Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ready Joot

Hark ! Who goes there ?
Me: Just me and myself
Doubting alter ego: Blog eh ?
Me: Yup
DAE: All that has to be said has been said. So what do you have to say ?
Me: All that has to be lived has been lived. Yet we live, don't we ?

DAE: Don't try your invalid analogies on me.... One can live without saying
Me: Can one ?
We all make ugly scrawls right besides the Van Goghs of the world. Sometimes we scawl on the Van Goghs of the world.If you convince enough that it is the scrawling that matters and not the scrawl itself, then some beholder's eye may see a Jackson Pollock in you !

If one is worth the ink one writes on, one writes with all he has, risking judgement at every step - AK Ramanujan

DAE: Do you really trust your feeble powers of narrative with the task of representing you.
Me: Representing to whom. I write for one reason: not being able to not write.
(catcalls of "yeah right !")
One gruff voice in the audience: dei dei dei....nee yaarunnu enakku theriyin....naan yaarunnu unakku theriyin.....namma reNdu pErum yaarunnu indha oorukkE theriyin

MK Gandhi (in his first editorial in Young India): To be true to my faith, I may not write in anger or malice......Often my vanity dictates a smart expression or my anger a harsh adjective. It is a terrible ordeal but a fine exercise to remove these weeds

Me: Hmm....I think I have a motto for the blog
Publicist: You propose to knock vanity and anger off and cling to an assumption your content is of intrinsic appeal to readers ? I won't tell you that is a big assumption you are making, because, as a matter of policy, I don't hurt clients. But how do you propose to pay me ?
Me: Pay you ? What the hell are you talking about ? You are a figment of my imagination !
Publicist: I suggest this "With malice towards one and all" - Khushwant Singh's stated editorial policy when he edited the Illustrated Weekly.

DAE: Why do you do this ? You can't really make money of this adwords thing you know. It is a sham.
Dr.Samuel Johnson: Anyone who writes for considerations other than money is a fool
DAE: Thank You doctor, exactly what I am saying.....
Me: That's a dim view. The reason why I...
DAE: I think I know why you want to blog
Me: Hit me, genius
DAE: You are bypassing all those editors who sent you rejection slips from your early teens, right ?
Me: Hah ! "Publication is the auction of the human mind" - Emily Dickenson
DAE: Yeah, and now you are doing it for free. Look, I have your best interests at heart. Emily dearest was unread in her lifetime. Blogs go commentless or worse still virus programs comment on them. You will create something of peerless literary excellence and rush to read the world's response, only to find it is an advertisement for enlargement or worse still an ad for another blog. Please, don't do this to yourself. Don't cast your pearls before...
Me: Careful what you call my readers.

DAE: Okay forget them. What happens when you outgrow your writings. Don't they stand there as mute public testimony of what you were. There is no pushing below the carpet in cyberspace you know. It is like walking in wet cement.
Me: Heck...people make decisions at a point in time in their lives and live with that forever. If the world can live with marriage...I can live with this
DAE: Touche !
Me: Well ?
DAE: Did you consider that you will be expected to opine on everything ? A dignified silence would be impossible. Or worst still it would be interpreted as lack of things to say.
Me: I can plead cool indifference or call myself an ignorant or something- an overdose of humility always goes down well in blogworld.
DAE: Okay I tried...Conscience will remember that
Me: 'Conscience, that still small voice that makes you feel still smaller' , right ?
DAE: Can't you not quote for a moment
Me: No...all that is there to be said has been said, remember
DAE: Who was that by, by the way ?
Me: I have promptly appropriated it.

DAE: One more thing: why now ? You stayed away all along. Won't it make your past meaningless to plunge now ? Now, when it is so late in the party and the whole world has moved on to other things.
Me: Let me answer with an anecdote. When Achilles asked Ulysses (or some other name ending -es) if Helen was worth so much trouble, he got a response that now, so many years into the war, it was not about Helen any longer. It was about the years spent, the lives lost and effort invested in one direction. So things just had to move forward in the chosen we don't want that, do we ? We want to be open minded
DAE: Speak for yourself... Did you just quote a tangential anecdote, that almost made a case against you
Me: Yeah. But it was worth quoting
DAE: Make your points yourself...why do you have to bring in Homer and all you showboat
Me: Au contraire, it is my humility....someone put it better than I can ever hope to.

DAE: Now, let's get to the brass need a name
Me: I can't be me ?
DAE: No way. Can you merge my identity with the Publicist guy, now that I am done with DAE bit
Me: Done
Publicist: I was saying, you need an identity that shows how you are cool you are. Helps distance yourself from your writing. Guards you from writing anything heartfelt and serious. Makes sure your underbelly isn't exposed to the reading public. Even when you blurt out something serious, you can pretend you were just pulling their leg
Me: There is no such thing as the leg of the literary public. So the question of pulling it, does not arise - G.V. Desani , All about H. Hatterr
Publicist: I'll let that pass.....a name please ?
Me: Let's go with dagalti for now
Publicist: What the hell does that mean ??
Me: It was a word coined by a noted Tamil philosopher, it kinda defies defintion. Or, let us say I have to live up to it. Others can think it is some kind of Meditteranean dish.
Publicist: You're the boss... Okay, now to the name of the blog... the "Anecdotal" bit is self-evident by now , but why "Evidence" ?
Me: Must it be explained ?
Publicist: Basic courtesy demands
Me: Think about it. One can't live without proving, can one ? Trying to Prove you are different, and ending up proving you are not. It is impossible to just be. எதையும் நிரூபிக்காமல் சற்று சும்மா இருங்கள் wrote Atmanam
Publicist: Hey ! You can't do that ?
Me: What ?
Publicist: Write in Tamil and English in the same post.
Me: I did it much earlier in the post. Just that I used the Tamil script this time.
Publicist: Yeah. That's a no no.
Me: Then I am no-no too...Because that is what I am. I am supposed to be what I am here, right ? That's the point.

Publicist (aside): Impractical git. He is going to start and fire away for a few weeks, scrawls from his old journals, have pointless arguments with strangers, quote random personal memories then he will reach a state of zen and see the pointlessness of it all and shut up.
Me: "Fearing the worst is no talisman against it" - Don Paterson