I have been gloriously lazy for a while now. My lethargy puts sloths to shame. It has taken a toll on my personal life. But what about the lives of others?
Civilisations have died out when I have chosen sleep over writing. Plots have been left unresolved as I step away from my desk never to return for months. My cliffhangers are unintentional.
It is terrible sometimes. Characters abandoned mid-birth. Half fleshed out. It is a motif that appears a lot in my writing. Why do I write about aborted character creation?
Epiphanies are dramatic. Characters, on the other hand, pop into your head with lesser fanfare. As if they’ve been around all along. Maybe they get activated as you grow older. Come out of their birth pods as you hit a certain age. A puberty of sorts. Why do I live with characters much younger than myself? Does my mind have a different age? Am I a childlike person? When will I see the birth of mature characters?
Or were they never there in my mind to begin with? That scares me.
Coco drifts further away from me with each passing day. And yet, I refuse to write about her. It is a sickness.
But there is some humanity left in me. I bring her back. It is hard though. Writing is like stepping into a mirror. The other side is unreal. As you return, you realise that you have left a part of you behind. How much of us remains when we have written our last tale? Have we lost most of ourselves to the other side?
Coco has no other name. She is a character without depth. I cannot give her depth. For I lack knowledge of her background.
Coco is from Kerala. The land of coconuts. It is said that the men of Malabar have used every part of the coconut tree to build their civilisation. She loves coconuts.
I cannot speak Malayalam. Neither can she. She could, if I could. I wish she would leave me and appear in another writer’s head.
She does not leave. The islanders of Vypin Island have never left their land. Ever.
Vypin Island has never been invaded. The islanders have defended themselves through recorded history. Even the British never stood a chance.
That is not history. It is a version of the truth I made up for myself as I grew up in a land far away from Vypin Island. Coco claims that she fought alongside the island’s warriors. I believe her.