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This was a foregone conclusion. W for Writing.
Mmm you think so?

Of course. I remember the good old Dear Diary days of ours.
Haha. Those were some days!
And the many letters you wrote, especially to me…
Shh….! Those are between you and me, Me-in-me.

*****

I have always loved writing. No two ways about that. The proof lies in the two things. The time I spent on my Dear Diary writings and the many letters I wrote.

In my teens I was your quintessential Dear Diary gal. But the writings were not about my day-to-day life. Instead I filled my diary with thoughts on the books I read. Kinda ironical considering I don’t do reviews in the present, huh? To be fair, they weren’t reviews in the traditional sense. More like me talking to a ‘friend’ – the diary in this case – of my personal take on the books I read. There was no one else to discuss the books with, few of my peers liked the kind of books that I read. Besides, frankly, though I am ashamed to admit it now, I rather looked down upon those of them who could only ‘talk’ Mills and Boon novels.

Or perhaps, it was that I felt my feelings about the books were intensely personal and not to be shared with others. I still feel ‘reviews’ are extremely personal in nature. The characters, the plot, the likes and dislikes, the inconsistencies (I remember a character of Agatha Christie leaving a book on a park bench for another, but when the loose ends were tied, there was no mention whatsoever of the incident and that was simply not okay with me!), what worked for me, what didn’t, passages I liked… It all poured out with ease onto the pages of my diary.

Then there were the letters I wrote. Father being in a transferable job, we kept moving. I always made sure to write to those friends I left behind. Long chatty letters, not that I always got replies. So most of the exchanges petered out soon, much to my sorrow. Making pen-pals while in college, and writing to them was another opportunity I got to write (and also receive) letters. But many of the replies would be skeletal in nature making one wonder why they had their names in the pen-pals list in the first place.

Family members too received letters from me. If an Uncle sent me a gift, I made sure to write and thank him, but my letter never would be confined to that one fact. Making my letters interesting was of great interest to me. Soon after marriage, the L&M and I started writing to each other every day. The postman became the most important man in our lives whenever we stayed apart. Parents and siblings, and mother-in-law too were sent cheerful news-filled letters.

Now I think of it, all those letters I wrote were much like the posts I write here today. A little fact, a little philosophy, a little humor, and a whole lot of nonsense, you know, the usual fare as far as I am concerned. To think those letters were actually the precursors of the blog posts of today! The only difference is that no one really appreciated those letters, not even when I wrote about the Duryodhan Syndrome could I draw out a chuckle from anyone. The hilariously worded mock-rant about the time the Second Born and his other four year old friends demolished the basket of apples on the dining table only drew a serves-you-right-daughter-law response from the dear mother-in-law. Then there have been the times my reference to characters from English stories, meant to be funny, fell flat on its face, and instead of evincing a smile, put me in the dock as a Mocker of People.

In a nutshell what I meant to convey – in too many words – is the fact that what I write here had as its stepping stone the many dear-diary notes and the even more letters I wrote in the past. Or do I mean they were my whetstones ?

© Shail Mohan 2020