Getting into a public domain, such as a blog post, calls for a degree of gumption beyond the scope of ordinary mortals, even though millions worldwide are actively involved in this pursuit. Many would say it is a kind of bravado, close to exhibitionism. So personally, if my contributions for the edification of those at large, or only for that of yours truly, or merely to rant and rave, or just mutter inanities, or sweet, or nauseating, or as the with-it crowd of today says, “awesome”, nothings to oneself, well, this blog thing may actually make “what a wonderful world”, ring true to my ears, and perhaps yours too.

Writing, in blog form or otherwise, calls not just for talent, put perseverance and doggedness, and those who are out of the ambit of writing on a professional basis, find the demands beyond their ken. There was the brilliant thinker Bernard Shaw ( many refer to him as the best contributor to the English language after Shakespeare –  and that’s a deliberate attempt to avoid the appellation “awesome” to either of the names mentioned), who said that any writer worth the name writes, just as a cow gives milk.  And the socialist-inclined Shaw averred too, that whatever was worth writing, had to have the didactic element in it, meaning, unless it attempted to contribute not just for the edification of the people at large, but also for social equality, it simply was not worth it – no doubt that was the reason his prefaces were larger than the plays themselves.

So when I recently picked up Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and read the following lines in the Preface:


Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; PERSONS ATTEMPTING TO FIND A PLOT IN IT WILL BE SHOT……………..

And at that, I had all my hair standing on end, my heart palpitating, an embarrassing sweat breaking out of my pores, what would the lovely women I vainly tried to endear myself to think of this ageing lecher, should I give up reading Mark Twain ?

Now, I confess that I am left-leaning, and inclined to assay that anyone, male or female, who has emanated from a mother’s womb in that particular city ( Calcutta ) on this planet, as I did, not only possesses  what may be regarded as an aberration and disfigurement by most today, is left-leaning from birth, but continues to remain so through his adult life, virtually till his last breath. Not for nothing is it that Calcutta was the capital city of an undivided India, with the gubernatorial writ running well Eastward till Singapore, and Westward till Peshawar; but more jocularly was it commented, that when Bengal sneezes, the rest of the same undivided India catches a cold, – perhaps even a fatal pneumonia. Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the only poet to have, as history would have it, penned the national anthems of two countries, Bangladesh and India, whether or not he intended it in the first place, would have agreed on the contagious pneumonia as far as the sub-continent is concerned.

( To be continued )