Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Diary Dilemma!

This evening when I had been to Sapna Book Store, I saw the most comprehensive collection of diaries for the coming year that I have ever seen in my ten years that I've been visiting Sapna. Each year, the diaries get more exquisite and complex adding more features and better paper. To top it all, enter a company called Nightingale, probably the finest paper in India that I have ever seen, and even in their range, there are only a few papers which take my M-nibbed Parker which I've been using for nearly 11 years now! Consequently, people say it writes like a sketch-pen! but glide it does! it's the smoothing thing I've ever written with, so smooth that it almost goes out of control while writing! I know what you're thinking, no you may not write with it when you meet me and yes I'll stop bragging about my fountain pen! It was because of this fountain pen that I started getting addicted to Nightingale.
I'll tell you why I brought this topic about my Parker. Well, I have a habit of writing (do I have to add the word literally at the end of that sentence? :P) yes, writing with a pen! Well, all you "Abhimani DevruagLu" out there, as NataSarvabhouma "Annavru" Dr. Rajkumar used to say, happened to catch me in a story telling mood, now face it! I'll have to tell you why I started writing! ok here goes,
When we shifted to Mysore from B'lore for second PU, I was nearly into clinical depression for a few months! I'd never seen a college where people studied in lunch breaks, refused to share notes and wrote in the same page in three different colours! The roads were too empty and I'd never seen a traffic signal for miles on end! so I thought I'll get back to reality and contact my friends in B'lore to ask what's happening there! What better way than to call up huh? yeah, go ok GK call and talk, you too are human, I thought. What I heard from them wasn't good, it seemed Forum was all the buzz there. I'd shifted in April, and to my luck, on July 3rd 2002 radio city FM 91, B'lore's first FM radio station started! "Man full English, Early morning metallica, Saturdays are club nights with Suresh Venkat and DJ Ivan, The late show with Priya Ganapathy, Rebel Yell with Jonzie and Santosh Gnaynakan a.k.a saggy" is what my friends told me over the phone, even letting me listen to a song! After a month, dad almost burst a vein seeing the telephone bill. He said, the next time I got him such a bill, the telephone goes and I along with it! So, I had to resort to more primitive methods to keep in touch and keep listening.
Those were the days of quality, a plain black-and-white cellphone would cost you 6K and you could hammer a coffin with it, not like the cheap mobiles of today which stop working once you drop it! So, I could never afford a mobile too. So, struck a deal with my dad to supply me with 25 inland letters every month and I'd stay away from the phone. I'd never seen a quicker response from him, for the letters were on my desk the same evening by the time I came back from college! Letter problem solved. Now listening.
During those days of 2002, there would be a power cut every evening and during that time I'd write letters to all my friends, listening to a new-found interest of mine, Shortwave Radio first on my Panasonic System and later on my old Sony IFC-22, I'd usually listen to the BBC world service, which I do even today. So, while I was listening, an idea struck me, "why not make the biggest possible antenna and put it on the terrace, Shortwaves require no orientation, so it'll work" , so I went around stealing all the stray telephone wires, skinning them for hours and then joining them to make one hell of an antenna, probably a hundred or more feet long, which went out of my window to the terrace, I had to instruct people at home not to touch the wire or the system while it was raining, I didn't want to get myself or them zapped with a billion volts of lightning. Work it did! For the next three years, I got near crystal clear reception of Radio City which ended only when other newer radio stations started polluting the signal and also cause of increased use of cellphone and cellphone towers everywhere!
Anyway, letter writing, right, stick to the point GK. I used to write letters, with my fountain pen, till it started blotting on the letters, that's when I switched over to pencils for letters. From then on, I've been writing letters, when I was not able to write letters, I would write a diary and those two hobbies have stayed with me till today, albeit a little dormant. So, the habit of buying diaries every year. As the years passed, the stuff I write in them has diminished to only a shadow of what it used to be when I had all the time for it. Buy the buying hasn't stopped.
But recently there was a revolution of thought process in my head (I like coining such terms, it makes me feel intelligent :P) and I suddenly had a rush of ideas and thoughts which were extremely volatile but seemed immensely profound and eternally useful because of which I felt I should always have a book & a pen with me so that I can write them down and use it later. So, when I got some money, I went and got a compact Nightingale Jute bound diary. But then the actual dilemma started, the diary was too small and I wasn't able to write more than four lines in a day's space, but, if I had bought a bigger one, it wouldn't have been portable enough. So eventually only half the diary got filled and the other half of all the "revolutionary thoughts" vanished into thin air!
And this evening in Sapna, I committed the same mistake again, I bought an identical sized Rayon bound compact diary, But then this year, I'm staying pretty much glued to my seat at home scratching my head. So this bright red thing should be pretty much right in front of my eyes all the time. So, look out world! I'm armed with my "thoughts & ideas" (sounds similar to "ideas and opinions" eh? ) and it's all going to come down in ink on my brand new diary from the 1St of Jan '09! hurray for that!
So, will I get the mood to write again, Peace!


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  2. Gecko,

    Bangalore "was" fun just for a couple of years after you left.
    Radio City sucks. (Radio Indigo rocks now.)
    Travelling to The Forum in Bangalore traffic is nightmarish. Luckily, NIMHANS is close by in case you lose your sanity while driving. There are also burial grounds close to The Forum in case you left home as a teen, but died of old age on your way.

    I really want to move out of this crazy city soon - hoping to move to Mysore, but I don't have enough green (red?) to start a new home there. (And there's a very high likelihood of you moving out of Mysore. So there goes the company of the only friend I'll have there.)

    Why do you not "write" to subba (or me) these days? (I used to like reading bits of your letters to subba back in the pre uni days.)

    Next time, buy a diary which does not have any dates printed - just a blank so that you are at liberty to fill your own date and pen your day's thoughts on a few pages, or heaven forbid, all the pages in the diary.

  3. @Shazo.
    Even if I moved out of Mysore for a while, the probability of me leaving my dungeon, books, tools, bike, cycle to name a few of my valued possessions, is almost zero! You move into Mysore and it's gonna be caffeine kick thrice a week!
    I too don't like Bangalore that much now, the Bangalore I lived in (cycling to M.G. Road, you going to the British Library regularly) is gone!
    Now a days, I've stopped writing cause of time constraints and also a lack of audience (read pen-pals) for my letters (I can see I still have ten letters I had bought in 2006). I've been wanting to get back to writing too, the feel of pen on paper is really more satisfying than types and clicks! May be I should make that a new year resolution, what say?
    Coming to diaries, you'd given me this idea before, I wonder why I didn't remember this while buying! darn!

  4. well i have abt a dozen diaries stuck in my shelf,half filled with whimsical ideas.my problem is i never seem to be able to finish up a diary with the purpose that i started it off with.so dont fret abt ur small diary-easier to fill it up than have a void space.

  5. @anusha,
    i guess so, after thinking about it, i too agree with you that a diary is essential, even though it's not regularly maintained or completely filled. The possibility that i would have a thought in my head that would be big enough to exceed the space in the diary's page and also private enough not to be published here in my blog is very remote. So, for all such thoughts, this blog here should serve as a pretty good canvas, one where people can interpret too!