Monday, January 05, 2009


The Success & Ability magazine had requested me to write something similar to this and it has appeared in their Oct-Dec 2008 issue in a slightly edited form.

There are advantages of having a vacant face with uneven eyes; one large and another too small. The large one squinting sideways with thick glasses (supporting myopia) magnifying the effect, overgrown stubble with an antiquity of few months. And, the head jutting forward like a turtle’s. All these giving an impression that the top most compartment in the body of the person possessing these features must be empty.

The most obvious advantage may be that you don’t have to remember every casual acquaintance whom you may be meeting only once in three months, six months or even a year. The first question they ask is; “Do you remember me?” and readily pour their bio-data on you without even bothering to wait for your response. So, it is utter waste of precious GBs (gigabytes) of your brain trying to store data of such people because they are always ready to introduce themselves afresh.

There are numerous other benefits of having the looks of a retard; one being that there is zero expectation from you. So, when you seek the blessings of your tuition teacher (who just spent an hour a day with you during the two years) after securing higher second class in Pre-Degree Course (12th in current jargon), what you hear is: “I never thought you were a serious student. I was under the impression that your parents called me after being fed up with your tantrums to join college like your siblings. Anyways, this (holding up the mark-list) is of no use for you as you won’t even get students to take tuitions because of your speech problem and you can’t even think of getting a regular job. The only thing I can see you doing is teaching poor kids free of cost”.

He even had a take on my hobby to despatch Letters to the Editor. He always used to ask me what purpose it served other than wasting time by going through the newspapers and magazines, taking the trouble of writing them down, harassing someone to type it out (in the pre-computer days) for me and spending two rupees for the postage. It was no use telling him about the thrill of seeing one’s name in print or even about my journalistic aspirations.

Flash forward some fourteen years: The aforementioned teacher’s protégé (yours truly) has graduated in Commerce by appearing for exams as a private student (means, you can study sitting at home and appear for exams). He has a clerical job in a MNC. And, above all he has become a small-time film journalist contributing to newspapers and web portals.

Still, when someone sees me sitting in front of my laptop; he tells my parents, “Achha Hain Aapne ise yeh leke diya hai, Khel Toh Sakta Hai. TV Dekhke bhi Bore Hojata Hoga” (Good you have given him this, at least he can play. Watching TV for long is too boring). My parents say; “He works on this”. And, the reply will be; “But still…”.

They say; it is difficult to change attitudes. Very true!


I’ve to thank a very dear friend, who was proofreading this line after line as I was typing it and gave some valuable suggestions to make it look polished the way it is now. Still, the flaws that remain here are because of stubbornness not to change them.

What makes me extra happy is the fact that four of my poems, which I never thought were publish-able anywhere other than this blog have appeared in the same issue. Please have a look:

Twilight Hour, A Stroll, Mirage and Words