Why I Like Realism

I call myself a realist though most of my poetry rides on the wings of imagination. I know realism is boring and harsh; modern writers have almost abandoned it but it is ironic that this hypocritical world cannot do away with realities of life that stand before us every single day. However hard we may try to escape them, we can’t eliminate them. Who would like to read about them?

Before you conclude that literary realism is dead, I would like to introduce you to an outstanding book that I stumbled upon recently. When characters accept their imperfections, when they struggle to survive and show the willingness to turn back yet feel entrenched in the situation and no Godfathers come to save them – such stark realism would lack excitement. Strangely I didn’t find this to be true. I am amazed at the relevance of this story, so close to real life.

40179809._SY475_‘It’s A Long Way Down’ by Ian Canon is a realistic and honest saga of David, who had a loving wife, a successful career and the much-awaited award of excellence yet he let himself wander into the darkest alleys of addiction. He couldn’t answer his own question – why? Was it for pleasure, arrogance or escapism? “Success can be suffocating, happiness is hard,” he tries to justify his actions. As David slithered deeper into the abyss of self-imposed addiction, his body tried to react, sending signals of resistance, self-awakening hits him and his efforts to restrain himself are superbly narrated. Despite the theme, this book is brilliantly written, with each detail that keeps you spellbound, making you wonder – what next? What would be the end, detesting the obvious outcome that could be anybody’s guess!

Canon’s style of writing is perceptive, breathing the right emotion into the situation, he shares the depths of despair, the crevasse of self-doubt; human flaws stare at your face, mixed emotions of anger and angst gnaw at your bones, making you the mute spectator of desperation. With no help in sight, this lone journey of an addict is an eye-opener for all those weak-minded individuals who seek pleasure in momentary joy or misuse drugs. David may not evoke sympathy but exemplifies a scaffold of perfect doom.

Ian gets into the mind of his characters, each one perfectly drawn and understands relationships quite well. His delectable prose mitigates the curse words that may seem necessary for the junkies. The book ends on an exquisite note, leaving much to the imagination of the reader, hinting at the power of hope. I am amazed how such a dreary topic could be converted into an excellent book.
© Balroop Singh

Check my latest book release: Moments We Love

If  you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Realism Is NOT A Sign Of Defeat

Realism is a light

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
I am a realist, a poet and a friend.
The door didn’t open.
I stood there, wondering…did I say something out of place?

I didn’t give up and knocked again, softly.
What do you want?
‘Nothing.’ I couldn’t say a word beyond that.
Expectations? Did I say I don’t have any?

Often I tell myself – expectations are emotional signposts that stunt your growth.

While trying to keep them at bay, introspection pays an unexpected visit…

I know this world is skeptical. I know nobody likes to befriend a realist.

I have been turned away like that a thousand times yet I didn’t learn any lessons.

When I met fantasy, she took me beyond the horizon and introduced me to the stars but their incandescence couldn’t blind me.

Those flights were like lying in a hammock and I could perceive some magnificent hues, relaxing and gathering some fantastic confetti to sprinkle upon my words.

She also whirl-winded through the corridors of romance, riding on the waves of ecstasy but I didn’t lose my sanity. I couldn’t soak myself in the fragrance of fickle-hearted, frivolous love despite its alluring attraction.

When I met mystery, she took me into the darkest tunnels where cobwebs tried to block my vision. Darkness could not hold me for too long as the eternal optimist within me keeps me humored all the time.

Melodrama couldn’t lure me and I refused to be carried away by its teary-eyed hypocrisy.

Thrilling adventures did hook me but their enticement was short lived as my mentor was always breathing in my ear the admonishing words in a firm tone.

Observation and intuition have been my best pals! I still love them.

Realism keeps me grounded. It connects me with people, their emotions and experiences of life.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward 

I met realism very early in life when I was just beginning to form my memories. I remember him clearly standing in the door, with scary daggers in both his hands, reminding me to remain indoors.

He told me, ‘you are a girl in a men’s world.’ This warning developed my emotional quotient and intuition.

He walked with me all the time, threatening to knock me into a drain. One day he did so when I refused to listen to him and jumped ahead to buy a candy.Realism quote

The rebel within me leaped out each time to scratch his face. Some times I did succeed in dodging him but that only exposed my own imprudence.

He revealed to me the travails of life; the aches and the hurts that he gave me steeled me. He acquainted me with the secrets and diktats of my culture. He taught me to pour an embittered heart into a cauldron and ignite it with my words. I grew up with his cues and his decrees became a part of my personality.

An internal rebel, I yearned to break free. There is no doubt that realism can be stifling at times.

Freedom did grace my home and the precious wings that I cherished were spontaneously passed on with realistic values to the next generation.

Realism keeps me focused yet a little dose of fantasy makes a coveted cocktail of poetic delight. Emotions too keep peeping in though I have learnt to channelize them. When I look at my early poetry, completely driven by emotions I marvel at my personal growth and the whole credit goes to introspection.

“Realism can break a writer’s heart,” said Salman Rushdie…such is the power of realism but I have reconciled with him as he has mentored me all my life.

How much of a realist are you?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.