For today’s post I am posting an entry from my write-as-you-think journal. It won’t be much fun, seeing that I am not in such a funny mood—in fact, just the opposite. It is very difficult to write when you are in this kind of mood, but as I often tell myself, the mark of a writer is not how he or she writes on days when writing comes easy, but instead on days when pushing each word on to paper or the keyword is a long, hard struggle. Just a few days ago, I had one such day, most of which I spent alone: writing and re-rewriting the same three lines over and over again. And just when I thought I had got the best three lines at the end of the day, I forgot to save changes, and there I was, back to square one! But never mind, that is the point of a write-as-you-think journal, where you put in exactly what your mind dredges up at the minute. In fact, by some strange association, I have begun to think of death, of a day when I exist no more. But a part of me knows that a part of me is already no more. My cells have renewed over the years, my hair cells, my skin cells, the cells in my hair— none of them are the same as when I was born. They have divided, multiplied and changed beyond recognition. They have died a million deaths, witnessed a million births, and with every inhalation my body has seen a new birth and every exhalation a new death. The day this constant renewal is no more, I will be no more. But so much of me has already passed, and so much of me is to pass away. Despite myself, I often find these periods of acceptance, where I can see into the nature of life, and of death. If only these periods would become my constant state of mind.
Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.