Ah! Another year just passed by in a flash & there was little I could do about my greying all this while. Just a couple of years ago on this day when I was feeling peevish on one crucial technicality in my biodata changing for worse (as virtually all of my medico-legal rights / insurance premiums turned immensely costlier in the matter of few minutes as midnight struck) there came a truly unexpected notification. Voila! It was a wedding invitation from a close friend who had studied with me in my post graduation course almost a decade ago!! Goodness gracious me! My buddies are still getting married & that means I am not as old as the world would so desperately want me to feel. What an anti climax of sorts! Agreed that I was not the youngest of them all in my PG course (unlike my engineering days when i would get bullied just for being the youngest) I suddenly felt like a Nouveau Borne all over again!
Coming back to the significance of this momentous day in the history of mankind (pun intended) it indeed marked the birth of someone who would have the audacity to intrude into your thoughts every now & then. Yeah, along way, some of the casualties either humbly "requested" (just as they loved me too much to make me feel bad) to "unsubscribe" them from the list of my intellectual "victims" or they just so royally snubbed me in front of an August audience, forcing me to have a look at the mirror again (to get some real grounding).
Did any of it deter me from setting on to my next (mis)adventure? Dare I say, "not really". It only made me realize my innate strengths & weaknesses as a person first and as a writer later. With my head bowed unconditionally in front of all of "constructive" criticism I would get re-energized for my next fate-accompli just on sporadic encouragements (even from some unexpected quarters at times).
In between all of it I tried to understand all of those who I genuinely believe are doing me a great favour by complimenting my only passion (of writing & just writing) by devoting their so precious time over (reading) it and ocassionally sharing their feedback with me.
Here is presenting my understanding (evolved over a reasonable period of time) of all of my message "recipients".
To each his own! Some of the people have suggested that it becomes ritualistic to just observe a post from me & like it on FB without even reading it! How ordinary stuff? To those who seriously believe that social media (at times) is obligatory I have a humble submission. No one, I repeat, no one can force anyone else (from his/her social circles) on "liking" something, even out of courtesy if the wavelengths of the two don't match and resonance like phenomena is not created between them as a transmitter and a receiver.
I must have at least 500 people I am in regular touch with, both personally as well as professionally. I must be a fool if I were to expect them to be reading all of my stuff thrown upon them. They may not even notice it, forget about liking it or not. At the same time those who honour me by finding precious time from their lives to read my not so "easy on head" n at times irritating pieces just don't like it all the time as a "thumb rule". I don't expect them to do so either.
I have also realized that there are variety of people (among my fancied readers). Many just don't bother to have a look, not 'coz I have composed it & they hold a non-negotiable grudge against me but as they don't read ANYTHING which goes beyond few words & few of them are my best of friends.
A slightly lesser no. gets encouraged to take the plunge (may be basis past motivation about the way I might have narrated then) but then are forced to lose their trust midway as I might not have lived up to their expectation this time (this segment is my biggest concern & I just can't stop ridiculing myself enough for having broken their faith in me).
The third set is of "egoists" who secretly go through what I might have expressed but feel that they shouldn't give me any importance by publicly admitting that they DID read my piece. I know many of them & I just laugh it out in my own head.
Then the last segment which is that of naysayers who wouldn't care to spend one second on what they just happened to notice but would react immediately as a habit. (I would be surprised if even a single person who has ever "liked" any of my posts would have done it as a reflex action and/or out of sheer courtesy though the reverse is not incorrect). Many of them just compulsively mock & so brashly try to pull me down. I know that they do it out of either inferiority complex (since they know that not even in their wildest imagination would they be able to match up to me in this art) or superiority complex (since they feel better accomplished / privileged for whatever reasons).
I just DO NOT care about this last set and it simply doesn't bother me. No matter how hard I try to please them they would still be behaving obnoxiously so what's the point in wasting my time on them? I would rather concentrate on humbly acknowledging my "genuine" critics who know that I know their feedback. That's just good enough for me to keep going & even one such value input (regardless of it being positive or disturbing) does go a seriously long way in me burning the midnight oil on penning my next work (no pun intended).
In between all of it if someone comes up with a genuine appreciation comparing me with (n even finding me better than) a popular writer that sort of makes my day though I am careful to still take that with a pinch of salt. I have a long, long way to go before I fancy anything crazy. I know I just have to be cautious in figuring out who is my serious critic n who is just any other Tom, Dick or Harry. Period.
As for my style of writing I know that it definitely doesn't suit everyone's appetite & I have realized that I can't really help it either. It's my known handicap. I know that loss is entirely mine only as eventually I won't ever have as many admirers (if at all I could dare to call them) as any wanna be writer would fantacize about but that's that! As said already, as long as I have JUST ONE individual whose intellect (or the lack of it) GENUINELY matches with that of mine I stand vindicated.
I take this opportunity to tres pass into your lives once again and whether you like it or not I seek your blessings with folded hands. Please do not act stingy in showering them. Bouquet or brickbats, I shall gracefully accept them with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. Thanks all of you, just for being there and for tolerating me all these years. Trust me guys, you have become only mentally stronger by doing so ;)
(C) Rits Original