“Who enrolled me in the ranks of the human race?” –Joseph Brodsky
Yesterday, I attended a blogging community meet in a trendy restaurant specialising in exotic Mediterranean delicacies. The sponsors were a popular notebook company and as usual, they did justice to the expenses they may have put up. And the men in black, or the organisers, had the audience speechless for the few hours they held the floor, or they thought they did. The audience was rendered speechless, but not soundless, because as is the custom of the commune, it was challenged to reverberate the evening with deafening roars. Yes, that is how the community explains its spirit and stamps its presence. Its motto is a ‘hurrah’ with the ‘ah’ knocked off, and they love to repeat the sound with a tight-fisted hand curbed inward at a right angle, the formation jerking up and down in a swelling crescendo. Before you realise, it whisks up a thick bond among the throng, and no one can contend with that. But this time around the trademark heil was improvised by a vocal trapeze artist who could reproduce the entire gamut of sounds that ever escaped a primate throat. It was naturally followed by contests where groups vied with each other in a hollering match. The so-called loudest were awarded shiny tokens under murmurs of protests from the alleged losers.
Allow me to clear the air: the grapes are sour. But surely, that is not the cause of my lingering depression. It is more the perturbing realisation that I am getting old. If mine was not the greyest head of the congregation, it was surely the coldest of them all, a grotesque outlier. I realise though, they were all affectionate people having a hell of a time reliving the days when bipeds were still to invent speech, and pray, what is wrong with that? Only, who enrolled me in the ranks of the human race?
The following day however, a Liebster Award penetrates the darkness of my heart like a ray of light. And I realise that in a virtual world, the best connections, the best surprises and joys, materialise over the Net, like a meteor in Russian sky. A common happenstance, you may note, yet, it reaffirms my faith in the community. And with that absurd preface, I thank you, Miss Molly, for this sweetly timed bouquet of friendship. Without further ado, I lunge into action hereunder:
The Eleven Facts About me
(1) I Love reading books in physical format (2) I love to shoot with a Nikon. (3) I hate sloppy photography. (4) I hate the impossible prices of professional photography gears. (5) I Love Keats, Hardy, Austen, D. H. Lawrence, Hemingway, Steinback, Du Fu, Viram Seth and Anita Desai. Remember, I am keeping it short. (6) I hate fifty of shades of certain colour. No, I am not a gay. (7) I love blogging. (8) I hate fake bloggers. (9) I love Spielberg. (10) I hate who imitate Spielberg. (11) I love my readers. Thank you, forever!
The Eleven Questions
1. Best day of your life so far. I got this from “City Slickers,” that scene when the guys are riding along with the herd and talking. And like their rules, the best day can’t be the day any of your kids were born.
It was rather a dark night; it was my birthday too, when I rammed my scooter into a boulder on the street at around 90 kmph. My roommate was a pillion. Both of us escaped without a fracture!
2. If you could be somebody else for a day, who would it be and why?
I’d like to be Hilary Mantel. I’d like to know what fires her.
3. What are your three favorite foods?
Green peas, Alu-tikki with chhole (fried mashed-potatoes with chickpeas cooked in Indian spices), boiled rice and Arhar pulses pickles of red chillies.
4. When did you consider yourself grown-up (if you do)? If you don’t consider yourself grown-up, what will be the marker?
It’s funny. Last time I had an illusion of being perfectly grown up was somewhere in the middle of adolescence. Thereafter, every new year that I add to my girth makes me feel increasingly immature. You have spoken of a marker. I am waiting for the day I’ll become a full time author and a photographer, a goal that slips sliding away with every passing day.
5. What tokens, charms, special objects do you keep around to inspire your writing or other work you do if you’re not a writer?
None. But silence of the night to be followed by an unquestioning day is a prerequisite for fruitful writing.
6. If you could make up your own astrology signs, what would the name of your sign be and what would be the symbol? Explain.
‘One-Grain-Amongst-the-Storm’. I wouldn’t know how to draw it! In a sense I am already living it through my blog.
7. Who was your favorite high school teacher and why.
My Geography teacher. Boys were scared of him. He was scared of me. I hope you understand.
8. What was the last live music performance you attended? How did you like it?
I believe I am not allowed to include attendances hidden in future. Yet, I’d like to attend a Paul Simon event live…but then I am digressing.
9. As a kid, what was your favorite book? Do you still have a copy?
Julius Caesar. Yes, I do have a copy.
10. Someone once said it’s not what we give that defines love but what we give up. Have you ever given up anything for love? What and why?
I have given up my girlfriend. I didn’t want to upset her husband!
11. What’s your favorite mode of travel?
My own yellow car. (Actually, it’s metallic gray).
And the Nominations:
3. Book Snob
10. Arnab Maity
11. Shadows Galore
Questions to the Nominees (This one is going to be the simplest of them all!).
- Top 4 authors, or photographers, you love
- Top 4 Movies
- Top 4 singers/albums
- What would you do if you were to be stopped from writing?
- Are you in favour of banning books?
- Are you in favour of capital punishment?
- Are you in favour of veils for women, as in hijab?
- Which is the best translated work (or works) you’ve read?
- Moments you cherish.
- Moments you’d rather forget.
- Is blogging for everyone?
Thank you, dear friends. Do pick up the tag.