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The Published Author by Aunali Bhujwala

August 7, 2014

The Published Author
By Aunali Bhujwala

It’s been awhile since I put pen to paper, but Literature is just one of those arts that flows through your body like a reflex action. It’s one of those amazing feelings, like the experience of love at first sight, or the stars twinkling in a dusty moonlight night.

I knew a writer. Went by the name of Josh Mathews. Published he was, sold 563 copies of his book before he hanged himself for loss of words. Literature was his gift that failure ripped away from him. He was a man of few words, was Josh. But when his pen touched paper, words flowed out like a jet stream of water. He could write down drama, romance, an entire comedy of errors if he wanted to, but only 563 people in the world appreciated his talent, and I was one.

It was the launch of his book, seven years ago, when I bumped into this master of literature. He was casually strolling down the aisle, keeping an eye on a nearby book store, lost in thought. He looked like a troubled person, so I stepped up to offer some advice, for better or for worse.

After some quick introductions, I learnt that he was a literary graduate, and had just had his first ever book published. He was supposed to enter the book store and sign out copies of his latest book, but was afraid he’d be sitting like a fool there all day, while nobody would bother to take a look at his book. Rookie author I thought, and coaxed him into the bookstore. I read the first eight lines of the summary, and walked up to Josh and slapped him. He was taken aback, a complete stranger whose name he barely knew had just slapped him across the face. His book was so good, and he was underestimating his own skill so much, that I could not stop myself. The storyline was simple, of a man who lost his love in war, but the power in his writing was such that you could sit hours on end until you finally shut the book and said, that was a good read. I immediately sent out an amazing review to people to buy this book, and those who did, still read it in memory of that great author.

I kept in touch with Josh for four years, until the fates struck out. We kept exchanging ideas for his new collection of short stories. He would keep scrapping my ideas, but I didn’t mind. He had more literature in his little finger than I did in the entire white matter of my brain.

I moved out of the country after obtaining my masters’ degree in science, and lost touch with Josh, until the fifteenth of July, 2012. I got a call from his butler as I was rushing to work. He tearfully told me that his master was no more. I could not bear hearing the entire matter over the phone and flew out immediately to see the author who was.

When I reached the next day, the site was unbelievable. The door had been broken down, and there he hung limply from the ceiling fan, dead as beet. Nearby lay a letter, with my name on it. Probably that was the reason I was called immediately; they all wanted to know what he had left behind.

He had no wife or children, and his father had left their house when he was six years old. His mother wept silently in the corner, unable to cope with the loss of her only son. The butler, Jose, wandered from one room to another, preparing for his master’s last goodbye. I slit open the letter, and as my eyes followed the words written on that piece of parchment, I sank to my knees is despair. It said,

‘I’ve never been able to make use of my talent Bryan, and I never will. My literature is leaving me; ideas come and go in a flash before I can even begin to build on them. I’ve sold the least number of copies, and it’s been 5 years since I last wrote anything. Since the day you left, ideas stopped coming to me. You kept throwing ideas at me and I would always file them for later use. Since you’ve left, I’ve blacked out. My art of writing has degraded day by day. You’ve always been a friend that I never had in my life, and I thank you for that. Goodbye Bryan, Goodbye.’

I swear, had he been alive, I would have slapped him just as I had on the first day we met. He had the friend, not a friend, the friend, the art of Literature. Nobody has this gift, this friend, but he had it and he threw it away. Why? How? When? Nobody knew, other than me.

So how did it happen? How did a man with such talent end up giving up on himself? What was the thought that ran through this brain as a shockwave that made him do something he cannot even regret?

Failure did. Failure is the venom that ran through the veins of Josh and crushed him from within like a cobra crushing it’s prey. He compared himself to others, wanted to know how he stood against others. He was so involved in trying to better himself──he lost his touch at writing. No ideas came, and he gave up. Human mentality . . . if you cannot do something, give up and sit tight, cause try and try till you succeed is not the way.

Aren’t we all like him? Haven’t we all just given up, and tried to walk into the dark depths of abyss? How many of us are strong enough to pull back? How many can pick themself up every time they are pushed face first into the mud? None.

Everyone is too afraid, too laid back to get up.and get going. If they fail, once, they’ll choose another path, but never tread where they failed. Josh was the rare person who would, he failed, again and again and again, but always got up to fail again. But finally, he gave in. And the rest, is history.

Copyright 2014 Aunali Bhujwala

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  1. I am speechless as this narrative is so profound with emotions & it just struck the right chords.Annihilation & catharsis of emotions, mind complex games indeed.
    Good wishes

  2. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    A tragic tale. The world is diminished by his loss…

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