Where is the Time?

Being on several lv-headshot-2016-203x300WhatsApp groups (as almost everyone is, these days) I received a longish post in Marathi recently. It was a story of  an elderly man who meets a dashing,  distant relative.

Any plans for marriage?, the ‘Kaka’ asks and was told by the IT engineer that hehad none.
Where is the time for it?

One day he comes and tells Kaka of his impending marriage. When did he “see the girl” as is the practice in Indian arranged marriages? Oh no.  They ‘met’ on the Internet, liked each other’s  views and decided to tie the knot. Where is the time to go for ‘mulgi pahayla”  (going to see the girl).

How about the wedding card, the purchases, the personal invitations? He came to Kaka  only as he Continue reading Where is the Time?

Coming of (Old) Age in India

blog-imagesSometimes people start believing the fiction they create about  old_age_themselves. Having written two books on journalism I pretended to be an author. It did not matter that the books were rejected by all journalists, including those I trained (not one was ready to read and those who did refused to give even a few lines of feedback) I decided not to ever write about journalism. How the books proved to be duds is  another Continue reading Coming of (Old) Age in India

Talent Beyond Good Looks

ardhsatya_youtube            Om Puri in Ardha Satya

It is commonly  believed  that ‘good looks’ are needed to be a film actor.  Om Puri, one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema who passed away suddenly on Friday after a cardiac arrest, proved this wrong.

Every newspaper and news channel commended his talent and recalled his histrionics. Writing on the life or talent of Om Puri, Padma Shri, OBE,  would be  repetition. So I would record only a personal memory. Continue reading Talent Beyond Good Looks

Fight to Stop Perverts

crimes-against-women-in-indMass molestation of women on Bengaluru’s most important streets -MG Road and Brigade Road-during New Year revelry, is a week-old story. Even as the public outrage is still on, come reports of a 24-year-old woman molested in Baghpat (UP) by four men who also chopped off her ears for resisting rape  and of molestations heralding 2017 even in Delhi and many cities..

The Times group, especially its news channel Times Now  has started a campaign to  ‘Stop the Perverts’. Karnataka Home Minister G.Parameswara’s first reaction was that it was no Continue reading Fight to Stop Perverts

Resolve To Dream

New Year Day, January 1, is the day everyone thinks of New Year Resolutions; some make the resolutions and many more recall those made last year but not  implemented.new-year-resolutions.

Some resolve not to make New Year Resolutions. All realise that very few can implement all resolutions. Many know that the resolutions are just the promises you make yourself and not a guarantee of action. No one makes a resolution with an intention to break Continue reading Resolve To Dream

Ugly Start for Happy Year

new-year-day

On January 1, we wake into a New Year – of new hopes and desires, of aspirations and expectations, that would help us overcome the disappointments and failures of the year that has just ended. It is normally a happy, beautiful day.
But Bangalore, known all over the world as a centre of information technology, woke up to reports that hundreds of women were molested, groped and even injured by hooligans on ‘MG Road’. Attempts were made to strip them. They were pulled by hair. Continue reading Ugly Start for Happy Year

Tomorrow becomes Today

Yesterday I said I will blog today. I lied. That itself was yesterday’s blog. The tomorrow has become today and one more blog is in order. A friend had an objection: You don’t have to blog every day. Write a blog only when you feel like it, he said.

If that is done, half the books, articles and blogs in the world would not have been written at all. An equal number or more would have remained mere concepts in the minds of people, who either did not know the art and craft of writing or lacked the patience and will to go through with it. The unwritten works could have been lost masterpieces, great ideas wasted.

Every potential writer is told that good writing is the result more of perspiration than inspiration. The habit of sitting down to write and fulfilling a target every day must be cultivated, one is told. The need to express may take the form of writing, painting or even singing. Vincent van Gogh, one of the world’s greatest painters and a trail blazer, was said to have sat down to paint every day at fixed hours and even painted on earlier paintings or made self-portraits when he could not afford new canvasses or paid models.

And those who did not write because of the lack of will outnumber those who lacked the craftsmanship or art. “Why write?”, they question, “No one reads. Who has the time? Facebook and WhatsApp have killed reading.”

When I was down in spirits thinking “no one reads”, a social media contact knocked down that argument. She said writing, being read and people buying the book are three differed things. One should write because one wants to, not because someone reads or for the article or book to be accepted.

There are several reasons for writing and someone reading or appreciating is just one of them. Picking up links from the comments on different blogs I follow, I cam across one who blogs “to overcome depression” and another because she lost a child and wants to unburden the grief. I then remembered that the blogging I stopped years ago was started again when, after 48 years of marriage, my wife passed away.

Life deals a deadly blow to many. They suffer unexpressed agony that may lead to depression and even lead to suicidal tendencies or other mental ailments. I then recalled a poem by Alfred Tennyson I read decades ago – ‘Home They Brought the Warrior Dead’. A princess whose husband meets gallant death in war was stunned when the body was brought back. “She nor swooned nor uttered a cry”. Her maids tried to make her react because “a nurse of ninety years” told them, “She must weep or she will die.” When all efforts failed, her child was brought and put in her lap. Then “Like summer tempest came the tears.”  She realised that she must live – for the child.

A blogger sees the beauty of nature around him, captures it with his camera and shares the thrill. Yet another spins a poem a day – around the word suggested by the Daily Post.

Joy, not tragedy alone, may make one want to communicate.

To communicate is an essentially human need. When the cumbersome rules to shape the words into the format required for journalism or a book are removed –and  blogs impose no such requirements–  the writing becomes much easier. The blog may be just a few lines on some current event, an expression of some emotion aroused by the ups and downs of life, a deep, lengthy, philosophical analysis or  a few words with pictures of something that enthralled or shocked the blogger who wants to share it with others. Or it may be a representation in words or pictures of the “summer tempest” of tears that saved the heart from breaking or the mind from losing its balance.

A blog, without the compulsions of commerce, is a peep into one’s heart and soul. Just tbe ‘like’ it. Or ignore  it.

I Will Blog Tomorrow

My last blog was on November 4. Starting to write over 58 years ago and soon making the printed (or written) word my livelihood, I thought blogging was easy. It is not. Especially if you are used to writing 1000-word articles or ‘stories’ with a catchy ‘intro’ and a punchy conclusion.

After the last blog I began umpteen times. And gave up more times than that as some did not go beyond intention.

Delaying action or procrastination has been written about scores of times — sometimes as an ‘art’, often as a problem.  Recently a scinetific psychological study linked it to the process of evolution of human beings. The study has found that procratination has a ‘genetic component’ and is related to “traits like impulsivity and goal management”. Procrastination, it is revealed, is the result of “psychological factors” and “failure of mood regulation”.

This is as good as ‘discovering’ that putting a fingrer in fire can cause burns and it hurts. Everyone knows the causes. What they need to know is how to prevent it.

The Daily Post suggests a word on which the blog can be based. I found many blogs which try to fit that word in whatever was already in the blogger’s mind. Often it is so contrived and laboured that it is not spontaneous or natural.

Failure can be the foundation of a new effort, many inspirational speakers and writers say.So I thought of another method: Think of a title and write around it.

Some titles are so appealing that they will remain in memory for all time to come, like Richard Llewellyn’s ‘How Green Was My Valley‘ and ‘None But the Lonely Heart‘ or ‘Beyond the Darkness‘ by Samira Bellissimo. ‘I Will Cry Tomorow‘, a film on the life of an alcoholic, Lilian Roth, is another example.

The title, many writers feel, is what makes people read.

This is not true. I chose a title for a book 57 years ago – ‘A Town Called Penury‘ – published it last year and found that none of the 5000-odd ‘connected’ people had even their curiosity aroused by it -leave aside buying it to read.

Titles don’t sell. Only the status of the writer as a celebrity does. And (s)he does not get that status till the book sells. The viscious circle is broken only by luck – or good maketing. Both eluded me.

Even then I thought a catchy title will inspire me to write — if not the reader to read.

So I thought of one: ‘I Will Blog tomorrow‘.

Don’t Dump Trump Yet

America’s historic moment is just days away. As the sun sets on November 8, it would be clear who would be the next President of the United State of America – the most powerful person in the world.trump-hillaryUnlike in India where there may be scores in the run, it is Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton, the first-ever woman candidate, or Donald Trump of the Republican Party.

Theodore White’s ‘Making of the President’ series, starting with the Kennedy vs. Nixon contest, showed how the world’s greatest democracy voted. Kennedy won because he was well shaved and better dressed, because his wife was more glamorous and because she was expecting. From that day on every cartoonist in the world showed Nixon with a day-old stubble on his face.
Three nationally televised debates took place between the Trump and Hillary and almost everyone said Hillary won – except Trump and Fox News. Trump’s opinion poll ratings have been falling. Many celebrities, including many from his own party, are opposing Trump and said nasty things about him.

This election campaign has been the dirtiest ever and most vicious in American history. Just a week before the polling, the pro-Republican FBI, which had already probed the ‘scandal’ of Hillary using a private server during her tern as Secretary of State, got a warrant from the Republican-controlled Congress to reopen the probe saying that some of the deleted e-mails were still found on two computers and MAY have violated rules about secrecy of the Secretary’s mails. The probe would certainly be not completed before the polling and might swing the voters against the Democratic candidate even if nothing incriminating was found. And Trump calls this “offence” worse than Nixon’s Watergate scandal of tapping the rival party’s telephones.
But don’t dump Trump yet. He had declared he would accept the electoral verdict only if he wins. And he might.
The United States is a country of paradoxes , a nation of immigrants who do not want other immigrants to settle in their country — like passengers in an unreserved compartment of  Continue reading Don’t Dump Trump Yet