Fail to understand how people who spend their time tapping the keyboard to abuse others or to watch the abuse, going tut-tut occasionally, have the gumption to talk about “I know, this is a good life if this is all you have to worry about” regarding a genuine issue.
I have never felt the need to announce what I am doing, unless it is germane to what is being said. So, when the time is right people know. It does not mean there is nothing being done. Heck, if anything, there is a lot being done.
This business about, “Ooh, I am so busy” irritates me. The people I respect the most are those who take time out for fun and fantasy. And I treat work not as a chore to be completed but something to be savoured. I can put away that work when something else calls because I know that it won’t desert me. If you give your all to something then you do not need to give it anything anymore. It has taken you already and you are lodged in its memory.
Busy? Nah. Just pre-occupied with my nails at the moment. My nails too are a subject. Everyone has nails. Not many notice them. For me that ability to see, to probe is what life is about…I can only try. Which is what I am doing all the time…
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I have an immensely gratifying relationship with my readers/fellow-travellers. Like this grandma who recently wrote to me discussing her take on undergarments. And she was wicked! Or the 80-something gentleman, a well-known writer in his own right, who despite being in hospital got someone to send me a note.
“Mr. B has read your latest piece in the Asian Age on Caste & Such with great interest and liked it for its usual impeccable style and clarity and he particularly liked the last sentence for its mordant wit.”
I replied: “Thank you for informing me about Mr. B’s health. While it is disconcerting, I am glad he is on the road to recovery and I assume, given his style, on really fast wheels.
It is kind of him to have read and even commented on the column in AA. Do tell him that wit, mordant or dormant, works better than an apple a day, unless it is a really small apple, in which case its brevity might qualify as wit itself.”
Is it always good feedback? Oh dear, no…and who would want that? Once at the Chowpatty signal in Mumbai, I found someone waving out to me. I wasn’t sure but the driver said, “Lagta hai aapka pehchan walla hai.”
He had managed to find space quite close when the signal turned red. He rolled down his window and shouted out my name, “Aren’t you?”
It was an ahem-ahem situation. I put down my book and nodded my head with the right amount of blush on my cheek.
“You know something?” he asked over the din.
“No," I mouthed.
“I hate you!”
The driver was looking at me in the rear-view mirror. In Mumbai these blokes pick up English fast…
Thank god for small qualities like being quick on the uptake. I looked at the hater with a huge smile and said, “Aren’t you glad that I keep you occupied?”
The signal turned green and as we sped ahead at different paces, I saw him show me the thumbs up sign.
Yes, I can laugh at myself. That too keeps me busy…