Do You keep A Diary?

I never thought that someday I would maintain a diary, but last year I decided to pen down my thoughts (which are many) that keeps fluctuating in my mind on paper, so that I could reflect upon my past as I grow older, at the same time improve my writing skills.

From the 1st of January up till the 31st of December, I wrote all the day-to-day happenings of my life, and the happenings around me in my diary. Now, it’s 365 pages of memories that I can cherish. Let me share what I wrote on the 2nd of January, 2012. There are certain things which are very private to me, and I cannot share them all. However, the 2nd of January is an exception. So here it is reproduced:

Damn my phone! It always wakes me up when I’m least inclined to wake up. But I cannot defy what I must do just because of my laziness; therefore, I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, and did everything that a person do in the morning.

Then, at 12:05 in the afternoon, I reached my college, before entering the classroom I looked around to see if there were any latecomer who might accompany me to the classroom because I was late my five minutes, and, I feared the lecturer might not allow me inside the class if I was the only latecomer, and, ha! Luckily, there were some latecomer who looked disheveled and walked near me with a dizzy pace.

‘Late?’ I enquired, but I don’t know what made me ask that, I knew very well that they were late so much like I was.

‘Late, dude, late,’ answered a friend, and I nodded.

The lecturer inside the classroom was lecturing in full swing; her name was Smita Ramakrishna, one of the best teachers I met in this college, who also possess a fantastic sense of humor and a good taste in music, and she  looks some years younger than she actually is. She teaches us Managerial Accounting.  She no longer will teach us after someday, as she is moving to a better position, and is going to teaches the PG students, or so I heard.

I stood by the door and through the glass door-frame she saw me moving incoherently. The door was ajar, I pushed it a little more and said: ‘Ma’am….’ and that’s all I could say, because she made a statement: ‘31st is over, and so is the 1st.’ She kept examining me minutely, I could not understand the statement, and mulled over it for some time, then I realized that she made a satirical statement, though I wasn’t drowsy and did not appear inebriated or hung on to a celebratory mood – bidding farewell to the previous year and welcoming the present year – but I liked her statement. I’m a satirist myself. I could not help the urge of wishing her, and so, I said with a broad smile on my face: ‘Happy New Year, Ma’am!’  ‘Hahaha!’ She laughed.

‘Where is you ID?’ she asked, it was in my hand, and she answered her own question, ‘You are suppose to wear it on your neck and not on your hands.’ I quickly did what she said; she smiled and said, ‘Now, get in quickly, and latch the door.’

So that’s about it. Here are four suggestions on how to keep up a diary.

Be Honest. In-case you cannot be honest with others (which is very disgraceful), at least be honest to yourself. However, if you are honest with all, that’s wonderful. Personal bias should not creep in while writing about yourself, or your friends, or anyone else, that is to say, don’t make it a point to find all kind of virtues in yourself and faults in others.

Be Creative. Don’t just write about the everyday happenings that more or less are same, for example, some people might write ‘I went to college by train’ on the first day, and on the second day you write the same thing, and same thing on the third… so on you keep repeating, your writing experience would be mundane. That’s a very childish act, so try to use your imagination, try to write your feelings, your thoughts, etc, but make it different. You may write prose and poetry as well.

Improve you writing. After writing the day’s entry go through what you have written, find if you have made any mistake – grammatical or spelling – and  amend them, and be careful the next time.

Keep It Private. I’m talking about personal diaries. Keep your diary in a safe place, far from people. By people I mean anyone – your family or friends – with whom you don’t like to share about your private life. My brother, for instance, takes the pleasure of reading my diary, and when I get the slightest hint that he read it, I take the pleasure of scolding him and shouting at him; “Do not touch that, you buffoon!”

The advantages of maintaining a diary are many. If you are a writer or aspire to be one, you should maintain a diary and write every day, and improve your story telling skills. You can improve your handwriting as well. I don’t believe that practice makes a man perfect, my handwriting is poor I must admit, I write very roughly; I believe that perfect practice makes a man perfect, now, slowly my handwriting is improving because I’m practicing it in the right way… better late than never. But then, perfection is non-existent, so don’t waste your time to be perfect, but you can definitely be efficient.

Do you keep a diary, or intend to?

Copyright © 2013 RAMU DAS

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17 comments on “Do You keep A Diary?

  1. Tasneem says:

    I’ve been writing in a diary since 2001. I can’t NOT write in it, it’s such a huge part of my life. Although I don’t know what’ll happen to them when I die, which is something I think about often, I’ve thought of burying it somewhere just because I have no idea what’ll become of them.

    • RAMU DAS says:

      Since 2001! Wohoo! That means it is already 12 years, and still running. That’s quite an accomplishment by itself. Sure, you must have grown accustomed to writing in your diary/diaries, and I understand, now it would be hard on your part not to write in it.

      Why do you think about burying your diaries? 😀 Instead, I suggest, you can publish them as a memoir, or as an autobiography, you might as well gain fame posthumously, once if someone publishes them, something like Anne Frank’s diary, you know. But then, you can surely bury them if you don’t want to let anyone know about the subject-matter of your diary/diaries, if you have written something that you feel you cannot share with the outer world.

      Keep writing, good luck! 🙂

      • Tasneem says:

        Well I started when I was nine years old, I dont think anyone would really want to read what I had to say then haha. I was thinking that if I had a daughter then I’d let her read some stuff, so that she understands she isn’t alone and that we all go through similar issues. I was pretty angry as a teen so hopefully I’ll have advice for my own kids through my experiences, and I’ll remember them vividly since they’re in my journals. Would you want anyone read yours? After your death I mean.

  2. crimsonphantom93 says:

    I tried so many times. Even this January. Every time i write a few page and suddenly find that it looks silly. So, i tore it all! This thing is not for me 😦

    • RAMU DAS says:

      You seem to be having a problem I had last year, you see, even I felt that keeping a diary wasn’t my cup of tea, I felt it was very childish to keep writing about the daily activities. However, after writing for two or three days, I decided to continue. I write just one page a day… but I make sure that I write about 500 words every day.

      The year has just started, you still can try if you wish, what you write may seem silly at present, but, believe me, in the future if you read them, you will smile in retrospection. Moreover, you are the only person who’s gonna read it, therefore, just let it be, appreciate you own writing, don’t tear the pages but keep writing 🙂

      Good luck!

  3. soumyav says:

    AM too lazy to keep anyone..and for some thing or other never have been able to keep it away form anyone else..so my poems are my diary…sort of..they reflect my daily thoughts

    • RAMU DAS says:

      Your poems are really thought-provoking, and what a nice way this is, that your diary is open for everyone to read. You already are keeping a diary, online diary we can call it.

      Keep spreading your beautiful thoughts through your verses. 🙂

  4. Sharmishtha says:

    iused to have one and wont have one in future. it can cost you very dearly!

  5. surindernath says:

    A good habit.The main risk is, U tend to live more and more in your diaries – become an escapist.

    • RAMU DAS says:

      True that a diarist tend to live more in his/her diaries, but I think, sometimes it is much better to escape from the harsh reality. Or to analyse things in a better way. Words when put to paper gives us an assurance for self-improvement, and the goal seems clear. 🙂

  6. njs says:

    Nice post… I do keep a diary and have been writing since 1999.. Over the years when I turn the pages I can see how much I have changed or evolved… I donot write daily but occasional when I have enough thoughts and feelings accumulated to fill 3-4 pages… 🙂

    Recently I had an unfathomable desire to flung away my diary… I had been so distressed and disappointed that all I could write was tragedy and hopelessness… I thought past should be erased not saved… But i resisted the urge to chuck it into the fire…!!! Past and experiences are best teachers I believe…

    Well, I cannot let anyone read my diary (especially my daughter unlike what Tasneem states)… I am far too honest and “shameless” and write almost everything very honestly…. It is in fact, as straightforward as I am in real life….

    You provoked my thought…I never thought about what will happen to it if I die… I would like to give it to one person… I wont name the person here… But I will write down in my diary asking anyone who finds it to gift it to “the person” who never for once believed what I said or what I really am…!!!

    • RAMU DAS says:

      I wonder how old you were in 1999. I could never think of keeping a diary at that time, nor did my parents encourage me to maintain one. When someone said “Diary”, the only thing that came to my mind was the small notepad we use to note down the telephone numbers.

      It is good that you didn’t destroy your diary, you see, so many and so much of memories are inscribed there. But, I think, when we are distressed or disappointed, or heart-broken or suffer from any other such things, we get to know something (even if ugly). Greatest art emerges from the most tortured soul. You, like me, are an artist, and no matter what life give or show us, we must not back off but fare foreword and keep moving like some brave soldiers. Tragedies and hopelessness are just experiences and feelings that everyone goes through and everyone experienced these and much more than these once in a while, I have experienced it so many times.

      Yes, I’m in full agreement with you when you say, past and experiences are the best teachers.

      Even I cannot let everyone read my diary. If I ever have to, I’ll decide who might possibly read it.

      Ah! That one person whom you want to give your diary is a really lucky one. But, it is sad that you don’t name who that person is. But I do respect your privacy.

      Now, have you just written about the person (whom you have mentioned) and no one else in your diary?

      I don’t know why that person (man, can I say?) didn’t believe in what you had to say. Perhaps, that person has a superficial mind, and doesn’t want to think deeply about what you say. Perhaps he doesn’t understand or try to understand what you say. Or perhaps he is devoid of all humane-feelings. You know, I have been through such a phase in my life very recently. I have fallen but I have somehow stood up and now I understand things better. And I’m just glad for everything. We must let fate play its part.

      Wish you much joy!

      • njs says:

        I was about 12 when I started writing a diary… I had read about Ann Frank’s Diary and my Mama had gifted me one nice diary the same year. So I just started writing in it, hence forth… I usually release sad and bad stuff into those pages… I am a big time introvert when it comes to showing my sorrow or emotions… Not even to best friends… So my diary is my best friend when it comes to blurting out negative emotions or secrets 😉

        I have filled 3 diaries in 14 years…(They are actually bulky hardbound notebooks)…

        No, I have written many things in it and not just about the person I wish to gift it to…(it maybe a man/woman – I want that doubt to linger on…). That person actually intellectualizes everything in life and hence have no capacity to understand the essence of life and minute details, emotions and beauty of life (or at least this is what I feel and think).

        I want that person to read it after I die… so that I shall be completely unavailable to clear any doubts and questions and wonders that may arise after reading it… exactly the way I had begged and longed for answers… Revenge u see 😉 but without any grudges or hard feelings…

        And like you said – Fate does plays its part… Life is a boomerang… everything you give out comes back to you, one day or the other… So why not give only good stuff…!!!

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