My earliest memory is of practicing pattern writing with wax-crayons under the tutelage of my Grandma. I never liked wax-crayons, and at that point of time, I didn’t understand a bit why they were forcing me to do such an exercise. In those days of CESC going bankrupt ‘load-shedding’ was a daily ritual – with the magic of her candle-light stories, that she renewed each evening, I forgot about the figures in my double-lined notebook and floated into the land of blue fairies, zeppelins and pomegranate trees… I don’t have any other memory of my Grandma.
There is something about anonymity.
I didn’t write my first poem. I pestered my father to pen one for me for the school magazine. Much to the dismay of my father it never got printed. Much later, I got to know the reason for its rejection: it was anonymous, and anonymity is never appreciated in schools. But somewhere in the serpentine curve of this incident, it ceased to be my dad’s and became my first poem.
Anonymity is two way. It can be of the speaker, like the juvenile blank calls, the instructions on a railway platform, graffiti, etc. At others it can be of the audience: like in a confession box, soliloquy, dreams, answer sheets in tests, newspaper columns and so on.
When I look at a red tie, I know I have to talk about the red tie. When I see my friends watching football of TV, I know what I have to say. When I get a glimpse of the white strap, I know its best to turn away. When I see you after ten years, I shall not forget to twinkle my eyes with tears. The clockwork runs, Prometheus remains chained. When I know you from your knock, why blame me for not opening the door.
Anonymity is universal. Anonymity is honest. Anonymity is as clueless as a kid in a candy store. And as brave as a mule in Manhattan.