Pros of Prose

Sunday, July 31, 2011

From crossing your inspiration each day to work to actually telling him that he's one of the prominent reasons you write, life's been satisfying in last one month. Interesting repertoire, here.


As I type this down from the loo (probably my favourite place in this whole world), I realise the love of writing on a crisp white sheet with blue horizontally placed lines with crooked, loose end handwriting with the black gel pen has been instilled ever since the day I picked up Newspaper. The earliest childhood memories consist of this one, waking up and storming up in my grandfather's room (because that's where the politics, business and other news with a cup of tea is celebrated). So, that takes me to the time when I was shamelessly late for school by about 2o minutes (and didn't care two hoots about it, beauty sleep and all that) and I'm casually sitting and reading the comic strip. Slowly, graduating to the international affairs and then to the city, finally to the politics and the rest of the world and slowly inclining towards Editorial.

Apparently, the first Editorial I read was Red Herring, a coloumn by Indrajit Hazra, possibly my favourite journalist of all times. He's the man behind what I write today. I don't think I consciously realised this until two/three years back while I was appearing for this Journalism Honours entrance exam and they had some obnoxious question that had to do with your favourite coloumn in the newspaper or some shit like that. Now, I knew for a fact, writing about Sushmita Bose could be risky for one, she wasn't writing that coloumn ( I used to read every Sunday, she was then weekend editor for Hindustan Times) anymore. At the first impulse, I wrote about Red Herring. I could detour for another back story to the time when I had established my blog and was happy reading blogs and essays online rather than bitching about people on Orkut and Hi5 (the trend that has now moved on to the recent devil, Facebook). Coming back to the story, Hazra's write-ups never failed to make my weekends (his other coloumn called "Rock n Roll Circus", "Never mind the Dholaks" being the blog's header. I wrote a whole lot about his style and the content. Goes without saying, I cleared that level of the entrance exam and even made it to the course (random 'bout of feeling proud).

Right, I have come a long way from there, like I said. Up until last month- sometime, I used to cross Hazra every afternoon. I'd enjoy the sight of him on his smoke break. To be able to work at the same place as your inspiration is a brilliant feeling and to cross him while walking into your office is even better. One thing that bothered me till the last day was the fact that I wasn't working in his department. I was under the most boring departments in the history of HT and crossing him (and a few others), was the highlight of the day.

That wasn't it. Apparently this store in HKV came up with this discussion thing with 5 Delhi writers on how they started writing it. Hazra, was one of them. It was perfect opportunity, to hear the man, I've grown up reading. Reached the venue to see it completely jam packed and made our way to sit at this corner from where none of the writers were visible. The discussion was engaging and intelligent. Wasn't forced or the boring notes prepared kind, it was free flowing. Reminded me of the "Symposium" in the context of Greek Philosophy we discussed last year, where the conversation and alcohol were free flowing and you could engage in discussion with the smartest characters from Athens. Fast forward to 2011 and you have the venue engulfed in the cloud of Classic Milds with Rana Dasgupta sipping his rum occasionally, Sarnath Banerjee getting up to open the door for the audience to move to the other seating arrangement and ofcourse Ambarish Satwik cracking his perverse dialogues to prove his inspiration comes from masturbation. Parismita Singh, too, was very down to Earth and friendly with the audience. Much later after discussion got over, we were informed their books are available in the store. Also, I could never find his books in Delhi bookstores for some reason. Even Flipkart didn't help so I'd literally given up that I'd ever get those three titles. So that was one set-back I always felt. I grabbed the opportunity by buying the first two Hazra titles that I could see on display. I handed the cash and bill to be sorted to my senior (who accompanied me) and stood next to him while he was talking to someone.

I don't exactly remember if I gagged first or asked him if he'd be kind enough to autograph the books. While he was writing the "message" down I told him about how big an inspiration he's been etc. Also, ended up telling him how he'd engaged in a conversation on his blog, then. He seemed pleasantly happy that he replied to them and I think he blushed a little when I told him that he's the reason I'm writing still. He was really humble enough to ask,"Should I autograph the second book as well?", ofcourse yes!

The day has been fruitful, possibly one of the best moments of your life. They mentioned at the discussion as to how one writes just to hear that you write well (also, cause that's the only thing you can do, thank you Mr. Hazra). I think first beautiful moments are those when you hear a word of praise from someone who thinks you can write (and writer well) and second from those who inspire you to write. They'd arranged rum for the guests and the speakers at the venue except I was running too later. I'd have loved to share a drink with him and tell him that's he's possibly the most perfect guy for me, since he writers, works as an Editor and also makes music. I am glad that didn't happen. I'd like the moment of "us" to be precise and simple, the way it was. No flowery crap under the influence of alcohol. Intoxication fucks up the mind.

It could've been perfect but like always Auto driver had to do it for me. Apparently, the driver stopped in the middle of nowhere, told me to get out and take another auto after he dropped my friend off. I kept trying to convince him but futile. Finally, wasted another 1o minutes looking for an auto. Inspite of that, I think I got home high enough to keep me happy for long time and recite this story of the how I started writing to the origin of my inspiration (how cheesy is that?)

Atarax is working in full swing, which only means one last day to fix the cupboard, do the homework and Read the books which I b0ught today which means to end the book that I'm creating because I was short of them. If you don't understand the implication of the previous sentence, I'd say mission accomplished.

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