Smaller than Life
Why a blog? Simple. Cacoethes Scribendi -- the urge to write! My literary pretensions and caprices bring me here. Like any writer I write to be read. All my posts, though fettered to my small world and trivially myopic, will live and yearn that somebody connects to them someday. Cognitive frenzies, sardonic musings, aimless banters, incoherent ramblings and trivial indulgences; this is simply an episodic narrative of my trivial world -- in a grain of sand… Smaller than Life.


When I am dead,
I hope it is said,
'His sins were scarlet,
but his books were read'.

- Hillaire Belloc

This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me, --
The simple news that Nature told
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

- Emily Dickinson

The thoughts of our past years
          in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction

- William Wordsworth

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The Grand Slam

Nothing can be tougher. When I have to quantise, catalogue and pen down in an autograph book everything that has lent me fulfilment and joy in a relationship or assess a person's assets and failings like I were an Income Tax auditor, I search for a glass of water, stammer, scratch my head with the pen, blurt irrelevant things about the poor fellow's crooked nose or flap ears and break into a nervous laugh. (It is customary for the parting lot in BITS to fill up one's contact details their friends' 'slam books' and also as a matter of courtesy, jot down a couple of lines about the good times spent and best wishes.) I can find the creases of worry appearing on my forehead; not because I cannot find anything nice to write about, but simply because my mind refuses to make any comments about the closeness of a relationship reading which will make me (leave alone the other) uncomfortable. Which is why I feel like the shrugged Atlas, so to speak, when some good friends hand me out their autograph books. When they warn you in a jocular reproof that they will not brook a below-par write-up from a good friend like me, they mean precisely, "Hey! You had better write only good gratulatory pleasantries. Else you had better beware, your autograph book shall reach me someday." So the write-up either ends up becoming strangulatingly emotional or it gets excessively panegyric. Ultimately, whenever I settle down to write a heartfelt and earnest write-up about a close friend, it ends up being far from the truth.

Hence, it meant to me more than any small measure of success when I did compliment myself after I wrote in the Godmother's autograph book in our final Shatabdi train back home, the train that would separate our tracks forever. I liked it because I thought while it was impersonal enough to save my emotions all embarrassment, I achieved the task of providing pointers to the memory lane. I decided I will put the impersonal passages on my blog simply because I like the piece and want to archive it here (without getting very personal). Ah! That sounds good enough a pretext; but why would I want to demean the Godmother's effort of typing my entire slambook entry out meticulously and mailing it to me! (So Godmother, if you read this, please don't take offense :) ) These are the impersonal excerpts of what I had to write about the great Godmother:

Hail Godmother!

A bucolic girl from Nanganallur: gangling, a little nerdy, a little nice – these were the opening lines that set up your entrée in my blog. I guess that wouldn’t change much today: Okay, probably, ‘A passionate and fervent Kali devotee’ would manage a squeeze in.

... The day you issued veritable prognostications of a philosopher, the day bedecked matronly women vied for a solitary microphone and you valiantly vied too, "Why are you on SMS", belled temple cows (!), when you sent me a solicitous ‘Where are you?’ SMS when I was enjoying my new-found comfort in the bushes, antennae and pin-cushions, NPK, the day when both of us found the declivity of ‘the branded coffee’ too vertiginous for comfort, your three words of wisdom, the 10 o’ clock morning pantry sessions that happened at eleven, your generous free Auto rides (not to speak of the KH), my TIP, Gmail, chats that later became Gmail chats, Table Talkers, the fish that felt like a fish out of water, planning the psenti-lachcha session, the 3 o’ clock train at 4:25(!)... (Oh! I am drawing very near)... the unintelligible scribble so far in your autograph book... It has been a tortuous ride to the present and now I am! But wouldn’t you like to muse as the granny grey about all these things one day? I’m mighty sure I would.

... Even as I set my pen upon your slam book, the silent voice within me quavered, my vision blurred with tears and everything that has followed has been a long jagged rickety illegible scrawl… How I would have loved to look at this scribble and ruminate thus. It’s actually the jerky Shatabdi train...

The Jack ;)

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