Make the words count, just write.

Whenever, you can, and even when you can’t

I don’t have a dedicated bookshelf in my home.

My books are not defined by the space they sit in.

I let them define me. They share the space, their space with me.

So they sit…

On nightstands, on coffee tables.

On couches, on beds.

On refrigerator tops, on window sills.

In cupboards, in bags.

In boxes, in drawers.

In smartphones, in apps.

They’re of all kinds.

Fat, thin.

Big, tiny.

Torn, tattered.

New, old.

Brown paper wrapped.

Classics, adaptations.

Gifted, bought, borrowed.

Read, re-read, unread.

Best-sellers, debutantes.

Bookmarked, highlighted.

They’re of all kinds.

I read them at thinkable and unthinkable places.

At traffic signals, as I wait for the green sign. In boardrooms, as I wait for the meeting to start.

At parties, where I’m the first one to reach. In lounges, as I wait for my meal.

At weddings, where I know no one. In waiting rooms, as I hope all goes well.

At the press meet, in the living room, in the bedroom.

At salons, in libraries, in coffee shops.

They’re of all kinds.

I adore, admire them all.

But there’s a kind I love the most.

The ones with stains, spots, blots and marks.

A coffee mug mark. A curry stain.

A sweat mark. A water stain.

A pen scribble. A bird dropping.

A hair colour blotch. A moisturiser blob.

For, someone, somewhere wrote something so beautiful, so powerful that someone, somewhere could not wait but read it, whenever, wherever they could. Because once a wise friend said this to me, “Read, whenever (& whatever) you can, and even when you can’t. And read until the end.” And that’s the best writing advice anyone could have ever given me.

So, now I write like my books read.

I make note of a thought that may not come back. I scribble down a memory that I wish to cherish. I pen down a character when I meet an individual I hope I could immortalise. I let the sceneries, objects and people around inspire me. I express a feeling. I share the joy. I spread the love. I voice the anger.

I complete what I start.

I make the words count. I write.

Between cotton sheets, between magazines. Between cuddles, between arguments. Between notepads, between laundry piles.

I write.

At work, at lunch hour. In Metro, in the cab. At events, at conferences. In the kitchen, in cubicles.

I don’t judge my first drafts, my completed works.

I just write.

For, “Write, whenever (& whatever) you can, and even when you can’t. And write until you reach the end.” Is the best advice I can ever give anyone.