Thursday, June 14, 2007

Banter - a word too many

“What’s with the crazy typing? What are you writing, your autobiography!”


If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say this to me, well, I would have a lot of nickels. It would be pretty amazing though, an achievement in itself, as it is relatively difficult to find nickels here in India.


Its equivalent, one paisa maybe or even a rupee does not evoke the same drama as a nickel does. It must be a western thing. Not John Wayne kind of a western, but Samuel Huntington’s clash of the civilizations non-eastern western.


Anyways back to the point, if there is any and even if there is it mostly tends to be of little relevance. The point I was making with the quote above is the generic assumption, even if it is merely a reiteration of something commonly heard, that a person has the maximum to write about in his autobiography.


According to them, an every day e-mail, random thoughts, chatting via the net or an Orkut scarp cannot possibly involve as many words or thoughts typed or written as an autobiography would entail. Any other topic would not measure up in prominence as oneself. A narcissistic generalization only a human mind is capable of making.


A tirade against Bush 43 (that is Dubya, for the uninitiated), global warming or communalism, for instance, is not important enough. Musings about one’s love may necessitate such unexpected verbosity but they are hardly sustainable, something I agree with. As it were, the pinnacle of human articulation resides in introspection and self-aggrandizement (yes, it is a word and not made up!).


As a Yiddish scholar and humorist Leo Rosten proclaimed, “Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.”


Cradled in the frivolous nature of the comment is a deep rooted truth that most of us seem to be aware of, we like talking/ writing about ourselves. It carries over into the most unassuming of our humorous observations in a candid, pertinent sort of way.


So may be there some truth in that callous comment. A person would probably have lot to write about when it comes to their story. Some may have nothing to say at all. Most of us do feel that we have lived a fascinating life which demands to be documented with the utmost respect and attention to it.


Others may not find it amusing or worthy of so many words, but it still must be told. May be some stories are better left alone, untold.


And yes, I was writing my autobiography, well something close to that anyways. . .


1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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