17 March, 2007

litter spitter

Someone asked me a weird question the other day. "Are you a literary person?"
Am I a literary person? I don't believe I actually gave that question the few picoseconds of my attention it got. And to think I'm writing an entire blog entry on it? I must be beserk.

Is being literary gauged by the number of books one reads? The number of poets one admires? The number of debates one does? The number of stories one writes? Isn't all of the above sheer bunkum? The illiterate truck-driver who spews out obscenities a-mile-a-minute is literary too. He uses his words not to glorify, not to explain, but to emphasize, to express. And expression is the fundamental need for which words were invented in the first place. Words have always held me spell-bound, their inexhaustible richness, intricate dynamics, nuances, their fascinating way of arranging into strings of moulded thoughts, enveloped lives.

When I see a jalebi tail of a stray dog, I am happy to be alive, to be able to share his joy, if only as an audience. I want to spread it. Words rescue me.

A friend confides - we whisper - conspirators of utter silliness, giggling our way through harmless tales. Words juggle along our waves of suppressed laughter. Shared and enjoyed.

I write my thoughts with sharpened lead pencils in words which creep into my mind. I sing songs with words I love. In the absense of the words, the hum is even better, just as our shadows are more intriguing than a mirrorred reflection.

What is it about words that capture our souls? You read a beautiful poem and revel in its richness. A good book promises many pages of unadulterated infinitely superior pleasure.

And you ask me if I am literary? Who isn't? Does such a thing as an "un-literary" person even exist?


  1. literally literate?!! languages are so user friendly....literally!

  2. Anonymous5:56 pm

    Action speak more than words

  3. Anonymous9:13 pm

    You still did not get the question. The question literary was in the sense you prefer bookish knowledge over actual experience.What you emphasized on was words and thoughts

  4. Farther than what sees the biggest metallic eye.
    From the land of dragons and eternal sunshine.
    I come with a promise to give what’s denied,
    I make dreams that, when shattered, will make you cry.
    My lullaby is bliss unknown to you.
    And my concoction, a potent solution of forty winks.
    I brew my potions with dexterity of an alchemist;
    I promise the philosopher’s stone and I grant it.

  5. he was the vendor of words too...........and he came from a land far far away

    the person accused in the introductory lines might have meant the written word and considered it synonymous with literature....expression however transcends language

  6. and you finally end up exalting the beauty of words and how they express your thoughts in such vivid colors...

    so u see....u shamble along but end up at the right place.....paying ur daily tribute at the altar of words

  7. ahem. this is like the one about "what kinda muic dya like"

    so u dont want to be in a slot. good ... i know the feeling

  8. anon:I think I got the question.
    literary certainly doesn't pertain to bookish knowledge. anyway we are entitled to our own interpretations :)

    lanky: speaking of words when is the psuedonym coming off? (referring to "lanky")

    aqua: o jetseter o jetsetter, when will thy descend to our humble abode?

  9. Once in a puddle of myriads I stood
    Kissing upon the brow, letting me avow;
    While I question! While I question!
    Oh God! Can I not grasp, them to a tighter clasp?
    One from the pitiless wave, why do I gush?
    Is that all we see or seem is a dream within a dream?
    Or do I roar in the self tormented shore;
    Perhaps molds society’s doctrine, lies our lessons ingrained,
    Yet how do they creep, through my fingers to deep;
    It is therefore not the less gone, it is about the life we choose!!
    Time is nigh, dreads to purge;
    I answer the life the way I please!!!!

  10. not
    it's my school nick

  11. Please don't take the following personally, mademoiselle.

    Specious (some of the piece)
    It’s a skilful piece of writing if you read it in isolation from the central question that you’ve asked. The words are neatly put etc. But your arguments in the piece versus your reply to anon, smack of self-contradiction. Anon is right, the question pertains to a different sense than the one you interpreted. It asked you one of the following: whether you preferred bookish learning over experience/ or whether you were pedantic/ or –and this is what I think was asked-whether you were well read. Once again you will argue that one is entitled to ones own interpretations --doesn't that really attenuate the power of words. And you have been arguing in favor of their strength. The truth is that words really are inert. For example, all of us understand the word “literary” very differently. They are a form of expression but are inexact. Words are SOUNDS that born out of frustration. Frustration from isolation.
    When you see the jalebi tail of a dog and wanna share your joy with words, but how do you know they understand. Yes, the illiterate truck driver’s gaali/atto second is a form of expression. But that doesn’t make him a literary person. His gaalis are simply a reflection of the fact that we are a civilized society. Freud -The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilisation. This is me being literary- well read.

  12. rohit: read well sir...u think this is about being well read?
    yes i agree i did stray away from the literary part and harped on and on about words and their blah blah charm. but i beg to differ about the interpretation of the question. guess the context it was asked in would put things into a different perspective...
    glad 2 see u here :D

  13. Anonymous3:27 pm

    u gave a comment on this peice urself...'Am I a literary person? I don't believe I actually gave that question the few picoseconds of my attention it got. And to think I'm writing an entire blog entry on it? I must be beserk'...
    wat do i say.. :P




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