Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Person Singular

Like the philosophically inclined kitten which is carried by the mother cat by the scruff of his neck, I lazily await enlightenment. I hear it is a tradition that is rooted in humility as it passes the buck to powers that be to care enough. But the central issue is, how can I care about, let alone long for, what is allegedly an acutely I-less, scheme of things

The first story I remember writing, was written with crayons. Not drawn, written. I was in a school that believed children's hands are too soft to wield a pencil till they were seven. Where are those places now ? Anyway,the story ended with the words "...then I died".

I seem to have had an early understanding that sorrow was the cornerstone of serious literature. Atleast that's what I plan to say when the NY Review of Books interviews me. It was set in McDonald type farm and it wasn't much of a story as much as it was a description of the grim melee of animals pitted against each other - which in retrospect is more natural than each submitting a voice sample on command. I chose to be the narrating hen under attack.

My teacher pointed out that I cannot end the story like that. "How can you write the story if you died ?" she asked with a supercilious smile. I didn't have answer then. Now I know. I should have pointed to the logical flaw in her argument: "Miss, I just did".


  1. well :-)"lazily", "await" enlightenment (wow!)
    i love the choice of words..
    and also you being the "hen" under attack..
    i see that your'e prepared for your famous article for NY Review of Books.. the day doesn't seem to far! :-)

  2. Well written yes, but almost a crime to blame laziness for relinquishing talent!

    I strongly recommend you either dust off that story or unearth that inspiration.

    a protagonist may die, that reflects life.
    a story that is undead and still waiting to live...what does that reflect?

  3. Welcome Divya.

    Would you believe lazily waiting is a school of philosophy itself. Marjaranyaya they call it.

    Welcome Q,

    Not sure what the reflection is. I would have surely been unequal to it atleast back then. But the narrator-author separation I can proudly claim to be aware of even as a tot.

    Even if not,then I have another quote to live by. RKN recalling his years in America where students were surprised to see him for they believed "a good author is a dead author". Nice start then.