Friday, January 2, 2009

Life Between Poems

2008 passed away like a limping bird. It was the Year of Terror and disillusionment. I cannot join my countrymen in their pledge against ` War Against Terror' as I am not sure what it means in the first place. War against whom? Against Pakistan? Terrorists in India? It reminded me of a Disney film `Lion King' where Simba's schemeing uncle Scar calls upon the hyeanas to `be prepared' and the hyeanas join in by shouting ` Be prepared', but they simply dont know `be prepared' for what? I think most of the people who have pledged for ` war against terror' are in similar state. The BJP feels that this means people who have declared `War against Terror' will vote for them. Amusingly, most of the people who have campained agaisnt ` War on Terror' are the people who hardly even vote. They have already insulated themselves against the dirty democratic process.

As a writer, it was a year of same old struggles and hopes. I am presently awaiting publication of my second collection of Marathi poems and embroiled in the same old headaches as a critic. A genuine Indian writer is always nowhere man living and writing in a no-man's land.

One evening as I was trying to fall asleep, a thought crossed my mind or rather crossed out my mind: that the life between writing two poems is utterly futile and meaningless and is of no relevance at all. The whole structure of morals and quarrels that we live out has no purpose apart from being what they are. Dilip Chitre said somewhere that he lived purely out of curiosity. I feel I have lived because I have no other choice. I don't have guts to exercise my choice of terminating my life. May be it is an extreme view of things, but I feel it is actually liberating.

As I continue to write without any appreciation ( Chitre writing about Kolatkar had said that in order to receive critical attention as a writer in India or Marathi, it is necessary to die, I continue writing in a cultural vaccuum as other people who know how to keep everyone happy or at least keep the people who matter happy continue to hold the stage. But then back to basics, who do you write for ? You write for yourselves and for the strangers. You cannot count on strangers as you cannot count on your acquaintances, I am counting on my enemies. They are my true sources of inspiration. Whats more I forgive them, and as Oscar Wilde says, nothing irritates them. I dont know where I would have been, had it not for them.

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