By some twisted turn in fate's blueprint I wandered yesterday, into my Yahoo Inbox. And a few seconds later I found myself sifting through the oldest Emails I wrote and the replies I received in return. Back then I stunk at writing. I had heavy punctuation problems and committed so many blunders. I had deleted most of the mails that were written to me except the ones from my father and sisters. Blood being thicker than water. My dad, who has a flair for a stricter English, wrote much better Emails. He used correct punctuation, full-stops when necessary with aptly placed commas.
To quote from the past, here is an email I wrote to my father on Tuesday, 25 October, 2005.
hi dad i am fine here .hope teh same for u all tehre.i
dont know what buses to go to XXXXXXX any direct
buses? i will be starting here on 27 th tht is
thursday and reach hyd by morning of 28 th .how is
today was our last quiz.wrote well.is net started
working in ur office.
convey my regards to mummy and akka.
thats all for now bye trinathg
As I read it now, my hand involuntarily reaches for Delete, Backspace, punctuation keys and a glass of water.
I grew up with strict English grammar rules from Wren and Martin, the thick red 1960's edition that governed our Sunday afternoons. In between English grammar lessons were sandwiched the Mathematics tutorial sessions that my dad organized so diligently. For English exams and other academic writing I continued to follow correct punctuation. But I guess for Emails I never cared to do that. I am not sure if my dad felt how wasted all his efforts turned out, after looking at my garbled up replies to his mails. Even if he had felt he might not have corrected inorder to give me some independence or a free reign to make a few mistakes. I remember filling an application form of any course/examination called for some tensed moments in my home. Every letter was written down slowly as if speed would spill some ink into the next block, the legitimate space of the next letter. White-laid, eraser and a Topaz blade were always by the side to cut out any mistakes that my sisters or I made filling out the forms. After the tense moments are over we would disperse to watch the daily serials on Doordarshan.
But things have changed since 2005. I started dipping my fingers into the honey-pot of Literature, English or otherwise. Slowly, the importance of the words, their weight and appropriateness seeped into my pen. But the boyishness in my writing was still present when I wrote the much eluding Statement of Purpose (SOP) in 2007 for my graduate studies in USA. After a rejection from Uncle Sam and spending two months reading and writing arbitrary verse gave me some hold on the absconding meaning in my words. Soon after I joined a job in Pune. I had a great time exploring the city in Food and Books. The romance of the first job and the company of some of the wonderful people (Krishna, Sravan and Pranab) I have ever met, enriched my experience. We had everyone of the writing world in this group. I wrote poetry, Sravan and Pranab adept in Fiction and Krishna, the Critique. I was taken, what is the word, under the wing, of Sravan and Krishna as soon as I landed in Pune. The importance of the words, communication, clarity and all the Orwellian rules of writing conquered the better part of me during the time I spent there.
Time doesn't have an obituary but may be an experience does. It slips away, bit by bit into the dark. There is no way we can remember all of the experiences that we had, that nudged our way into being this and now. But some exist I believe like eternal poems. Read and re-read till the end of time.