Tuesday, 5 July 2005

One for Bertie.

Note that a lot of what is said below, applies to itself.

Implicit in maintaining a blog, is the wish/expectation that it be read. It may help the writer organize his thoughts, yes. It may help the writer write better, yes. But a blog is primarily meant to be read. Otherwise, one would write in word, and make a folder on the pc, and not take the pain (not that there is much of that) to put it all on a website.

To verbalize what is felt, seen and thought is an extremely uninteresting thing if done for itself. Writing, being much more involved a process than speaking, (atleast for beginners like me) the motivation for it can only be found if one wants to be heard.

There are several different reasons why one would want people to receive any thoughts/ideas that one may scatter round. Some of these being -
1> The need to be understood/appreciated/be shown sympathy. (selfishness)
2> The feeling that one has something so important to say, that it might be in people's interest to read it. (altruism)
3> The feeling that change can be brought about in the world by ideas expressed through writing.

The first is weakness, the second presumptuous and the third naive.

How much we presume !

We think that the simple act of criticism puts us on a higher plane. We think that we can escape responsibility for the state of affairs by dissecting it. The more bitter and verbose our critique, the better we feel about it. We let off steam and frustration by tearing apart that which we ought to fix. Trying to hide impotence by ranting against fertility clinics. We fool ourself into thinking that we know, because we have not the strength to face the infinite complexity of our issues, the deceit and darkness inherent in the multidimentional character of our people, and the terrible contradictions underlying our nation. We choose our opinions and jump to one side of the wall, because to sit on the fence, to reserve judgement, would be to be able to see both ways, and our sanity would not survive that. We are mortally afraid. Afraid that we might find that Gandhi, Godse and Laden are all wrong. Or even worse, that they are all right. Where would that leave us, and our selfrighteous, indignant, verbose rantings ? Where would we put all our literary references and quotes then ?

We presume too much.

"Behold we know not anything,
I can but hope that good shall fall,
At last far off, At last to all,
And every winter change to spring."

Said some guy. Nice thought, but its not going to happen. This is the way things are, and this is the way they are always going to be, so we could shut our sensitive eyes, cover our snobbish noses and daintily try to pick our way through life (saying clever things all the while), or we could stride along, taking in the sights and smells of our world, willing to administer a firm tap on the jaw as well as lend a helping hand, right in the thick of things, lost but comfortable, minute but measureable, helpless but happy.

And if I see one more flower because I kept my eyes open among the dungheaps, I'll consider it a square deal.


Anonymous said...


Safari Al said...

i havent read the blog yet.

nope...i dint do that!

Safari Al said...

I have been reading rants rants and rants for quite some time now.

About the impotence fertility clinic....

here's something i remember from "Zen and the art..." . it isnt verbatim but close to what pirsig wrote...

"there is no use fighting the effects. we have to fight the cause"

or something to that effect. never finished that book. pirsig took too long to come to a conclusion and i am one hell of an impatient chap.

DonWanObeKanobe said...

Hope - It is simultaneously the source of our greatest weakness and our greatest strength. Also seems to be something you believe in ardently. I'm afraid I've become a cynic. :)

Psmith said...

I dont know why you'd say that I believe in it 'ardently'. I'm not so sure I do. I'm quite cynical as to the nature of the world "...this is the way things are and this is the way they are always going to be." is not the most 'hopeful' thing to say.

Psmith said...

I confess ot was your post on the state of the nation that caused me to write that little 'rant against rants'.

Anonymous said...

you're right. you are presumptuous. it's rare that people see themselves for what they are. lovely, just lovely.


Safari Al said...

Hope...here's one that i keep throwing around a lot. Very profound. Kinda like it.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Andy Dupree - Shawshank Redemption.

One of my favorite movies of all times.

Btw, who is K

Psmith said...

Yeah you've thrown that at me too....remember I got in into that random streetplay ?

No idea who K is.
caustic comment though

Psmith said...

*'got it into'

Anonymous said...

i didn't mean the comment to sound as nasty as it did. and i somehow missed the disclaimer at the top, which makes all the difference by the way. i know that it's one thing to call yourself presumption, quite another if someone else does. i'm sorry,i ought to know better. good luck.


Psmith said...

Hey no problem k, you dont have to be polite.
It'd be a boring, plastic world if everyone only said either nice or bland things.

Anonymous said...

I did wonder if your rant against rants was inspired by someone's continuous ranting. Now I know who. :)

I guess we each have our own ways of dealing with the world. I choose to rant. I would like to say that I also try to do something, but that is something I can't be an unbiased judge of.

As always, Prasanna, a pleasure to read what you write.

- Sahil

DonWanObeKanobe said...

By the way, there is a fourth reason we write.

4.> Because we enjoy it.

I don't know the corresponding big word for it, but I think it deserves a place on your list.

Not everyone writes to be read, or out of arrogance or nontuism (forgive me if I spelt it wrong).

By the way, I have some interesting thoughts, as a consequence of your post. Do you believe in email correspondence?

Psmith said...

'believe' in email corrospondence ?
Hmm, never thought of it that way, but I do drop emails (regularly producing absolute stinkers which do my already wobbly social existence great harm) of all sorts, to anyone who'll take the effort to reply. I think the answer to that would be 'yes', but I'm always wary of answering questions I dont understand. There's another aspect to it. Before I started blogging(which I started 1 week ago or something), and during periods when I was not keeping a journal, the length of my emails would increase drastically. So..you know....corrospondence does play an important role in a person's life...I go back and read the emails I wrote years ago and emails people wrote to me and nothing can bring the texture of those like they do.

It feels good in a way..puts one's life in perspective.

Psmith said...

*those days like they do

Anonymous said...

You're playing Devil's advocate. And you do realise that you're doing exactly that which you set out to criticise.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking a bit...
Maybe people blog just to hold up that flower in the dungheap that you were talking about, and pray that other people hold up flowers in answer, and just smile about it maybe.