image of a Pressure cooker

Writing is always a therapeutic exercise for me.Once I was going through a personal issue and I used to call out to the Universe to help solve it.  It was like releasing the pressure of a cooker , the moment  I articulated  my request .

In a lifetime of a fifty years there are lots of memories that flit in my mind. Some pleasant and some not. Writing a memoir only about pleasant things would be fun, interesting and uplifting. Writing a memoir of bad memories is not a very good idea.

Conflicts sell

Unfortunately a memoir of pleasant happenings won’t meet with commercial success because happy times aren’t good news. Only conflicts hold a reader’s attention. People love reading about how others solve their problems .

Consider these two scenarios for a memoir in a moment –

The blue umbrella

Image for a blue umbrella

One bright summer day  I decided to shop for a blue umbrella. Within minutes , I got into a bus and was at the swankiest Mall in town. I spotted just the umbrella I wanted, the perfect shade of blue and one that folded easily. I was thrilled! I paid for it and walked out happy, licking the ice cream cone I treated myself to on the way out.

Now some one reading this story is bound to say ” so what?” Even if I embellished it with a description of the mall, the glorious day and described very evocatively my whole experience, it won’t grab many eyeballs.

On the other hand, consider this :

One bright summer day, I set off to the Mall looking for a blue umbrella that I long wanted. Unfortunately two buses that went by were full . It was hot and I was getting impatient. Finally, decided to hitch a ride .

I put out my thumb and within minutes a young gentleman stopped his car and asked me where I wanted to go.

The Mall was on his way to work , he said, so I stepped inside . The boy looked too young to be driving such a swanky Mercedes, I thought while getting in.

He seemed to sense my question because he suddenly slowed down and poked my waist with a cold , hard, steel knife .

“One word and you’re dead,” the man cautioned. I instinctively broke into a sweat.

As he drove past the Mall I began to panic. Where was he headed and why did he pick on me?

Twenty minutes later he turned towards the Expressway. Obviously, he was headed out of town. And I was part of his getaway plan. I was frozen with fear and I didn’t even want to think how it would end.

Just then my phone rang.

“If I don’t answer it,my family will panic.”

He nodded his consent and lifted the knife so that I could get to my phone.

I took my chance and immediately yanked the bag and hurled it at him. He dropped the knife.  At the same time I pulled the brake and the car came to a halt. Another car crashed into us and the young man was confused: to run or not to run?

To cut a long story short , the Police arrested the  young man praised me for my sharp thinking .

I never did get that blue umbrella but I learnt a lesson for life.

Which story did you like?

So my response to today’s prompt  for #WritingWednesdays would be – if I really do have the guts to tell things as they are, I would write a memoir. But honestly in my ordinary life, there has been nothing extra ordinary to merit a full length memoir.

Image for BellyBytes

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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7 Responses

  1. Rajlakshmi says:

    You can always make the ordinary sound extraordinary 😀 but I am pretty sure you would have enough brush with adventures in your life 🙂 Totally agree, conflict sells. Sometimes I am in similar fix wondering how to dramatise my ordinary routine 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Yoga Body MindMy Profile

  2. Dashy says:

    You’ve brought out both sides of the story so well! That simple short story really caught my attention. Wonderfully put!
    Dashy recently posted…A piano storyMy Profile

  3. Pratikshya says:

    Memoirs are great to read.. I wish I could write one.. ya, there’s nothing extraordinary, still.. 🙂
    Pratikshya recently posted…Four Patriots By Sumit AgarwalMy Profile

  4. Shweta Ravi says:

    That is a very valid point! How many would be actually be willing to tell the truth and accept the consequences (sometimes unpleasant) that it may lead to? Only those that are willing to accept the answers to this question would be able to write a truthful memoir.

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