There are two kinds of artists in this world. Some are born that way. Some are created. I was created by my muse. Many people have asked me how I started writing…
WELL, I met an artist. He used to draw the best sketches I have ever seen. Not even the artists on the streets of Italy can match his work. He was not some professional, art was just who he was. His tattoos were pure perfection. Till today, I do not know much about him, except one thing; this guy knew how to live. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He did whatever he wished to do. He lived on his own terms, without any fear. He was 17, just like me. The only difference between us was, he lived everyday as if it was his last day. So, one day he just asked me, Ratika, what do you really want to do? That is how I took up belly dancing, and writing. I showed him my first poem, and he was very impressed. He used to make sure I wrote everyday. Before sleeping I would recite it to him.
There were other reasons why he was my muse. His stories were unbelievable yet captivating. There was a certain mystery about him. He was just notorious enough to lure me in. He used to drink strong coffee and could bend steel spoons with the thumb of his left hand. Not only this, he could look like a dashing Brad Pitt one day, and a lost Jordan from Rockstar the next day.
He was my biggest support throughout my first attack of depression. He was there at odd times to hear me out. He taught me how to live again. He made me look inside myself. I discovered so much in the coming years, and it was all because, I met a stranger at a bookstore. He told me to start living for passion and not out of compulsion. That is what I liked most about him. He was so dedicated to the arts.
Yes, he is the same person who raped me two years later. When I came to Ahmedabad, he asked for forgiveness, and I have forgiven him, more because I wanted to move on than because I wanted to. I couldn’t possibly forgive him. Even then, I have some sort of reverence in my heart for him. Because he gave me a reason to live. He gave me the power to write. He helped me discover myself. So I can’t hate him. I tried to, so many times. But I wouldn’t be who I am without having met him.