The Lockdown – Day – Sixty (Last One)

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In his last blog of ‘Lockdown’ series, the writer shares how he conceived the idea to write under this title and what he felt penning down varying topics on daily basis, but as usual while summing up his final note, he passes on tips about writing skills to those aspiring authors. And yes, the writer also divulges his next plan – launching a series of articles titled ‘ONE-UNIT – X-RAYED’ from this week.

Zaffar Junejo

My Friends! You are reading the last lockdown write up. I think it is an appropriate time to tell you how I started it. In addition to that, I would share with you how I felt while writing these articles, but before that let me thank you.  I said so, because you have regularly been reading my write-ups, and commenting. Frankly, your blue-marked-signs on WhatsApp, likes and comments on Facebook were in fact dialogue with me. Do you know? I frequently checked my cell phone and laptop more than once just to see that you have read it or not. It was the attachment of the author with readers.

In lockdown days, I wrote sixty notes (including this one), and each write-up approximately was one thousand and two hundred words. I started writing the lockdown notes from 24th March 2020 and today it is 31st May 2020. So, in sixty-nine days I wrote seventy-two thousand words. According to international standards, it is an acceptable number of words for awarding a Ph.D. On the other hand, in the publishing world, this matter is enough to bring out a book in demy size. In these write-ups, I talked about books, authors, and ideas.

Now I want to share with you my writing experience. But you must remember that I wrote in an abnormal or new normal situation, however technology-supported me in so many ways. It made the writing craft convenient. It never has been in the near past. I think it was one of the reasons for my continuous writing. In addition to that technology helped me to publish it immediately, and share it with you. It is beyond my imagination how our seniors had gone through the writing process when there were days of pen, ink, and paper. These were only instruments available to them. I think, there might be a long process of writing and re-writing of manuscripts. One thing more that I am listening from some of the writers that writing is a hard job, and sometimes they explain the writing process with physical labor. On the contrary, I have found the writing process the most sublime, beautiful, and mentally engaging activity. Let me summarize, writing for me is the state of happiness and gratitude. Whenever I write rhythm and melody happen simultaneously. How it occurs? It is simple. First, I do not broadcast words, I cultivate them, give them roots, senses, voices, rights, and responsibilities. Therefore, my words and sentences are not clueless and not roaming in clouds. On the contrary, they are bound and tied. They spark ideas and unleash dreams.

I am fully aware that writing needs some administrative and mechanical things such as writing regularly at a certain time. It could only happen when you are thinking about a topic from some time, and you have come up with fair details about its process and dimensions. Sometimes, these writing ideas pop up when you are driving, walking, listening to music, or just doing nothing and scrolling down the screen of a laptop or playing with your cell phones’ keypad or TV’s remote control.

One thing more I would like to tell you that before submitting the write-up. It must go through the following processes: 1) loudly reading – just check its rhythm. Do you know I do it? I convert my write-ups’ word file into PDF file and avail the ‘Read Aloud’ option. It helps to know how much soothing it would be to readers’ ears. If there is no melody, I edit it. 2) balance and order words, including words in each paragraph, 3) use hooks in between sentences/paragraphs, 4) inculcate suspension through questions, and postulating contradictory ideas in the same paragraph, 5) check readers alertness through questions, and also use numerical and 6) retain readers’ moment-curiosity – what is next, and it keeps them attentive.

Another unavoidable task is fact-checking. I double-checked persons’ names, books titles, and dates. And finally, unavoidable is editing. It started with spell checking, grammar, and language editing. First, I do it myself. And second, I have three editors at home –Elsa, Maghana, and Sudharath but Maghana edited all my write-ups. She taught me how to use connecting words, and make shortened sentences. Then, I email the write-up, and finally, there is Nasir Aijaz, who beautifully edited all my write-ups. Nasir Aijaz’s editing makes my write-ups more communicative and enhances their clarity. He addresses readers’ comfort, checks aggressive factors in write-ups, and arguments’ flow in the story. And let me not hold the gratitude. I thank him for providing Sindh Courier’s platform. This platform provided me an opportunity to present my ‘untold thoughts’ to readers. I also saw my imagination’s impressive reality on Sindh Courier’s pages. I do understand that writing is a full-time job, but when it becomes your love, then it is difficult to detach from it.

Again, I am thankful to my seniors and young friends, who read my write-ups and spared time to comment on them. In addition to that, I am very much thankful to those readers, who were not known to me, and I was also alien to them. But they read my write-ups and aired their views. It is encouraging that content matters, not acquaintance or relationship.

The present lockdown note started with a statement that ‘this is last lockdown note’. Do you recall?  Yes, it is the last note. But be assured, I will continue writing under another banner, and again it would be published in Sindh Courier. The lead title of my upcoming write-ups would be ‘ONE-UNIT: X-RAYED.’ Under this banner, I would review books, which were written in favor or against the One-Unit scheme, narrate events that were held in favor or opposition of One-Unit. Till now I have this plan to initiate next. Now at the end of this note, I would like to request you that whatever books regarding One-Unit come into your mind, please email me at [email protected]

I do understand that the present time is of worries, confusion, and sadness, as nowadays we are restricted to our homes.

I hope many of you would read my next batch of write-ups and may be involved in the politics of One-Unit. I hope it would help you to understand the present situation of Sindh.

Okay. Stay home, stay safe, and do not forget to wash your hands.

_________________________

Zaffar Junejo is Ph.D. Scholar at Department of History, University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur – The areas of interest: Peasants’ Studies, Social History, Cultural History, Colonial and Post-Colonial Periods.
For author’s previous blog click on Sindh Courier

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