Long before Christopher Nolan became the drooling factor for critics, hollywood and bollywood; and much before the Batman reboot, the inception conundrum, the time twisting wormhole and the magical science of prestige; there was a short story called Memento Mori and it was Jonathan Nolan, who in my opinion -- I am sure his brother Chris Nolan would agree to that --- found the perfect cocktail of science, fiction and emotions through the tragic story of Earl (later name changed to Leonard Shelby in the movie).
Story was outright weird, tripping, compelling. Very unusual. Now, I had barely come out of my teens and I loved weird. Also, I was more of a guy who used to talk about me being a writer than actually being one. I had different aspirations then, you know: Ladies - Parties – Drink - Sleep. Repeat. You get the drift! And, calling myself a writer really helped. It was like that X factor that most others didn’t have. My own mojo! And I fed that façade with my admiration of all the rebellious types. Tarantino for instance gave us pulp fiction. The message was loud and clear - Screw three act. I’ll tell you how to structure a narrative or the lack thereof. I am the new Shakespeare baby!
It obviously resonated with me and anyways, if you gave me Shakespeare at the time, I can promise you it'd hard not to be nauseated. Seriously, the world has changed so much since Shakespeare and Aristotles of the world. Our literary creations are no more divided into Tragedy or comedy. Last I checked there were around forty different genres and the list continues to grow. It is what we call evolution.
Years passed, and I kind of evolved as well, but one thing that remained with me was Memento Mori. The story had me at the intro. It started with “What like a bullet can undeceive.” It threw a curveball right there - get ready for something that is going to seriously twist your mind. And the entire thirteen page story was indeed like a goose-pill that would have the same effect even after a decade. That my friend, is inspiration.
Inspiration alone ain't enough to write though. True inspirations result in copycats. One has to be a bit Darwinian about the whole thing too. In my case, it meant that I had to create a story that would evoke all kinds of emotions and I am not just talking about laugh, cry and the thrills. I wanted to connect on the intellect level as well. For instance, I wanted the readers to at times say - This can’t be possible. This is stupid; and then later on answer the riddle that would make them say, ah, now I get it.
I continue to learn, evolve and now my focus isn’t on being called a writer anymore, it’s finally more on the writing. It’s besides the point that the perks I had a decade ago have - for lack of better words - retired!
In my writing today, I draw inspiration from anything and everything and I hope I find something that will replace Memento Mori’s place in my inspiration treasure, until then, this is it!
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