Saturday, January 24, 2009

Atavism, the Cavedweller Mentality

I guess we are a primordial, primitive society still. I mean we have not overcome the jealousy factor. Early in my career when people realised I wanted to be a writer the first thing that came out of their mouths was, "You can't be a writer." Then again this refrain was repeated in my first ever job as a journalist and writer, then again when I started my corporate writing career. A friend a Veepee no less told me that they told him he didn't know his job. "So you want to be an actor? Why, you can't act." "You want to paint? You can't paint" seems to be the constant refrain we cavedwellers have been subjected to by our club-wielding neighbours. Such atavism prevails!

Nobody, well, nobody, ever said to me, "Don't listen to those buggers who say 'You can't write' and keep writing." So, ergo, this is a vicious, embittered world that tries to put you down, and dishearten you. As a boy I loved to read. So when I would retreat to my room with my books they would say, "Why is this boy reading all the time?" (If I went out and played, they would say, "why is this boy playing all the time?") Well, primitive societies used to keep each other's ambitions in check by criticising each other viciously, it hasn't changed much, it still prevails. We haven't changed a bit, the Bombay terror attacks and the Gujarat genocide proves that we will not change, however much we try. And now they say the perpetrators of the Malegaon blasts wanted to change India into something like Hitler's Their Reich.

So to anyone working hard in their own profession I would say, "Don't listen to them who say you can't do it. Just go ahead and do it." This happens a lot in my own chosen profession of writing and I now have enough confidence to thumb my nose at people who said I can't write. Maybe I can't write but I have tried (A novel, countless short stories, poems and travel pieces) while you have sat on your ample behinds and not even tried. If you are feeling a trifle smug because you haven't tried, you are deceiving or have deceived yourself. Our loss is yours, too, so let us wallow in our respective mediocrities. Here's my spell to you all: the curse of history will befall you and you will rot in the hell of mediocrity as the aspiring writer who didn't have the guts to even try. You tell me you have done a great thing by starting a vanity publishing press, I say I am not impressed.

Sorry, guys, couldn't help this rant! A bit muddledheaded here, but that's a temporary thing.

In Passing...
I am surprised and awed to note that I figure in this Directory of Top Blogs in India and Most Widely Read Indian Bloggers. Guess it justifies my ramble!


Suzan Abrams said...

Makes perfect sense, John although your post does sound like you're annoyed with someone in particular. :-)
Saying which you have offered valid points.

John said...

Hi Suzan,

Not one person, but several persons coelesced into one.

Hope all goes well! How's East Africa?