It’s been almost 36 months when I embarked on writing my first full length novel. It all started with a title that got stuck in my head, like a gum on the sole of a boot. I tried to erase it from my system, but I failed.
So, I started writing.
The title was One Tick Madness. To authenticate its originality, I turned to Google. I found that the three letters of my title were disparately mentioned in varied contexts, but not together. I was happy with the fact that the title was indeed original.
Now, I had to do something about it. Think of a concept that would match the title. I dabbled in many mediums for presenting the title – like poetry, lyrics, prose, novella, screenplays and so forth. But, nothing seemed to stick. I was frustrated. At one point, I thought that like a bad episode, I would forget all about it. But it just didn’t leave me. It said to me only one thing, ‘Mister, you are wasting your time with me’.
‘Time’, I thought, is the common denominator of our lives. It is that dimension that practically sets everything into motion. One Tick Madness personified time, I thought. The thought then expanded, breathing life into a concept that would finally become the novel. It was, “What happens just before the clock struck madness?” The answer was, “A lifetime happens”.
A few days later, someone met me in my dreams. I possess this unique ability to foresee scenarios, like a soothsayer. I don’t make money from it. It is mostly personal, and therefore, not a modicum to come up with worldly predictions. The person didn’t have a face or body. I felt that my mind had conjured up a person from the future, who I will meet someday. But no, it was just there, hovering over my head, trying to say something when I was in solitude. I asked him his name, he said, “Harry Dagleish”. I struck up a conversation with him. He started telling me about his life and being. It all sounded fantastical at first, but then madness is, right. Gradually, I realized that Harry wanted to emit his life through One Tick Madness, and I was the medium. Now, it all started falling in place, the title, Harry’s life story and time. It all became one.
I now think of the time, when the title presented itself to me. I often ask myself, “Why me?” But then, it seems clear to me now, something that was undone in the previous life had to be completed in this lifetime. Mine was, “One Tick Madness”.