Addiction

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 09, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 09, 2016

A A A

A A A


Addiction

 

I looked at the award on the shelf. It was now a little dusty standing there for three long years. Yes, three years did pass since I was awarded that for best young author. Three years did indeed pass since I wrote my first bestseller. In fact three years have passed since I have written anything.  Anything at all. I was there in some writer’s magazine a few months after I had won that award. But soon it passed away. Now people call my bestseller a fluke. They have started forgetting me, my book.  My very existence in the writer’s world is endangered. And all I am doing about it is nothing. I am stuck with a writer’s block and I need to snap out of it soon if I indeed want to make my mark in writing again. I currently work in small ad company to feed myself. But all I wanted to be was a writer.

I sighed, as I moved towards my writing desk. The desk was untidy. There were sheets of paper in a mess. Some were blank. Most had scribbles but nothing more than that. Also crumbled sheets of paper lay around. They reminded me that I couldn’t think up a proper plot, but had just scribbled and crumbled them and threw them away. Pens lay around here and there. But they hadn’t produced anything fruitful in days. I sighed again as I sat down on the chair at my desk. I closed my eyes and sighed again, as my head bent downwards and my fingers moved through my hair. “Have to write something fast”, I thought, “can’t waste any more time.” I took a few blank sheets of paper in front of me and took up a pen. “Now let’s see…..” I had just started thinking when I heard a ping. My smart phone rang. It must be some notification. I pulled out my phone from my pocket. I turned on the screen. I was right. It was a notification. Someone had commented on my picture on Facebook . I quickly opened Facebook to check.  A friend of mine had commented “Looking handsome dude  J J”. I liked his comment then quickly typed a reply, “Thanks broad J J” and posted it. I soon received a notification that he had licked my comment. And very soon “U r welcome :-D” came up. I liked that too and replied “:-D :-D”.

Then I started scrolling down my newsfeed liking, commenting and sharing posts, pictures and such things. “The newsfeed is funny”, I thought to myself. You get so many posts, funny, serious, lame, insane and so much more. A post read, “We al have that friend that gives weird poses in pics. Tag him/her” and I gracefully followed. Another read “Never judge a person by appearance. Even the ugliest can have a golden heart.” I liked it and shared. There were so much more. I played Facebook games for sometime. Slowly it became boring. I had once looked at the sheet of paper on the desk but decidedt to continue with my phone since I hadn’t thought of a plot yet. I decided that I will start it as soon as I get an idea.

Soon, I opened Whatsapp. There was a group of our college friends. And I could see that a few messages had arrived about a newly released film. I replied to that too. And slowly it took shape of a debate as to why Indian mainstream cinema is not good and the good films get unnoticed. Purab was damn angry that we called his favourite actor Sabir Khan an idiot. And Kangana would go on to say that the actors are great but the directors suck. And then Sohail joined in with his point of view of Indian film industry. It was already a grand debate and also a heated one. In the meanwhile I had also had a chat with Zaheer on some recent movies I saw and Saurabh about some work in office. And in all this, somehow, two hours had passed. It was well passed dinner time. So I decided to have eat and start writing from the next day, after I get an idea of a plot.

 

As I placed the placed the plate on the table and served the roti and tadka I had bought from the local Punjabi restaurant, I had a look and the grand debate was almost a war now. Some of my friends were for the notion that Indian mainstream cinema isn’t good and some opposed it. They all chipped in their points on why they believe so. I too gave a few opinions of myself on how I thing Indian mainstream cinema is lame. I was eating with my right hand and typing with my left now. I had mastered this over the years, from when I was in college. I rarely mistype now, or rarely have problem eating and I can manage both simultaneously.

I finished my dinner soon and then played a few games on my phone for sometime. Soon I was back to Facebbok and Whatsapp. These two are such great boredom killer. What would I do without them? I was lying on bed reading the messages in the group at that moment. Recently Zoya had joined in. she presented some very good points that many Indian viewers don’t understand art films and they like the brand of actors in films and so on. We agreed to her points and the debate soon calmed down. I might add here, Zoya is my closest friend. My bestie and someone I always trust. And she seems to solve every problem with easy. So I thought of having a chat with her with about my writers block. The following is how the conversation went.

“Hey, ssup?”, I started.

“Watching TV. Wat abt u?”

“Nothing much. Lying down.”

“Ohh. I just had dinner”

“U kno I was trying to write for a few days”

“That’s good.expecting another bestseller”

“It dint go well”

“Y?”

“Couldn’t write a line. Either I am not getting time. Or I just can’t think of something”

“You kno u get a lot of time. You just waste that.

“What?”

“Yeah. U do too much of lame thing in Facebook. Or u r always chatting in Whatspp.”

I couldn’t reply as I felt that somewhere she’s correct. Maybe I waste my time a lot.

“Theres so many likes, comments, share on FB from you the whole day. If you had no time, you wouldn’t be able to do that.  You are not paying attention to your passions”

She isn’t wrong. I realized it soon enough. Two hours in the evening I spend on social networking on my phone that evening. Instead I could have thought of something if I had wanted and maybe started writing. Maybe I just could have got an idea if I wasn’t busy on my phone.

“U don’t pay attention to yourself and wat u really want. Tats y u havnt been abl to write. Analyse youself. Think abt wat u want.”

“I do spend a lot of time on phone n social networking . isn’t it?”

“Yes, more than you need to. You are addicted to it.”

“I think you r ryt. Somewhere I have lost track of myself. Have to rectify soon. Thanks a ton.”

“I am always there for u. J J

“Yeah, that’s y I trust u so much. Do point out my mistakes whn u find them.”

“I always do. I dnt hide them. J

“J”

“My net blnc is almost over. Ttyl. Goodnyt J

“Goodnyt. Tk creJ. Thanks a lot again.”

Finally she was offline. And I lay down thinking on what she has just said. I do waste a lot of time wasting my time over Facebook, Whatsapp and other apps and do not do constructive things in that time. I check my FB newsfeed every ten minutes, check Whatsapp every now and then, like, comment, share, chat, play games and what not. I was addicted to them. But if I reduce that even by fifty percent, I would gain hours of time and if in that time I don’t think about these apps and just concentrate. Maybe I could write something again. Maybe I could make my mark in the writing fraternity again. And then suddenly, it struck me like lightening. An idea I had been waiting for.  An idea for my next novel. “What if I write a novel on someone like me, who is unable to achieve things in his life because he is addicted to his phone. He is addicted to social networking and other apps. Just like me.”, I thought. “Damn well its possible. I can add a few details. Show the adverse side of technology too on our lives. How addiction to smartphones have led to many problems in our lives. And then one day a friend like Zoya points out the mistake of the protagonist. And he tries to overcome his addiction. Oh, hell yeah!! Good enough plot to start with. How social network and phones can have adverse effect on our lives and how we can deal with them and also find our true self again. Gonna be good. “ I thought o myself and smiled.

”Oh, Zoya, you again solved my problem. I promise to overcome this obstacle and no more be addicted to my phone and waste my time. I will do the same with my life just as my protagonist will do in the story.” I smiled. I promised myself that I would start writing from the next day. The next day being a Sunday, I would get a lot of time. And I promised myself not to waste my time on the phone and social networking apps unnecessarily. In fact, I am going to utilize that that. I switched off my phone and went off to sleep.

For the next 27 days I wrote each day. This time I kept my phone aside so I don’t get distracted. It was difficult in the beginning and I would instinctively and involuntarily grab my phone and start fidgeting. But I slowly managed to not let my phone distract me. And it would be hours before I actually touched my phone. Soon I found, I was able to think properly and wasn’t in a writer’s block anymore. I could think up plot turns with ease.

And pretty soon I finished the book as well. And the most important part, I dint waste time on my phone for so long. I dint wasted my time. I was no m ore addicted. Not to my phone. Nor to social networking and other apps. Now I knew precisely what I wanted to o.

The very next day after the day I had finished writing, I had taken the book to my old publisher. The editor said he would read my draft and decide. And within a week I had a call that he liked it and wanted to print it. He said it would be a bestseller. I was so much happy on hearing this. “Thank you, Zoya.” I thought and smiled.

 

 

A month later.

I sat at the corner table of the café. This was our usual spot when me met – me and Zoya. I had called her up in the morning to see it she was free she said yes, so we set up a meeting here. I was before the time I told her, didn’t want to be late. I sat at our usual place and drank coffee while I waited.

It wasn’t long before Zoya walked in. She turned towards the corner as she entered and located me. She smiled as I waved. Soon she joined me.

“Long time, we haven’t been here.”, she said.

“Yeah, almost an year.”

“Yeah. You are right.”, she smiled, “So a sudden meet today? Anything special?”

God, can she read mind? Of course its special. She’s a genius. She knows me just too well.

“Well, first the order.”, I waved at the waiter and he nodded back at me. “I had already ordered you favorite sandwich and crème coffee. Told the waiter to wait till you arrive.” I said.

“Ohkay. So something is going on today. Something special.”, she grinned.

I took out a wrapped parcel from my bag and handed to her. “Open it.”

“What is it?”, she looked up to me.

“You can see for yourself after you open it.”

She slowly unwrapped the parcel. Her eyes started gleaming from the sight of what was inside. A book. My book.

“It’s the first copy. Grabbed one from the publisher. Its launching on Tuesday.”, I smiled.

“You finally wrote your second book. I am so glad.”

“That’s not all. Open the second page.”

She did as I said. She read what was written  and looked up to me.

The printed line read  “Dedicated to my bestie Zoya, thank you for showing me the way…..”

“This means a lot.”, she said, softly.

“Well, thank you really. You rid me of my addiction of my phone. Of social networking. And showing me what I wanted.” , I smiled as the waiter bought in her favorite sandwich and crème coffee.

“Yeah, I see you have visibly reduced your activities.”, she said, “ nd I am glad you rediscovered yourself.”

“So, care to join me at the launch on Tuesday?”, I asked.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”, she replied with a sweet smile.

 

*****

 

 

 


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