An editor-friend asked me to write an article on ‘Bazar.’ As always, I said ‘yes’ without giving it much thought. I don’t know why this happens to me almost as a reflex action, but when some people [and my wife among them] ask me to do something, I say ‘yes’ without giving it any thought.
To my surprise, I wrote eight pages in one stroke! And even a bigger surprise: my fastidious editor-friend accepted it, actually liked it! I had not even organised my thoughts about what to write. The story just flowed.
There is something that happens to the writer when you write without interruption and in a flow. My experience is that it invariably strikes a chord with the reader. I wonder whether it is the content or the lucidity that appeals to the reader.
I have also observed that when I am unable to solve a problem or write on a subject to my satisfaction, it is a good idea to work on it hard till midnight and then go to bed. I open my work first thing in the morning and something flows from the pen, what I write comes out much more to my satisfaction. The computer inside my head must be at work during my sleep. This is a peculiar case of operator hibernating while computer is working!
When you are thinking about a problem, pick up a book in your library and open a page at random, you find that the solution to your problem is indicated there. This too is my experience several times. [And I do not open Bhagavad-Gita for finding the solution.]
Solutions to problems seem to come suddenly to one’s mind. Like Archimedes. Or perhaps the mind guides you to the solution, like helping you find the right page in the book. Just as Fitness enthusiasts are advised to ‘listen to your body’ I think we should also ‘listen to our mind.’
Writing about books reminds me that I was looking for a good book on Mirza Ghalib’s Ghazals. Majestic Book Depot which is the Mecca of Marathi book lovers in Thane told me that there was one by Setu Madhavrao Pagadi but it was not in their stocks. A casual enquiry last week, almost two years after my first one, gave me Dr Vinay Vaikar’s ‘Kalam–e-Ghazal.’ An excellent buy [Mangesh Prakashan, Rs. 250] for people like me who do not understand Urdu but are keen to read Ghalib. It gives Ghazals and their free translations.
Sulabha, my wife, asked me why I did not pick up an English book on Ghalib. I said that poetry or its translations must be read only one’s mother tongue. In a sense Marathi, Hindi and Urdu are somewhat related, at least they have roots in the same culture. English is a foreign language though good for many other purposes, but poetry? No sir, my heart listens to and understands only Marathi language, for me it is the language of my heart.
What say you?