Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dilemma of diary writing

Teaching self-expression to students is not only beneficial for their emotional out -let but also useful to involve them in creative writing. I think so, therefore, at the beginning of every academic session; when new faces, glowing with the shine of ambition, and hearts to follow every path; taking them to wards their dream land and heights of their carrier, appears in my college, as a teacher I suggest them to adopt many activities. Diary writing is one of them.

Some of those students had delighted me by providing proof of their venture. These students, according to my instructions, keep a record of happenings around them, note down important information, couplets, sayings, proverbs, important events from the life of famous personalities, etc. I found it helpful in developing literary test among them as most of these students collect famous Urdu couplets and other literary masterpieces in their diary.

I recall those days, when I also used to write diary, with same zeal and enthusiasm, but with the passage of time; the life had snatched several things from us, the spirit of storing events on paper is also one of them. Now those moments turned into memories, I found it only in the safe deposit of my diary.

The time when I was passing through many hardships, I was full of tension generated by financial and family problems, at that time; my diary had become a friend of mine. It was a sort of catharsis for me, which was earnestly needed to me, as I was on the threshold of adolescence. The same passages have to travel to those students of same age. I think a diary may extend a helping hand to these people. The things they want to say to some one, and find no one to listen them so the diary plays there a role of “some one”.

This year, at the beginning of the session, I told my students that a diary may be beneficial to them for personality development, as what ever important information and instructions they have stored in a diary may shape their emotions, thought and elevate their personality. In case of applying all those information’s in speeches and discussion, in day-to-day life, it may help them to appear as an impressive personality in the society.

Since last few years I have been suggesting diary writing to many students for development of writing skill. But, this year, as many things happening around us are shocking, my suggestion created doubt in a student’s mind was also unusual for me.

When the usage of diary writing was being explained in the classroom, a student stood up and asked: ‘Sir, may I ask a question ’?
“Sir, You have suggested us diary writing for developing language, particularly in our mother tongue, Urdu, but you know, what is going on around us, is it safe to do so?”
“Why? What is wrong in it?”
“Isn’t it possible, that any one of us writing diary in Urdu, may be caught with this diary and in no time declared a terrorist, as it happens in such cases, and may be encountered.
I was pale with fear.

I found no satisfactory answer to his doubt. His questions certainly were a pointer to the unsafe times we live in. And more than unsafe, the turbulent emotional thoughts that the people have because of these events going on. For this youngster’s sake and for their creativity to live on, I wish the world is one happy place again.

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