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Showing posts from September, 2016

Photo-Shopping Words- Lies, Damn Lies And Journalism

This essay has become too long, because I wanted to quote the references. Still, I suggest you read it in full. I quote Scott F. Fitzgerald here, to explain why you should- We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in the congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they can’t. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It’s worse in case of Newspapers. Any rich, unprogressive, old party with that particular grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents, voter buys his politics, prejudices and philosophy. It is an art to write Non-Fiction. It needs to carry the pretense of being objective and true, without being dull and boring. There is a wonderful book

Post Uri Options and Attempts to Change Narrative

Most of us do not write for a living. Some who do, work with the words so long that words become their tool, their device for deception. They lose affection for words, the respect for words; for them words are weapon to control and rule over the world. They use them to manipulate the truth. But then, words are like guns. Guns don’t kill, people do. Words don’t deceive, people behind the pen do. Hyperbole is one such literary device which shoots in both the direction. War, or conflict, as they say, brings out the best and worst of us. It is true about our media as well. Yesterday, there was a terror attack on a Military camp in Uri, Kashmir. As is the case with any conflict, it brought out the best and worst of us. Amid the din, with a numbing thought of eighteen caskets, wrapped in Tricolor, haunted most citizens. The government sat silent, except for perfunctory condemnation and assurance of definitive action. That was day one. People were too angry, too annoyed at the prolong

Madam Bovary's Eyes- Flaubert's Parrot - Book Review

Some books are very hard to classify and categorize. This is one such book. Officially, it is a fiction, a novel. In terms of genre, it should be put in the same shelf as Cakes and Ale by Maugham or The Ghost Writer of Philip Roth , both I have read this year. But then, maybe not. The two are totally fictional, in terms of all the characters contained in them, even though they do have a writer as the central character. But then, that is all that has to do with writing. I don’t think we ever consider the writer’s profession as a central point of those novels. Also the characters are out and out fiction. That is where this book is different. It is about the giant of French literary history (and now, of English classical literature)- Gustave Flaubert .             The characters and references are all real. Julian Barnes throws all his weight behind the genius who is the key protagonist in the fiction, follows the dictum of a perfect biography as mentioned by Flaubert in

A Writer's Recurrent Dilemma

Writing is fun only when I am in the process of writing, creating a world, conjuring some kind of magic. It is such a liberating feeling when the ink flows unhindered, words come tumbling over welcoming white pages. But at all the other times, my life as a writer is a life of absolute miserly. The periods are fraught with self-doubt, gasping in a sea of insurmountable emotions, searching for one write word, one perfect phrase. Some evenings are filled of such blankness of mind, I worry if I will ever write another word, let alone construct another story. The build-up to a story and the settling down after the release of a book- such miserable moments, and a haunting question, the Damocles sword- Will I ever write anything worth anything ever again? It must be so very hard for anyone who is a full time writer. But even for someone like me who is not a full-time writer- one question keeps coming back- Will I be read ? To quote J ulian Barnes from Flaubert’s Parrot , my companion

Surrendering to Love- Ghalib

Couplet-1 दोस्त ग़मख़्वारी   में मेरी , स ' अइ फरमाएंगे क्या ज़ख़्म के भरने तलक , नाख़ून न बढ़ जाएंगे क्या। ( ग़मख़्वारी- Nursing,  स ' अइ- Efforts,  नाख़ून- nails) Translation :  O dearest, your best efforts to nurse my soul, To my searing sadness, is no match; While my wounds heal,  u nknownst to thou, I grow cruel nails anew, Once again, ready to scratch. Interpretation : The solaces of companionship, of fleeting friendships are not sufficient enough to ease the haunting emptiness left by loss of love. There is some inherent pleasure in self-inflicted pain, embedded in love. While friends try to protect me, rescue me, my soul remains beyond repair, as I keep on going back into my melancholic, sad solitude, as if I derive some pleasure in this self-inflicted pain.   *************** Couplet-2 बेनियाज़ी हद से गुज़री , बंदापरवर कब तलक हम कहेंगे हाल- ए  - दिल और आप फरमाएंगे क्या। ( बेनियाज़ी- Disinterest) Translati