May 24, 2005

Four people, one woozy

Intriguing few hours the other day. It started with a friend, A, I haven't spoken to in many months, possibly years. (We live in the same city, we like each other, but A and I meet so rarely. One more of those Bombay mysteries). Called to say hello and ask something, and A says, "Congratulations on the Outlook award! I liked your essay. I've been reading your other recent writings too, and I'm so glad you're writing like this, about these things. Many people look forward to what you write. We need your voice out there, just remember that OK?"

Thrilled with this, of course. Who doesn't mind a stroke of the old ego? Not me, for sure. Still thrilled just a few hours later, I find B, someone I've never met, sitting down beside me. Without much of a preamble, B says: "You're Dilip, right? You're the guy who wrote me several notes about my recent article on God and atheism and string theory, and told me about some other interesting article I should read about all this ..."

This rings no bell at all, so I say so, and also say "I'm not really familiar with string theory anyway." Not the right reply, because B looks perturbed: "What, you don't know about string theory? Haven't you read Stephen Hawking?" Me: "Yes, I've read Hawking, but a while ago, and I don't remember the details, and anyway, I really think you have the wrong guy." B carries on, very friendly and chatty: "No, it was you! Anyway, this is what my article was about ..." and for the next 20 minutes, B treats me to a detailed exposition of what God means, and what it has to do with string theory, and where atheism fits in, and I'm starting to feel mildly woozy, not least because B keeps saying I'm supposed to have read all this and reacted to it, and none of it rings bells still.

So I say so one last time, weakly, and B tells me where to go look at "my" notes about his article so I'll know what I wrote. (Later, I looked. Wasn't me).

I'm just recovering from this when C, somebody else I've never met, sits down beside me. The first thing C says to me is: "Are you a socialist?" While I'm wondering what I should say to this, C says, "Don't mind me asking, OK? But I just wanted to tell you, the things you write about, nobody wants to read them. Really, nobody reads your articles. People are just not interested in those things." While I'm wondering what I should say to this, C goes on, very friendly and chatty, "Don't mind me telling you, OK? But I was just wondering, how do you make a living then?" (i.e. how do you make a living when nobody wants to read what you write?)

And while I'm wondering what I should say to this, C gets up and moves on; last seen, C and B are in animated conversation.

Much later, I'm home. Home, and somehow grateful for the certainties of books and towels and family.

24 comments:

Anurag said...

Dilip,

I would like to comment on this post, but since C was so sure about nobody reading your writings, I wondered whether you actually wrote this thing.

Please don't mind me telling you this, OK?

Anurag

Debashish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vikrum said...

Brilliant post.

Sincerely,
"D"

chappan said...

Dilip
Thats why I guess we repeatedly got to hear as kids "You better learn your A,B,C's really well" !!!
Good Post Dilip.

shaun said...

Great post as ever, sir. Shows how we all live in our exclusive universe. Dilip lives in his world of writing, compassionate writing, blogging, home, towels and family. A lives in another world and though they know each other, A and D(ilip) are still separated by thousands of universes, or so it would seem given how they don't meet for ages.

B lives in his world where he considers D a participant even if D denies being one. But that's not important to B. What is important is that he THINKS D is a participant and has a role to play in his thought processes if not his life.

And C's utilitarian univerese can never get him to read and appreciate what D writes, so C thinks it's not only he himself, but NOBODY reads D.

Just imagine what would happen if we all brought our universes to intersect with each other's for some time, if we twisted the self a bit to accomodate the social for some time, momentarily, and then again went back to our universes, to our home, towels and families. Guess what would happen if we had more expereinces of the kind that D had.

Random Ramblings,
E

Sunil said...

So.....does this mean C has actually read your posts, to be able to comment on it? In which case, "nobody reads the stuff you write" cannot be true, can it?

Anyway, people will read anything........wont they?

Anonymous said...

I also am liking Dilipbhayya's compassionate writing. It is full of the cum passion. *giggle*

Sunil said...

Also nominated this one for the next blogmela......let me know if you object.
Can't help it if something Rashomon like (one of my fav movies)is this good, and this real!

Suhail said...

Good one Dilip..& kinda wanted to say the same what shivam said. And given that there are only 26 characters... I'll take mine.

~S

Dilip D'Souza said...

Anurag, the thing is this: I did actually write this thing, but you didn't read it. I hope you mind me telling you.

Sunil, nominate away! Most grateful. I hope you don't mind me telling you.

D and E and S and the rest of you: thank you. I mind telling you.

Roshan said...

Circles of Life. We all need C as much as we need A, and B is for fun.

Back after 2 weeks. Wish I had the time to keep reading, cause I'd like to.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful how often D'Souza works self-praise into his blogs.

Vikrum said...

It's also wonderful that all of the people who criticize D'Souza do so anonymously.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Not true Vikrum. I criticize D'Souza and I don't do it anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Nahi yaar.. Anon-1 is right. Dilip's posts are generally self-righteous and almost always self-congratulatory. Sometimes nausiatingly so.

But then, all this anon log ka criticism is water of a donkey's back na?

-Anon,too :-)

(Dil pe mat le yaar.. you write well.. but yeh comment valid hain.. carry on..)

Yet Another Anon said...

You right Dilip. You don't criticize D'Souza anonymously.
I guess you don't defend D'Souza anonymously either.
You know, how hard is to login as Vikrum or Suhail.

Or maybe I just barged into a head-nodders and mutual back-scratchers club.

Yazad Jal said...

Dear Vickrum

I take umbrage at the statement "all of the people who criticize D'Souza do so anonymously." Not only do I criticize Dilip publicly, I have the temerity to get rediff to publish it ;-)

Vikrum said...

Anon,

Funny you mention the "mutual back-scratchers club." We're having our mutual back scratchers meet at Cafe Coffee Day in Bandra next Saturday. Bring a shirt with a zipper in the back so that you can scratch and be scratched. Also, don't forget to shave the backhair.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Vikrum, this is to inform you that I hereby annul my membership to the backscratchers' club because, like Groucho Marx, I refuse to be a member of a club that would admit me as a member.

Besides, where's the meeting of the head-nodders' club?

Vikrum said...

D'Souza,

They have a saying in regards to Rolls-Royce buyers: if ask for the price, then you can't afford it.

Well, same goes for the head-nodders club. If you ask for the location, sorry, you ain't invited.

Sriram,

Headnodders meet same place, same time.

Anonymous said...

Besides, where's the meeting of the head-nodders' club?

BTW, make sure there's a public toilet close by. Dilip would be lost without it.

uma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
uma said...

Just came back to your blog to seek out this post because a similar weird thing has been happening to me this week! It takes all kinds, even those we could maybe do without...

U

wise donkey said...

just for the record, i do read the articles, and like them.