Monday, January 30, 2017

A Few Words to You, My Non-Malayali Friends

If I do not write this small note, I will not be able to sleep tonight; or I feel so. As a person with no sense of attachment or guilt, my sleep is more or less trouble free. But today, for the whole day I have been looking at the ‘likes’ that my non-Malayali friends giving to my notes written in Malayalam. I am afraid that in their innocence they are clicking the ‘like’ button on something that they do not believe in or they do not understand. My Facebook has very few Malayali friends and maximum number of non-Malayali friends and I appreciate and respect their presence there as I could find the world in which I live in through their pages, the ways in which they think, they paint, sculpt, their choices and their allegiance etc. I know that these new mediums give us a lot of unnecessary information and make us almost addicted to these useless snippets of knowledge. However, when a person of your interest puts something there you tend to look at it, read it at times and at times give a ‘like’ to it. I find it as a great honour though I do not have the habit to liking anything so liberally.

I deem the ‘likes’ that I get for my Malayalam writings from my non-Malayali friends as an act of appreciation which I value a lot. But at the same time I feel that I am depriving them of the content of what I am writing; what I am engaging in/with. It is always not easy to translate all what I write in the regional language, especially when I write poems that someone from the learned people in the field says that show the spark of poetic genius. I wish I could share all what I write in Malayalam with all of my non-Malayali friends but a lot of background information is needed especially when I write discursive pieces in Malayalam. Today I wrote something about the Kochi Muziris Biennale, which in fact is an absolutely anti-Biennale piece. I thought the likes that I got from the non-Malayali friends were for the misguiding picture which showed the declaration of the curator’s name for the current biennale. Perhaps, my facebook friends must have thought about it as a piece of appreciation but I need to tell you the truth; it was an article that condemned the Biennale as a whole and the ideologies working around it.

As a writer there is always some sort of urgency from my side to ‘write’, to externalize what has been felt internally. I do know that the immediate translation of the internal feelings and impressions could be faulty at times and may not be substantiated by citations and footnotes. But as a writer who is more interested in the act of writing than the research that goes behind the writing, I do not feel the need to go for verification of all what I write. In fact my life is an ongoing research and I do not differentiate one day from the other; living in the present I keep reading and writing. The urge is so strong that I feel at times ashamed of myself for writing so much. At times some of my friends at least have advised me against putting things instantly in the facebook. They all believe that facebook postings do not have the shelf value. They are partially right and partially wrong. Those writers who have published some substantial works approach me and tell me that they expect my comments on their books. I always wonder why they ask me this because compared to them I am not a ‘published’ author. Though I have quite a few books to my credit they are all not published by the mainstream publishers. However, I wonder why people take me seriously as a writer; they do so because of my facebook writings. I do not differentiate between what I write in my notebooks (which I do regularly) and what I put there in the facebook. But I do feel at times to stop writing in facebook altogether. But facebook has become a material reality; one cannot evade it.

I take three different personalities while I write; one, JohnyML, the art critic, two, Aksharananda, the Spiritualist and three, the Malayalam writer who involves in matters head on or writes poetry. Someone could feel that there is an internal contradiction in being all three at once or in succession. But I do not feel any difference between these three personalities. They are one and the same; the manifestation of the same being in different intensities. The essence of me as a writer is the same in all three. Perhaps, the topics that I handle in them differ. While the approach remains the same, the strategies could differ. One has to deal with a physical body as well as a mental body. Besides, one has to deal with an energy body and a knowledge/wisdom body. Together, they provide me with the ananda body, the body of joyfulness. I understand in due course of time two or three of these bodies would become dormant and a couple of them would remain. Then perhaps, my writings would take a different turn, in intensity and in essence. I could feel that happening in me. But in this night I am indebted to you for being with me all these years, reading me, liking me and at times openly and at times secretly criticising me. There are people who blindly like me. I love them because they are led by the bhava of bhakti. They are devoted people. They are not devoted to me but they are devoted to the devotion that they feel towards a person like me or what I do.

So forgive me for writing many things in Malayalam and depriving many of you of the essence of my other writings. One day, who has seen these all wouldn’t be translated in a link language, English? But it is important to have friends like you, who care to look at my page just to see whether I have posted there something or not; just to know and like it without expecting anything in return. I assure you I do not have anything to give you other than the feeling of intense pleasure that you give me and I could do that by engaging with you through my writings. Good night. 

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