The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

With Tears, With My Muse

My muse has taken an unusual turn: I've started writing in Hindi. It's a language which has not come to me by any formal study and whatever I've learnt by way of watching Hindi movies or talking to people in Hindi belt of India is behind my confidence. So, with its grammar badly mutilated and its spellings ludicrously permutated, my stories now take a fast tread on the track laid by my muse.

But I don't bother. Grammar can be set right and spellings can be checked. What is more important is the matter. Am I doing that all right?

With a book of short stories behind me, I think I'm not a novice in the field. A small tally of characters and their interactions crisp and meaningful, and stories are made-oh, they are almost made to order. During the one week that went by, I've already completed seven short stories, almost one story a day. I don't believe that it is me who is doing this.

Is it because I have taken liberty with grammar and spellings? Or is it because I'm writing something very familiar? Oh yes, all my stories in this book will be on people and events around post office. So as a post office man I am doing something as an insider does, narrating things that are mundane to the writer yet with charm of authentic tone for the outsiders. I can't say what exactly they are.

So, am I bragging? I think I'm not and I'd beseech my readers not to take me like that. Say the other day I wrote a story, and tears rolled down as I killed my protagonist. I should not have done that, but I did, only to do deliver a message. And the message is like this: post office would not die; it's for humans to die and they want not to, then let them be born as pigeons and stay in the post office. Funny? It's more pathetic than funny.

Let me see, how far the muse is willing.
A. N. Nanda


Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Lost Son Returns

Today I could hear a crow cawing. Lying on bed, I really enjoyed it.

Enjoying a cawing of a crow? Doesn't it sound weird?

No, it did not harass my ears. Maybe it once used to do so when crows were many in my village. Now a crow is a sweet visitor on my premises. For the last ten years, the bird was no longer seen in my village, nor in any of the villages around in a radius of few kilometers. They had suddenly disappeared. Like a naughty child disappearing all of a sudden leaving everybody to cherish his sweet waywardness.

Why did they vanish-nobody knows that. We had only conjectures to make. Our farms are using pesticides in large measure these days. So they died, perhaps out of mass poisoning. Some had a different explanation to offer: there were cyclones and super cyclones and the birds were blown afar; they could not fly that much to return to their darling village. According to some others, the birds died very much the same way the mongoose and jackals did. None of them are seen anywhere around.

In fact it was not crow alone who have vanished from our habitat. There were sparrows, the dickey little bird under our thatched roofs. We used to get disturbed when they created ruckus. They used to preen and prim before the wall mounted mirrors-it was really funny to look at. They disappeared one day from our village and they have not come back yet. Then there were vultures. They were not exactly the inhabitants of our village, but they knew when their presence was required. They used to come in groups and finish their job happily. They were funny and dutiful. They have also stopped visiting our village since donkey's years.

Now return of a crow with its sweet cawing is a welcome event in my village. Nobody celebrates it, but everybody is happy-as if her lost son has returned, her naughty son has come back.
A. N. Nanda