Diary and Autobiography

“What are you writing?” Lulu, my parrot asked. With a nice red band across his neck he appeared as if wearing a bow tie.
“Diary, Lulu, diary. I have been thinking about writing it daily and regularly.” I continued to write.
“Very interesting. I always wanted to know what people write in their diaries. It must be interesting to read. What say you?”
“Lulu, you are not supposed to read other people’s diaries. That’s not done.”
“You men have so much to hide, so you do not allow your diaries to be read by others. Do you write everything that you see, feel and think?”
“Diaries have many purposes. I do not write it as my autobiography. And even autobiographies do not reveal everything about the author’s life.”
“Oh, you remind me of what Mark Twain said on oath in the Court. He was asked if the statements in his autobiography were true when he said, ‘Yes, literally, they are true, that is to say they are a product of my impressions — recollections. As sworn testimony they are not worth anything; they are merely literature.’”
“Ha, ha! I have often felt that I could not comprehend why many my parents and other relatives made certain decisions in their life.”
“That’s true. You converse so little about these things. Not even on dinner table.”  
“When the situation is ‘hot’ and difficult, everybody avoids discussion about it. When the issue is amicably resolved we talk about how we did it rather than what were the various aspects of the problem and what we went through.”
“And if it goes wrong, particularly a family issue, the subject often becomes taboo. Nobody says it is taboo, but nobody talks about it.”
“Right!” I agreed. “You said it, Lulu.”
“So why don’t you write all about in your diary? Your children and other relatives will learn what you went through in those difficult situations.”
“The fear is what if they read it during my lifetime!” I said. We both laughed, Lulu rubbed his head on my neck in agreement.

Vivek S Patwardhan
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”