Dear diary…

There was a time when I used to maintain a diary. No, it was not the one where schedules for school work were listed. Even though the school never forgot to give the students what was called the ‘official diary’ at the beginning of every academic year, I had only used mine to jot down song lyrics in. My personal diary however, knew all the deepest darkest secrets that I had meant to take to my grave and had to be the witness of my angry outbursts in words. I remember writing updates about certain happenings when I found myself bored enough to edit my diary entries (no, it was not in the hope of changing anything in my life) even though I should be grateful to my diary for not demanding research and grammar and all the writer things that accompanies picking up a pen and setting to work on paper. I could even have won prizes for the speed with which I wrote some particularly depressing entries. Apart from knowing how I had an amazing vocabulary in swear words and bearing the pain of all the whining I did about most of the things under the Sun and some even above it, it was, without a doubt, my true start in writing. My diary made me realise where my true passion lay as soon as I decided to write my very first song (because calling it a poem is an insult to poetry and I had it tuned at the time and have conveniently forgotten what it sounded like) and my very first novel which was destroyed in ink along with the other contents of the diary because I realised that whatever I had written in it was only meant for me and when I came across a quote recently that said something similar to ‘if you write for others, you don’t love writing’, I knew I could forgive myself for having ended my assosciation with my beloved diary that way.
Maybe having maintained a diary and knowing the feel had made me extra curious to read the famous ‘Diary of a young girl’ by Anne Frank. She was a brilliant writer and it was a gift to humanity when her father gifted her the diary which she fondly called ‘Kitty’ (and other names) ,on her thirteenth birthday. The book on her sister’s (Margot Frank’s) diary was the one I read before hers and the way she saw and felt things were quite different from Anne Frank’s perspective. It showed how individuality reflected in one’s writing and especially in diary entries. Maybe this is the reason why many authors experiment with the style of narration through diary entries in their works. It definitely endears the main character to the readers, sometimes more than what narration in first-person does. The novel ‘Perks of being a wallflower’ was one such book I got hooked on solely because of the diary entry narration technique.
But we live in a time when every emotion can be expressed with an emoticon (or emoji, whatever you prefer) and diaries are passé. I ,myself, prefer shortforms or text language even if I have lots of time to type when I’m having informal conversations. It is a part of living in the present and even though blogs are considered to be the new age diary, nobody in their right mind would ever write every single detail of their personal lives in a place that has zero privacy (though I love my blog!). The reason why some sophisticated diaries have locks and can be opened only with a password is because the information it contains is truly valuable. There were times when friendships were tested when best-friends requested to have a glance through one’s diary just to make sure that the diary did not hold secrets that were never revealed to them or contain the true feelings one had about them. But now, people do not have the time or the patience to maintain an account of their daily life and would rather go to a therapist to empty their minds. So, tell me, are you one of those rare few who still has a diary stowed away behind books in your shelf?

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