I was talking to my friend in Goa; and he encouraged me to write some more. And then he sent me the following motivational message:
“If you wish to be remembered after you are dead and gone, either
- write things worth reading, or
- do things worth writing.”
Immediately, these words brought flood of memories – the first one being from my school-days (why is it that as you grow older you reminiscence more and more about your school days?).
My school days – we had to learn a poem by Christina Rossetti – if I remember right, the name of the poem itself was ‘REMEMBER’. And the words went on something like:
“Remember me when I am gone away
Gone far away into the silent land:”
And it ended with:
“Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad”
I loved the poem so much that I had not only memorized it but took delight in repeating it to my ‘captive audience’ whenever the opportunity arose. And even today, I believe in the dictum – Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad. So much was I influenced by this, that I resolved NOT to be sad, and to spread the happiness as much as humanely possible. That task I strive to do till today.
Memory – forgetfulness! Another wise man has said that you don’t know what a good memory you have – till you try to forget something! And forget the special day (such as birthday, anniversary, first meeting anniversary, first hug anniversary, first kiss anniversary, et al….you get the trend) of your special person – I repeat – forget the day, and you will never forget the day! I mean, this sounds diabolical – but it is not. Neither is it a play on words. It’s the harsh realty! If you have not experienced it, then either you have never been a relationship, or your significant other is ‘out of this world’!
Usually, my notoriety as a buffoon or a clown or a joker precedes me. As mentioned above, I would rather have people laughing (either at my jokes or myself) than having to see long drawn faces, thinking the thoughts of distant tomorrows or dismal yesterdays. I live for today, and I want that smile for today. I laugh, hence I am (like the famous saying – Je pense, donc je suis!).
At one of the social functions, I met a prolific and a good writer –Her article highlighting the accomplishments of one of our mutual friend had just been published. I complimented her on the article – which she graciously accepted.
“Do write sometimes about me, too!” I quipped.
“What have YOU done that I should (waste my time in) write(ing) about you?” was rhetorical and spontaneous slap. “Because you make people around you laugh, well, that does not merit my writing (about a joker like you)”
The words in brackets are implied – and were not said aloud. Speak about a blood freezing moment! As they say in Gujarati – if someone had cut me in two pieces, not a drop of my O negative blood would have flowed – for it was frozen. A joke gone bad – does it deserve a rejoinder? I laughed heartily – and said one day you will write, and write about me!
It all boils down to “Write things worth reading or do something worth writing about”. Anyone can write about great people – why there are tonnes of books (literally) on the famous and infamous heroes and heroines. Take examples of Mother Terersa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehrus, Ford, Bush, Nixon, Jobs, et al. But how many people have written about the common man such as barbers, postmen, school urchin? The first author which comes to my mind is R. K. Narayanan; and then R. K. Laxman. You may be able to add few more names – but these are few, very few.
My belief is that to write things worth reading is not equal to write something about people who are worth writing about. Au contraire – it takes a greater talent to write about significant nothing than marvelous something. And that’s my two bits for the day – from Atulanand!