There’s a reason why we learn to read before we learn to write. As a writer, we’re expected to read other writings. We can choose not to, and that still doesn’t make anyone a lesser writer.

As a reader, we can disagree with the content – but surely we can’t criticize a writing or the writer. So, it’s either agree, disagree or ignore.

Can’t stop anyone from writing. That’s taking away the basic ‘freedom of expression’, which is everyone’s favorite three words, in India these days.

But how about writing lines that pry open the basic fabric of our constitution? Instead of burning papers, perhaps we should just criticize like mad. But remember, that not everyone criticizes by writing. Neither can writers take the moral high ground of being better people because they criticize on paper. All kind of people, at every level, are allowed to criticize in whatever way they find suitable.

So I take deep offense when some journalist, like Barkha Dutt or the very articulate Congress man, Shashi Tharoor – ridicule those who may not be educated enough to do it in a certain way and use a different language or process of criticism. Do they really think only the English -speaking people (with the correct accent) have the copyright of ethical protests. I have seen more lies coming out of the intellectual class than many others!

And yes, I am talking of criticism, not threats.


Friends forever

Definition of “friends” is interesting. Its also probably the least looked for. Everyone is so damn sure of what it means.

And here lies the beauty of the relationship. Everyone has their own personal definition of it, which most likely matches with at least one more’s. And that one is enough to give each of us the confidence to say that we know exactly what friends are all about.

The simple definition of “a person who you like and enjoy being with” is generic enough to include even the one you love to be part of it. And love being the complicated thing it is, has seeped into our definition of friendship to make sure that not many things overlap.

After all, how many friends do you ask “Do you love talking to me?” even if it is with the most platonic of intentions. And how many will simply smile back and say “I do”, turn and walk away.

In good times, friends are the ones who are compromised. Take the street dogs, you met everyday for the last year for example, before shifting to a new town/new job/new girl.

“one that is not hostile” – now here’s a definition that even a passer-by can associate with. Surprised that “one who wishes you well” is not included in it.

Friendship has to be related to luck. More the definitions that you accumulate, luckier you are.

I’ve had fewer friends than relationships. Friends are hard to come by. There is no good friend, because there never is a bad one.


Figures o’ peach

English has defeated me multiple times. And, it’s not just an Indian thing, you know. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense! there are no phonetic rules..everyone does what they feel like with it.. oh okay, so maybe there is an Indian thing going on around here.

Well, anyway.

Today, I spent five minutes thinking.

No, no…it doesn’t end there.

I spent five minutes of my precious shower time thinking of appropriate usage of ‘cut-out‘ and ‘made for‘.

I mean, am I cut-out to be a chef/writer/scientist? or am I made for it?

I reached an interpretation, a personal contribution to the language we often muck up (although it already is much more than just that).

I’m going to use ‘cut-out‘ to represent a characteristic from an existing population, which started out being heterogenous however became completely homogenous after a point of time. Something like how we roll out a dough of a mixture, homogenous in composition – and cut out figures from it, of different shapes and size. Essentially having the same composition with different proportions. There could be many.

And I’m going to use ‘made for‘ for someone who (I perceive) not only qualifies but is exceptionally suitable for a particular situation/job, and has something more to offer above the homogeneity or maybe not, but nevertheless, perfect for the job at hand. I suppose, made-to-order. And most likely, incapable of doing anything else, any better.

And who decides perfection?..guess that should be another debate altogether.

P.S: I have years of experience in screwing up the English language. I suppose I’m absolutely cut-out for writing here.