Blogging is…

… as much an activity as it is inactivity. Blogs have no gist or substance. Blogs are pure style. Blogs are a fashion statement. Clear as mud?

Before anybody pipes up and complains that the fellow doesn’t even know the difference between a blog and a post, I do know that a blog consists of individual posts but I simply cannot reconcile myself to the idea of asking the unwary to look up my last post, which would be the b flat bugle call for the British infantry or the e flat trumpet call for the British cavalry, we ex-colonials know such things, don’t ask me how or why.

The kind of blog I write begins with a mood rather than a subject or a theme. It’s like music, really, the theme develops as you go along. It’s like going for a walk in a strange city, roughly in the direction of that funny sort of park or that crazy sort of building; what you see on the way is the real attraction & the real gain. You might even be going round in circles, so long as you are amusing yourself. And others. We meander to wonder & muse to amuse.

Otherwise bloggers & their readers are not very close. Rather like chance acquaintances who got to talking (at least one of them) on a train (rather than on a cruise ship, at a bus stop neither). The reader – like as not a chance reader who was googling something entirely different like Sex – takes the blogger for a crank or a nut, even a streaker, what’s this guy doing tearing his passions to tatters in public? Doesn’t the (blanked out obscenity) know that nobody reads a blog, or rather a post till the end, that most of them are just checking to see what kind of a wack you might be & whether you write better than them & whether you are funnier than them & the rest?

I blog the way one goes out for a walk and picks a posy for – well, a girl I used to know. In music, the notes come to the musician like little birds. In poetry, the words come like little birds and take their self-appointed place in the line of verse. In blogging, the thoughts do the same. It’s all a great coming and going of thoughts of the same feather & of different feathers & even borrowed feathers – a very lively scene. And then suddenly the calls of the words cease, everything falls silent, there is somnolence and the blog hardly stirs, but the meaning of it all dances like a mote in a sunbeam. Your blog has arrived, it has completed the four stages of its holometabolism, from embryo to larva to pupa to imago. Pupa is Latin for doll. The pupae of butterflies are called chrysalis whereas the pupae of mosquitoes are called tumbler – all the mad poetry of chance knowledge which is the modern world for me; it is also the world of blogging. Blogging is like scavenging the land fills of human knowledge & human experience. It is the recycling of all that is utilizable in human thought. Bloggers are the ultimate ragpickers of human existence, of human civilisation in the 21st c. Historians of the future will be turning to us for an explanation regarding how Donald Trump won the American presidency. “Cuz you weren’t lookin’,” we’re gonna say.

Otherwise I’m not a political blogger. I’m a literary, even a lyrical blogger, I’d like to claim (though no insurer is going to underwrite that claim). Blogging is my way of writing poetry without anybody noticing it; it’s like graffiti. I remember they’d just built the new Wallraf-Richartz museum near the Cologne cathedral and I’d gone to the toilet, which was dazzlingly new & modern & white, except that in one of the cubicles somebody had scribbled with a marker: “A museum of modern art without graffiti?” That is blogging for me. Blogging is like the scavenging peacocks of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, India (back in the late ’seventies), birds looking like stolen bits of semiprecious inlay work from the Taj Mahal scraping garbage heaps for worms with their feet. That again is blogging. Watching it rain all day long in the Kolkata of my childhood. Hanging around the Ballygunge Railway Station level crossing watching the signals hang their heads. And much later in Europe, everythng packed and all ready to go for the holidays, the two big suitcases & the bag can go into the boot but where does the rest of the stuff go? Kasia is asking belligerently.

Into the blog, perhaps? I venture timidly.

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Realism is magic

I’m a literature nerd, as I realise today. And an arts nerd as well. Have always been.

How do I know? It’s the way I go on about this painting or that book, for hours, as if people with job worries and child worries and health worries are dying to know why the dog is such a ubiquitous presence in Canaletto’s pictures. Yes, Antonio Canal (1697–1768), of the Venice and London fame. He’s got a man piddling against a wall right next to the canal grande in one of those panoramas – or should we say vistas of Venice? Made me think of Kolkata. No wonder: my mother saw the photos I’d taken of the backstreets (back canals? Bacchanals? Sorry, nerd joke) of Venice and said they looked just like the flooded lanes and bylanes of North Calcutta during the rains.

To return to the canine, Canaletto’s dogs litter his fantasy landscapes as well. And stray dogs seem to have been as common on San Marco square in Canaletto’s day as they were in Kolkata in mine. Rembrandt’s etching of the Good Samaritan from 1633 has a dog shitting in the foreground, right on the doorstep. All these dogs and dog-lovers of the seventeeth and eighteenth centuries make me thoughtful.

And the thought is spelt out in bold letters right on top of this blog: Realism is magic. I wanted to have that as my motto or my credo or whatever – where do all these Latin words come from? Ask a nerd. The first characteristic of this particular literary and arty-farty nerd that we’re talking about (ahem, there’s modesty for you) was that he fell in love with realism at an early age – shortly after Günter Grass’ The Tin Drum (1959) and years before Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981). In other words, I said no to magic realism and proclaimed – to myself – that realism is magic. At least all the magic that I needed. And it’s remained that way ever since.

I did not even realise that I was falling in love with Europe at the same time, because this is the continent where realism was born (leaving out palaeolithic cave and rock paintings for the moment), especially in the arts, visual as well as the plastic arts such as painting and sculpture – look at Greek sculpture or its Roman counterpart. Go to the Duomo di Pisa – the Pisa cathedral – and you’ll see in the murals near the altar how the Middle Ages are straining towards the Renaissance by becoming more realistic. And then there’s that explosion called the Renaissance, my favourite being the English one in terms of literature and the Florentine one in terms of sculpture and painting.

What did you say? Nothing? I distinctly heard you mutter: ‘Nerd.’

Realism is perspective, of course, which means geometry, will blow your mind to realise just how much! And then you’ll have to read about Brunelleschi’s two-point peep-shows and Masolino’s St. Peter Healing a Cripple (1425) and about Raphael, above all Raphael. You’ll be told that it took nearly 400 years to understand the intricacies of perspective – by which time you’d have landed among the Impressionists! And if realism is a flowering tree, then Impressionism is its cherry-pink-and-apple-blossom-white; Impressionism is the short and tantalisingly beautiful springtime of realism (which includes naturalism, of course, so far as I am concerned). Impressionist paintings represent the Europe that I fell in love with, coming from a land of symbolic and decorative art as I do, both highly stylised. I fell in love with the Europe where realism was king as well as emperor – with or without clothes, new as well as old.

The joke is that if you look at the best of Bengali or Hindi literature, especially in the prose form, especially the novels and the short stories from the first six decades of the twentieth century, you’ll realise that realism has been king in India too – but mainly in literature. Modern Indian painting made the transition to the abstract a bit too soon, I feel.

What? Have I finished? Yes, I am done, you can go and watch The Big Bang Theory now. But remember what I was trying to tell you: Delhi consists of nine cities built on top of each other, they tell me. Europe is just like that, only that all those cities seem to have survived, often side by side. You can visit them and compare the slightly pink Candoglia marble on the façade of the Milan cathedral with the white sang-i-marmar of the Taj Mahal, if you’re that kind of a nerd.

Which you’re not, I’m sure. So how come you read this blog to the end?

The Last Endorsement, by God!

He was a surprise guest on the fourth day of the Republican Convention (if we follow the King James version): “And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” Donald Trump was seen to introduce his trump card with the words, “The Almighty, ladies & gentlemen!” And he wasn’t talking about himself.

There was as much booing as there was polite applause. People did not seem overawed, possibly because the Almighty had chosen to appear in the garb of an Old Testament prophet – as adviced by His campaign managers, it seems. ‘This is a Christian Nation,’ they had told Him, ‘with a whole lot more Moslems & Latinos & Blacks & LGBT & women’s libbers than the country needs. But it still happens to be the GOP Convention. For God’s sake remember that You are here to endorse Donald and not behave like that rat Ted Cruz.’

The Almighty seemed confused: ‘I’m here to endorse Donald Duck, my secretary said.’

‘You should get rid of that secretary of Yours. She’s worse than Melania’s speech writer. How long has she been working for You?’

‘Oh, an eternity.’

‘Didn’t she show You Donald’s hand-written invitation to attend the Republican jamboree? And we mean Donald Trump.’

‘She did say something about the Last Trump.’

‘This is no time for jokes. The point is, are You going to endorse Donald or not? By the way, are You a Republican at all? They should have checked before letting You on to the jumbotrons.’

‘I am a democrat, I believe.’

Pandemonium, Almighty looking confused.

‘Didn’t anybody tell You not to use the D-word in Cleveland?’

‘Which D-word, Donald or Duck?’

‘Ha ha, very funny. You know something? Mitch McConnell would have made a better GOD than you. It means Grand Old Dad, I take it?’

‘Sort of. But doesn’t democrat mean someone who lets people have their way, have what they want? I have left mankind in peace since – oops, Ms de la Creación told me I am here to endorse candidates and not religions. What I want to say is that I have always left mankind in peace to make all the wars that they want. I think that is very democratic, even if it is unusual for me to sing my own praise, or to use capitals for Me and My.’

‘But You created mankind! You put them in this condition in which Hillary Clinton, a woman who couldn’t keep her husband in check while in the White house, is now threatening to go right back in there with the same husband!’

‘She’s got a husband?’

‘The one that used to play saxophone in dark glasses, they say the best among American Presidents.’

‘Was he, or is he – I never know my way around with these tenses – the best President America ever had?’

‘The best saxophone playing President America ever had, until Donald learns how to play the trumpet.’

‘Can you get elected for that? Something like America’s got talent?’

‘You watch TV in Heaven?’

‘We watch everything in Heaven – see, Della, I got the capital right!’

‘Who’s Della?’

‘My secretary, Maria de la Creación. She didn’t want to sound like a Latino at the GOP convention, sitting next to Melania and Ivanka. So she chose Della – from de la Creación. She feels so old, Della said, ouroboros years old. She just wanted to be herself, gorgeous Della Creación for once – I don’t know what that means.’

‘What’s ouroboros?’

‘It’s a snake swallowing its own tale. You know ∞, the sign of infinity? That’s an ouroboros.’

‘Is Somebody making fun of us, fun of the GOP, fun of America which will be great again? Does that Someone, Who shall remain unnamed, want us to get tough?’

‘See Della? That’s why I didn’t want to come!’

‘I knew you were no Perry Mason – that’s a double conjunctive btw. Just don’t disappear before the photo op. It’s taken me a trillion years to do up my hair.’

Talking Turkey: Breaking Shit is not Nice

Is there a character called the Mad Punner in Alice in Wonderland? That’s what I seem to be turning into, under the pressure of events, trying to make sense of the senseless that apparently governs the behaviour of the few & the destiny of millions. I began with Brexit; I googled ‘break shit’, which lead to the Urban Dictionary telling me that it is a (synthetic?) phrase for getting ‘super drunk’, or ‘to be belligerent in your mannerisms and never take no for an answer’, or ‘to go get what you want and destroy all in your path’ – all without a single reference to Brexit, mind, talk of unconscious irony.

Whereas the question that occurred to me at once was: can you break shit? Dried birdshit, yes, it is called guano, which is a fertiliser, as we all know. But any other kind of shit, like Brexit? Look at London, Edinburgh and Brussels trying to break shit and failing miserably because the shit is still too fresh. They’ll have to wait till it has dried and turned hard so that they can break it. Not their fault, really, it’s not an easy task, by any means. Alexander the Great went into legend by cutting the Gordian knot – suppose he’d been given the task of breaking shit instead? Or worse still, of unbreaking it, as in Facebook? That could well be the fourth personal pronoun in third person, singular: he, she, it, shit. Shit happens, oh yes, (sh)it does and Brexit happens too.

Whereas Nice is not something one can pun about. Not even a Mad Punner. Even he tells Alice to run or to take cover when certain forms of 21st c. madness invade Wonderland. What happened in Nice is in some ways like the ultimate 20th cum 21st c. video game fantasy: Godzilla descending upon Wonderland to find that Lewis Carroll has forgotten to log out. Godzilla was originally created as a metaphor for nuclear weapons, I’m told. Is terrorism Godzilla Junior? There’s such a character, I believe.

And somehow it all goes back to the discovery of gunpowder & the flintlock, and from there to the capacity to make a lot of holes in a lot of people in the shortest possible time – we’re talking semi-automatics now, though we do NOT want to land in the middle of the most useless debate in human history, the one about the US gun laws which has stymied entire presidencies & presidents. They’ve got a new version of it now, inspired by Bob Marley & Eric Clapton’s I Shot the Sheriff & the Deputy As Well (before he could shoot me) aka Bury All Hope at Baton Rouge.

In the midst of all this, the Republican Convention has started but I, for one, am still mourning Nice. The site of Nice has been inhabited for 400,000 years, we are told; the name can be traced back to the Greek Nikaia, whereas the Romans arrived in Nice just 14 years before the birth of Christ. So the question arises: if a Roman charioteer were suddenly to go mad on the streets of Cemenelum and drive his chariot into the crowd on Cimiez hill, how many people would he have managed to maim or to slaughter?

It was not a chariot but a truck in Nice. I refuse to go into the history of the automobile as a weapon of mass destruction. Knowing the human race, they have the capacity to turn a baby’s rattle into a weapon of mass destruction, if they set their mind to it. Basically all I’m saying is that terrorism began when it became possible for a homo sapiens to kill a number of homines sapientes at one go, by making holes in them or running them over with a wheelbarrow or whatever. The amount of R&D and technological ingenuity which has gone into discovering the easiest way to kill the largest number of human beings is staggering. And that’s only because the Creator created the human being like a self-destroying message: ‘This message will destroy itself automatically after you’ve read it… Oh, you’re illiterate, are you?’ And so on.

I feel like a Greek minstrel from the ancient city of Nikaia who’s singing a dirge or a requiem for the human race using his tattered blog for a lyre – though Greek tragedy is like a Brazilian sitcom compared to what we are witnessing today. The killing of innocents is nothing new, but to raise it to the strategic level where there is only collateral damage in an undeclared war being fought mainly on promenades and in hostelries and on fairgrounds and soon children’s playgrounds (only a question of time) – wow, is about all I can say. It’s what the Creator said when they told Him. Wow, He said.

Regarding Turkey – are you still around? – it is difficult to understand just what is going on in the Most Muddled Country in the Meddle East. Maybe I’ll talk to Donald Trump about it but no, I shall never talk to Theresa May, even if she were to bring along BoJo as a kind of botched Trump imitation.

BoJo won the primaries for the British presidency & then scooted, remember?

Re-few-gees or re-phew!-gees?

Wasn’t that the question till Brexit boiled over? The respectful Indian way of addressing a ‘refugee’ is, of course, ‘Refu-ji! How are you? How is Refu-Aunty? When did you come to Blighty?’ Be that as it may, there are some interesting developments afoot. I have rarely seen so much of schadenfreude directed against one nation – actually two, since the nation in question is divided between the Leave and the Remain camps like the Little-Endians and the Big-endians in Gulliver’s Travels – shudder to think what Swift would have done with this lot!

To return to schadenfreude, schon längst an English word, it means feeling pleasure or satisfaction at the discomfiture of others – in its mildest version. At its rabidest, one can see it in the hircine gloating of the Remain supporters over the possible consequences of Brexit for Britain. And this schadenfreude is expressed in Facebook as well as on Twitter in some of the most atrocious punning in the history of the English language, as if not just Britain but English itself was taking leave of the EU! But a much more disturbing trend, to my mind, is to be detected in reports of ‘scumbags’ racially abusing persons of colour in public parks & on public transport in the (still) United Kingdom.

In the midst of all this, Nigel Farage had to take the stage in Brussels & curse the hon’ble assembly in no uncertain terms! A perfect example of democracy & parliamentarianism. And I suddenly found myself asking why in the name of all that is unholy the European Union had to get so excited/involved in the very legitimate process of the government & the citizens of the United Kingdom trying to decide whether they want to stay in the EU or not. Let them decide one way or the other, and then let them tell us what they want – the famous Article 50 – only then will there be any basis for discussion or action.

Till that point is reached – the point of no return – the govt. & the people of UK can hold as many referenda as they like – how does it concern the rest of the EU, pray? To give you but one example: when Spain is having trouble forming a government, the rest of the EU waits politely, do they not? It’s not as if Spain is running around like a chicken with its head cut! As a matter of fact, democracy means the painfully gradual process of determining the political will of the people – by various methods & instruments such as elections & referenda, even opinion polls may be included in that category. Why couldn’t the EU tell Britain, hey look, you find out what you want first and then come and tell us and we’ll see what we can do for you and for the rest of the EU. Why did the EU have to assume just what the British folk was going to decide and then go into a huff because they decided the other way round? It’s the way elections are held in some countries: the polls are valid only if I & my party win, otherwise there are accusations of skulduggery and the other side is always to blame. In countries with a certain tradition the army takes over till both sides have cooled down a little. And the EU doesn’t even have an army.

Why should it? It’s left wars behind and turned into a ‘family’, with the usual amount of bickering & drama. In that sense, Article 50 is like filing the divorce papers. The Brits have said – after much heart searching & heartburn – that they do not love the EU any more. Should the EU start crying Divorce! Divorce! right away? This is worse than Kramer vs. Kramer, I say! Britain is only 52% sure – or rather 52% of 72% of the Britons are sure that love has died – and the EU is behaving like hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Now Britain – the party that was unfaithful to begin with – is dragging its feet when it comes to the divorce. I suggest the EU shacks up with Turkey, gives Turkey the EU membership on an emergency basis just to spite Britain.

On a more serious note, isn’t it absolutely obvious what is going on in more than one country in Europe? UKIP and Brexit in Britain, Front National in France, AFD in Germany, the Freedom Party in Austria, Orban in Hungary, Kaczynski in Poland – it’s the same pattern everywhere: the European losers of globalisation are turning against the even poorer, even more desperate global losers of globalisation while the winners… Forget it. Entire generations of hard-working Europeans are seeing their lifetime’s work, their lifetime’s achievement, their lifetime’s savings being reduced to a worthless heap – this is the Great Depression in slo-mo, the death of a culture & civilisation without the advent of war.

Remember who the Brexit supporters were railing against? The fat cats of Brussels. Know who they will end up bashing in tubes and trains? People of (identifiable) colour. No wonder our Refu-ji uncle is talking of going back to Jullunder with Refu-Aunty. And I think I shall join them.

The film inside the book

Put the film inside the book: that’s my advice to all young, aspiring authors; remember that the film has long overtaken the novel as the hard disk of human memory; that the reader of today is a filmgoer first – not even a filmgoer but a filmsitter who gets it all on his/her TV/PC/laptop/tablet. Films are like the fast food, the junk food of modern culture, videos – including YouTube – representing the finger food and the street food. People are lazy as well as crazy, so you’ve got to build the film right into your novel like the skeleton within the human body. That’s what I tell my would-be authors: keep it a little visible, though – especially in the first few chapters – so that the literary agent can see it or smell it even if he’s bored or drunk.

Gone are the days when the book and the film used to be two separate entities, though related to each other, like the dowdy mother accompanying her gorgeous film actress of a daughter to the Oscar ceremony. Or heard the one about the two goats in Hollywood? (Didn’t I read it in the Mad magazine sometime at around Woodstock?) One of them is chewing a reel of film. ‘Taste good?’ asks the second goat. ‘The book was better,’ bleats the first goat between cudfuls.

Whereas these days every book is pregnant with the film; publishers don’t buy books unless they’re pregnant – the book, I mean, not the publisher. ‘I’m with film,’ the book says tearfully to its future publisher in a suitably romantic-dramatic-sentimental scene. The publisher finds that sexy because he can cash in on the deal and chalk up extra sales by merchandising ‘the book to the film’.

And then we come to the reader or readers – again, not just the fellows employed by publishers to read/reject tediously long manuscripts – we mean the ordinary reader, a rare and extraordinary creature in his own right. The modern reader is so used to films that it has begun to affect the way he or she reads a book – and when I say a book, I mean a novel. The projector starts whirring inside the reader’s head by the time he – who is mostly a she – has reached the second para. It’s as if he, well, she is wearing virtual reality goggles – more like blinders, as on horses, for me – and watching the film ‘embedded’ – what a word! – inside the book.

Originally the film had very little to do with the book. Go back to the silent film and you’ll see that films descend from the circus and clowning as well as from magic, burlesque, vaudeville and slapstick. To this day, the first characteristic of a film is that you don’t need to be literate – neither the producer, nor the director, nor the actors and certainly not the audience. Books used to be about as far a cry from films as Lady Chatterley from her working class lover.

Until democratisation set in; modern mass culture, entertainment culture – entertainture! – set in. Now the selling point of any product – from hair remover to presidential candidate – is that it sells. And films sell better than books. So why do we need books at all? Because of the story, stupid, as Bill Clinton would have put it, or haven’t you been reading your Robert McKee? The story, that’s the pearl within the shell. The story, that’s the mother of every star, brought out and paraded on Oscar, Emmys, Grammys and what-have-you, hugged and kissed on the public stage and then back to the cellar or to the attic with you until the next photo op, possibly next year. Did that tiny woman really give birth to such a beauty or such a bitch? What’s the mother called, by the way? She’s called the book. She’s the mother of The Film. Just a surrogate mother, you’d think, the way they treat her.

So be it. You’re the author, you’re the husband of that poor woman called the book. You’ve loved her and courted her and spent all your lonesome hours with her over the years. Now the two of you will be sitting in the third row holding hands while this celebrity child of yours – The Film – goes up on the dais wearing a transparent, cutaway dress which would have made Hans Christian Andersen write the Empress’s New Clothes as well – whereas you, the author, and you, the book, the proud parents in their borrowed tux and the borrowed gown – sorry, this is getting much too filmsy for me.

So this is what I have say to my aspiring author and his book: sell the ruddy child (by which we mean the film rights) – put it up for adoption (by which we mean adaptation) – get the lucre and go and live in the Bahamas or as far away from Hollywood as you can. Good luck and good night.

The blog & the book

The first thing they tell you when you’re thinking of starting a blog of your own is – “Don’t!” Reminds me of that sign on the wall behind a fire hydrant in downtown Ottawa: ‘Don’t even think of parking here!’ And then they tell you to go and check up on other blogs, find out what other bloggers are doing – and thinking.

Because blogging is basically a social & a communal activity – like football. You can be Ronaldo or Messi but you’ve got to play by the rules. Blogging says we are all about as clever or unclever, as educated or uneducated, as biased or unbiased, as prejudiced or unprejudiced as the rest – of us.

Communal, not individual. Blogging is like a football game with one player scoring own goals both ways while the stands are packed with fifty thousand referees – if you’re lucky! ‘Foul!’ we all cry and Macbeth trembles in his grave.

The unwary blogger will find out soon enough what the price is for being – different. You can be vulgar and kinky and outrageous but not – different. A community is based on common principles, shared beliefs, shared emotions and sentiments. There can be two communities bashing each other’s heads in – I won’t go into that, but think of religion! But be different and you’re open game for both sides, for all sides. It’s that fundamental, almost Newtonian opposition between the herd instinct and the nerd instinct. The days when the herd used to applaud the nerd are over (except for The Big Bang Theory). These days, the herd tends to go on a stampede and trample down any & every form of intelligent life when they are dissatisfied or angry. But why are they so angry?

Little things, like not having enough photographs on your page, or not changing them as often as you’d change your underwear. What about video material with that triangular click button in the middle? All you need is the video function on your smartphone, what’s that for, d’you think? How can you invite people to your party – or to your blog – and not have enough to eat and to drink, to watch and to hear (all the audio-video, multimedia stuff), generally have fun, in short? Not going to lecture people on an empty stomach, are you? Give them some belly laughs, at least, be a stand-up comedian or his gag-writer. If nothing else, hain’t you got a grumpy cat? A surfin’ rat? A roller-skatin’ dog? All those critters are better’n youse, even if we’re talking YouTube now. You’re still a lousy blogger.

Writing a book is of course a very private affair, mainly because you can’t afford to talk about the Work in Progress to anybody. So you walk around mentally pregnant and smiling like Mona Lisa (latest theory of the Gioconda smile: she was thinking fifty shades of grey). While people wonder what’s wrong with you.

Writing a book is like Antoni Gaudi working on his Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (couldn’t even finish that one, poor fellow, they’re doing it for him now); it’s like Michelangelo working on his Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. It requires time, grit, vision and infinite patience. Writing a book is like a love affair whereas a blog is like a one night stand – and more fun at times, some people claim.

Writing a book is like building a palace or a bridge; takes mindlessly long to complete – and even longer to be satisfied with. Let me give another example: ever written a love letter to your girlfriend? Haven’t written a letter in your life? Just sent mails & messages or called? Even better. Now think of writing two hundred and fifty love letters to your girlfriend, all sequential and inter-connected and non-repetitive and with a story-line to boot – only that you can’t send the love letters one by one to your girlfriend; she – and you – have to wait till the whole bunch is finished, paginated, printed and bound, finally published – that’s when you can give it to her, while putting it up for sale at every bookshop and every newsstand in the vicinity. The whole world – including your girlfriend – is reading that open love letter of yours – to life and to living – and either laughing, or being reflective, or sad.

Or is a blog just that first act of love which sets the whole process in motion? I hope it is.