Shakespeare said – or rather, Brutus told his friend Cassius in ‘Julius Caesar’ – “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” In simpler words, it means “don’t let go of a chance, stupid.”
I tend to agree with the first part of the quote. If we look back at our lives, we can identify specific instances that changed our fortunes. I call them inflection points.
One such inflection point for me was the dog which drove me to start writing: a Pomeranian, full of deep, dark and vicious thoughts against humanity. The story unfolded when I was five years old.
My brother BalG and I used to go to a nearby temple every evening. The idea was to wash away our daily sins on a regular basis instead of waiting for it to accumulate to an extent that even God could not waive it off. It was on one of these trips that the aforementioned mutt descended on me. Vicious and slathering, I thought. With my enhanced wisdom of many additional decades, I realise now that in reality, he was under the impression that I was in a playful mood and wanted to frisk around with me. I, on the other hand, was petrified at having a dog jump at me with no provocation whatsoever.
I did what any self-respecting five-year-old would do. Shrieking at 110 decibels, I tried to land an uppercut on the Pom. The Pom was confused. He was hurt at the rejection. Hell hath no fury like a Pomeranian scorned. Muttering curses at me in pure Pomeranian, he landed a telling bite on my arm and walked away contemptuously, swishing his tail at me accusingly.
BalG and I were both aghast. In our combined twelve years of life, we had never come across a standard operating procedure for dog bite. Nevertheless, we took a lightning fast decision – that to go ahead with the visit to the temple, pray for the early healing of the wound and then go back home.
I am sure you must be wondering as to what is the connection between this heroic saga and my transformation into a writer. Let me explain. The anger and passion I felt at the Pom for the vicious assault consumed me. In my mind, not only this Pom, but the entire canine world became a tribe of marauding beasts bent upon the destruction of humanity. I, RamG, had to scuttle their destructive designs. And to this end, I took up the most powerful weapon known to man (poking someone on facebook was not invented then) – the pen. In a short and concentrated burst of pent up passion, I wrote a series of stories. In every story, the villain was a dog and would come to a catastrophic end at the conclusion. The dog died because an ant bit it, the dog climbed up a tree to eat the bird and fell down and died, the dog drowned in the sea when it went to attack the fish, the dog chased its tail and died of dizziness etc.
Thus it was a dog that launched me as an author.