As I exited the news room a couple of nights ago, my editor asked me if I had read anything in the recent days. I instantly knew that she wanted a book review but I still looked lost and tongue tied for an answer. To clear the air, I haven’t read a book in a long time and even the newspapers are more of a cursory glance these days, though I get them by half a dozen at my place.
But why have I left myself drift on a path with which I clearly do not want to be identified with? Reading and writing come naturally to me and I do not have to really wake my grey cells from any deep hibernation for either of them. I understand that the blame is for me to answer but how soon will I find an answer to my dilemma is case in point.
But just for the record, if you thought that am someone who became involved with the idiot box- a phrase I love to detest and train my guns at anybody who calls the television that, no I did not even flip channels. I did not also write long pieces on a social networking site- for my eloquence is at times a bit too difficult for people to understand and neither did I thoroughly clean, wash, polish and oil my red Vespa which I adore more than anything on earth.
In hindsight though I have been reading but as is the order of the world- it is the foresight which matters more in ideological and thought provoking circles. The point that I am trying to make is- you-keep-reading-always-but-it-is-not-necessary-for-you-to-brag-and-boast-about-it-always.
I am demure in appearance. Detractors can have their opinions about me but I don’t really care as to what a majority of them think. I don’t mince words when I want to speak and mind you sir: I do speak and when I do it is not gibberish which comes out.
I am like the packaged foods that we get in the market these days. I have no qualms in being called an MTR Masala Dosa mix or Maggi Noodles. But the question is why I do not have any issues in being called one? The answer to this question is almost as prudent as none of you might be! I am someone who loves to loathe, attack, inquire, be judgmental and draw sharp criticisms of whatever that ails or befuddles this country of 1.2 billion. Because, as my editor says, I indeed like the period between five and seven in the evening. That is the time when I like a serial killer strangulate my otherwise very active mind to ooze out the choicest of expletives and adjectives to write the inordinately long pieces which my editor has to unfortunately shorten.
Though I don’t show any emotion at words being culled as chicken feathers, I grin and chatter but still articulate: how-soon-can-I-go-home? And as a pack of Maggi noodles gets done in five minutes (oh and if you don’t know that the two minute thing is just another marketing gimmick), I cook my broth of words with an uncanny facial expression of eyes set on the computer screen, fingers flipping between content – which comes in all shapes and sizes and my mind veering to write the unthinkable but ultimately deciding to not chisel your thoughts enough than my own.
Now I understand this plain blabber. But it ain’t a dead rubber either. You can find me scooting on Delhi roads with a venerable expression about who I am and what I ride. I don’t understand why people run after materialism so much? I don’t and dare you call me a materialist! But I still read.
Read what sir? Read you ma’am! On the long unwinding roads of Delhi there is enough beauty to be appreciated and I am not the sort who is interested in snatching the peek-a-boo moments you all want to. I am the observer with innate skills to read into your mind and your face and believe it or not I am naïve when it comes to matters of the heart.
You ma’am, should call me loquacious, still. There is a reason why I have used that punctuation before still. I love to talk and once I open my mouth you cannot pin me down with your over-the-moon thoughts that you may have recently acquired after reading a book or as fashionable (used it as a faux-pas itself) citizenry like to vent the air with what they might have recently read about Immanuel Kant or better still Groucho Marx. I am your bête noire and I love chastising people who ask me to mind my ways. Why sir, why should I mind my way? Is it your business to know what I have read or what I have not? I am not the bucket list after all and neither am I clamouring to be Buzzfeed’s poster boy on what books I have read.
To clear matters finally: I re-read a library edition of Ivan Turgenev’s 1862 novel Fathers and Sons, a while ago. Thank you for your patience!