“What are you tearing? Diaries?” Lulu picked up a bit of torn paper and looked at it curiously.
“Actually, Monthly Planners as they are called. They show blocks for all days in a month, in a month-at-sight format.” I continued to tear pages.
“Quite a heap.”
Jill, my Siamese cat looked at me and then at the table. She jumped atop it, and surveyed the stack of diaries not yet shredded. “The oldest one is a 2009 diary.”
“Yes. This stack is of diaries from my retirement year till the last year. I have always used a monthly planner from 1975. But I destroyed all when I retired.”
“What? 1975? Wow!!” Lulu wanted to open the diaries, but he carefully kept away from Jill who was sitting near the stack. “Don’t you keep diaries or planners which come free with email accounts?”
“I do. But entries in diaries written in one’s hand makes a huge difference. I noted engagements in different colours. When they were rescheduled, I used to draw an emoticon if I was happy or angry with the change. And doodles on all the pages. Sometimes my engagements were recorded in coded words so that others can’t decipher. Ha, ha!”
I had not noticed that Jack, my Great Dane, had walked in to the room and settled near my chair. “He used to keep his diaries open on the desk. He once scribbled, ‘The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.’”
“Jack! You are not supposed to peep in to others’ diaries. And that was a Carl Jung quote.” Jill did not leave the opportunity to admonish Jack.
“Cool down,” Lulu looked at both and continued, “Notes in your monthly planners are cryptic. I rather prefer diaries in which people write whatever they want to. Monthly planners are a planning tool. Diaries which record your thoughts and feeling show spontaneity.”
“Whenever my mother travelled, she recorded all the day’s events, her observations and feelings in a diary. I found her diary of her trip to US – in 1973! She ate a pizza there which had not reached Mumbai then, and her observations on pizza are interesting. Italian food looked at with Indian eyes!”
“Oh, Wow! And you too have been keeping a travel diary. You have taken after your mother.” Jack looked at me approvingly.
“Travel diaries have evolved,” Jill said, “Now people doodle, use various colour pens to draw sketches, write notes, paste photographs or newspaper clippings. All this in the travel diaries.”
“But the spontaneity in writing is lost. Collage and some remarks look good but pouring of heart on a notebook page is another thing. Yes, is agree.” It was a rare agreement between Lulu and Jill.
“As you grow older you lose spontaneity,” I said. “I am sixty-nine, going seventy. But just to keep with times, I bought this Travel Notebook. And painted a traveller on the back page.”
“Don’t travel! Don’t travel!! It’s risky. We are living in the Covid pandemic world,” Jack suddenly stood up. He looked at me with concern in his eyes.
“When was travel not risky?” Jill asked looking down upon Jack. “Risk and pleasure go together.”
“Oh, shut up, Jill. Don’t give us sermons.” Jack shot back.
“As for me, I would like to read your old travel diaries. To Australia, New Zealand and Japan. I am just curious about this spontaneity….” Lulu said and winked.
Vivek S Patwardhan
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
“Aroehan: Creating Dream Villages in Mokhada by 2025: “No Malnutrition Deaths, No Child ‘Out of School’, Reduction in migration by 50%.”
I received a handwritten mail from Lulu. This was a pleasantsurprise and I was happy to see the revival of the old art of letter writing and sending signed Greeting Cards during New Year…I have not told Lulu that during my pre-teens I had five Pen Friends and eveyr few months it was a pleasure to receive the envelope with lots of ‘Foreign Stamps’ that came handy for my stamp collection.
I am wondering if it is time to introduce Lulu to the convenient sins of WhatsApp? No personal touch in messages. Easy to Forward and add emoji. No effort. Not much time needed either…..Will Lulu accept the new world order? let me send a handwritten mail to Lulu and find out….