I am starting this blog to be able to write to my heart's content. I dont want to advertise this blog but I would want people to chance on it and give their comments. This is the first of many contradictions that will make up this blog

Location: India

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Armchair travel pleasures

In the midst of every real and imagined problem, alternating between thoughts of what my life has become or should become; within my self-made cocoon - I forget what a beautiful place I live in. In the insane rush to secure my future, to be able to live upto external perceptions of what my life should measure up to, I cease to enjoy.

Small things bring this out. Today I was going through the audio visual presentations in the travel section of the NY Times. There are some incredible slide shows out there which if anyone is interested should be experienced with the audio on. After seeing this, I want to visit Angkor Wat, the Galapagos, Rome, buy a CD of Forr music, truly explore Chicago (something I havent done in spite of being here for the last couple of months). Links like these force me to expand my thinking. It makes me thankful that I have a laptop and broadband connection and appreciate the positive side of being in the USA (never thought that it would come to this!!). Another link which has some good travel-related articles is Haftamag's people and places

It also reminds me of the places that I am yet to visit in India. For that matter, even Kerala. I found jiby's blog fascinating. I had planned a solitary back-pack trip through the whole of Kerala just after my MBA, before I joined my job. It never materialised and I had thought that there would always be a next time. Its been 4 years since and I am yet to discover a window of time which would allow me to do it. To solely focus on planning the future is foolish. To let go of opportunities available right now is a crime


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Reason to Write

1997 was Arundhati Roy and ‘The God of small things’. For an Engineering college student trying to make sure that my writing output equaled at least a daily diary entry, the world suddenly expanded. Writing seemed to have a purpose – gift wrapped in fame and millions. Arundhati Roy was felicitated, reviled, torn down and splashed on all the newspapers. It wasn’t always about the merit of the book. But it was most certainly always about the million dollar advance.

That night I had a diary entry. The title – GRN.

That stood for the ‘Great Rajesh Novel’ – the one I would write one day and which would take me to the writers’ throne. I put it as ‘GRN’, with no explanations, because diaries have a dangerous habit of falling in the wrong hands. In a house filled with cousins, newer avenues for entertainment were greedily sought after. As the youngest, I had had my fair share of attention. I had no intention of offering myself as a ready target. I knew the explosive potential of a diary. So, I locked and relocked entries with code words and pseudonyms. I knew and would always know what GRN meant. That was enough.

Years have passed and I am no nearer to completing that ultimate novel. GRN seems to be an extremely corny expression to me now. I realize how difficult it is to write.

An article, a short story, a novel.

Writing is hard work. Period. But not everybody agrees. There is a virtual glut of aspiring authors among people I know. Having read the stories of Phantom, Mandrake and Rip Kirby in the Indrajal comics of their childhood, they consider themselves qualified and ready - to be the next Vikram Chandra.

To each his own.

I gave up on that path after a very enlightening conversation. Somebody told me that giving a form to something that is crying to come out of you is creativity. If it is content inside you, it is better left there.

So, I read – and I admire. And I keep a lookout for all those aspiring writers trying to break out. I hope there is a Harper Lee, waiting to spring on me with a mockingbird story. I give space to the next Jhumpa Lahiri with a cure to the maladies of the world.

And I refuse to give up on the GRN. I wait for inspiration.


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