What to write on temptation?
Praveen had just entered his room. He opened the room and found an envelope lying down in the floor. He bent down and took it which was addressed to: Praveen, Room No: 17, AMV Boy’s Hostel, MGK University, Varanasi. He was delighted to see “Campus Link” printed on it.
Praveen took out the magazine and glanced through the pages. He stopped at page number 18 which had the caption: ”WRITERS!!! YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE”. It contained the themes of the subsequent issues. After a perusal he added “temptation. Interesting topic. Why not I give a try?”
Praveen dropped the magazine on the cot and took his seat by the table. The question papers of previous years were lying on the table along with the hodgepodge. He arranged the books in order and took the question paper; he gave a quick look to it. After reading the last question, “Discuss the use of flash back technique in R.K. Narayan’s novel The Guide” he pondered over it for a while; dropped it in the drawer and got ready to go out.
Praveen put on the overcoat and the monkey cap; locked the room and moseyed towards the cricket ground. Chill whether breezed the uncovered part of his face. He sat on the ground and started to think. His mobile gave the popular airtel ring tone: tin-tida-tin-tin——. He inquired the well being of his mother, sister and brother. He did not forget to kid his sister for the funny e-mail she sent last week. After the talk he switched off the mobile and connected himself with the busy-free network of God through the mobile, prayer. He prayed for special wisdom to write the article. After few minutes of prayer, he started to contemplate, with very little success.
Praveen started to his room. In the carrefour, he met Yogi and Sonu. The sweat flowing from their forehead disclosed that they were returning from the gym. Sonu asked him, “did you start reading Mrs. Dalloway? Kumari mam will teach the novel next week”. As they all walked together Yogi said “read at least first thirty five pages”. They reached the hostel.
Praveen opened his room and took out Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. He opened the book and started to read. After a while he heard a knock at the door. He opened it and let Nabu in. Both discussed the novel. They also discussed the day’s first class where Kumari madam was banging the students for not reading the novel. Nabu left the room saying “keep ‘stream of consciousness’ technique (A literary genre that reveals a character’s thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy) in mind when you read Dalloway”.
He related the phrase ‘stream of consciousness’ with flash back technique of the question paper. He thought for a while and asked to himself, “Why not I apply stream of consciousness and flashback technique to write article on temptation?” He recalled his old days when he was addicted to unhealthy hallucination. He jotted down few instances when he was badly influenced by it and was pondering over unholy subjects, even after accepting Christ. Those were the days when he started the days with a ‘meaningful quiet time’ and ended the days with ‘powerful prayer’. He was tempted very often when he was alone or at the time when he lay in the bed and prepared to sleep. The latter one was terrible. The pity was satan had blinded his mind that he could not identify that he was sinning with his imaginative faculty.
Raju anna was the one who helped him to overcome this temptation. He used to visit him in his hostels every Wednesdays, apart from their regular meetings in Thursday Bible Study. Initially Praveen did not share this problem with him. After many days, Raju anna took the topic. In their next meeting Praveen opened his problem. Raju anna started to explain him Biblical concepts. Also he gave him a practical tip too: to divert his thinking faculty in a useful way. Praveen recalled the exact words of Raju anna and noted them: “before you sleep or when you are alone, meditate on the day’s quiet time portion. You can also recollect those you studied in the class. You are also interested in creative writing. Say, you can ponder over Orissa issue; ponder over topics of Campus Link; write a poem, or story or an article. In these ways use your brain productively. Don’t forget to pray also”.
Praveen adopted the new method. Initially filthy hallucinations overtook his Quiet time contemplation. He could not overcome the temptation in a fortnight. He was constantly praying and was fighting with filthy hallucination. Finally, he adopted the method of ‘diverting the imaginative faculty productively’. Before he lay in the bed, he kept a book, pen and table lamp in the chair close by the bed. He pondered over the topics given in Campus Link. Whenever he got a point he noted them in the book and again lay in the bed. He did this till he slept. He developed those topics to short stories and sent them to Campus Link. He was translating all these thoughts in to the paper – where he was writing about temptation- and put the title ‘conclusion’. By then he got a phone call. It was Dr.Aravind from Chennai; he taught him Indian Fiction in BA. He said,” congrats Praveen. I read your short story in the last month’s Campus Link. Really nice. I was really blessed. May God use you more and more. Bye”