Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Some shocking things I encounter

The past few days, I’m holed inside my room transcribing interviews for the story of a life of a man. I’m holed in, too, for a purely online class on How To Write Fiction with the University of Iowa, which gave me pure delight at some time, and pain and torture the next. But now,  realizing what I’ve done, I’m asking myself, why-oh-why didn’t I remember getting Prateesh, and even Sheilfa, to sign into this as well when I signed in a hurry one deadline day the previous months? We could have been into this together! And they would hate me when things get rough and love me when they find such brilliant and inspiring writers such as what I felt when I heard the Russian writer Alan Cherchesov say in the introductory lecture, “to learn how to write, you have to learn how to not write, how to keep silence, to think and to observe.” I’m sure they would have plenty to say about the whole thing that’s why I miss them so much.
Yet, I also think I was a little crazy for signing into this thing when I have rarely been online the past months, when I was always running after some elusive news stories every day, the kind of stories which increase my skin rashes and irritate my nose, causing sudden bouts of sneezing when I interview my sources, embarrassing me and alarming Pamela, who immediately taught me how to irrigate my nose the other day, using Indian technology with some improvisation she learned on the web! 
I never knew she’s a magician, this Pam Chua, and it’s beautiful when you get a taste of such magic at the most difficult time of your life, when I’m always shuttling back and forth to Bansalan and here, keeping an eye of my old folks, unobtrusively because they do not want to be kept an eye on, “like hapless children,” father says, so, I keep going back and forth, keeping an eye on them without making them feel I’m keeping an eye on them; but as a result I’m quite shocked and horrified of the things that I discover there.  
What shocked and horrified me most are my sisters, who think the old folks will live forever and so, they trust them to strangers, instead of informing me so that I can properly take action for their safety.  It really horrifies me that the helper’s judgment is better than those of my sisters, what a shame, when my sisters, were supposed to be, “educated,” Titing didn’t even go to college, but she knows how to deal with the world, she has wide-open eyes, not blinded with delusion or wealth, she has both feet planted firmly on the ground, and not on the steering wheel of a car.  But looking back, I realized, it must have largely been the sisters' mis-education, the kind of education that is prevailing in the country before and now, who can blame them? I was quite unlike them. I was the odd one out in the family. Owing to my extreme unhappiness, I left home at 17, to study in the University of Life.  I disappeared and learned many things in a life of simplicity and struggle. They stuck to their boring lives and now, they social climb. Their kind of friends are not really my kind of  friends, and now they end up totally trusting and naive, and this really is quite a shocking thing to me.
When I see the mess at home, I get the feeling that we’re back to the Stone Ages, or was it the Stone Ages, before such thing as political organization was invented? Was it the reason that our people were easily conquered, subjugated, because we are so disorganized, and we let emotions rule over our mind? They’re so irrational and you can’t even talk sense with them!

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