Journal Entries and Musings of a Lazy Author – Sabarna Roy

Sabarna Roy was born in Calcutta on December 15, 1967. He is presently working as a Senior Vice President of Business Development at Electrosteel Castings Limited. Sabarna Roy is a much awarded, critically acclaimed, bestselling author of 6 literary books and 1 technical book from Kolkata, India.

1.) Some erotic stories do not kick-start in our lifetime although they have the potential spark to generate enormous electricity. On the other hand there are many erotic stories that wither away in the long run with time like leaves die. We all go through a mixture of such stories in our lives. The stories that did not start linger in our mind like dolorous reminders – what if! Mind you, the potential of those uninitiated stories to change the course of our lives, including how we evolve as persons, is very high compared to the initiated stories of erotic love.

2.) Reverse jump cut – in the past – 25 years – almost – approximately – a full-moon night – after midnight – on the terrace of a G+3 newly built apartment block – on the fringes of the city violently pushing against the margins of a crumbling suburban landscape – full of dreams – a series of conquests – a bright disc of silver hanging in the sky – an elderly friend of mine and I – a telescope in between us – a gazer of stars and galaxies – well, planning to show me what is a sky and infinite continents of space – a wise man – hating my absolute love for rock music – dismissing it as ‘boyish elitism’.

A night redefined!

We smoked hard. We smoked hard – only nicotine fellas! We discussed Dakghar. We recited Wasteland. Death was looming large on our sub-conscious.

Then he asked me to take a drooling walk to the phallic instrument chilling in the night – his love and work of love.

“Boy you could look at the moon both ends from! This end from it looks like a shining piece of nut. And this end from it blazes on you like a scorching sun … So you see; there is nothing right or wrong!”

I asked parched in smoke, “Is there no perfect way of life on earth? Ideals to follow? Creating and adding on to the civilization of men? No right and wrong! Live like dogs, do we?”

He whispered in my ears, “You hate dogs, don’t you? There are ways. There are no ways still. A creative man must learn to suffer multiple takes on life. A creative man must strive for his absolute solitude to unburden his load on us. He walks through the world but returns to his cave. Your cave is this universe of galaxies, constellations and pacing heavenly bodies. You are a banished soul attempting to be a part of this colossal space. Don’t you feel like that? How tiny you are, my boy!”

We fell silent for a long time – looking at the sky – and then we fell asleep! Dreaming: this sleep will take us away …

3.) Sanchita Guha aka Mimi, my very talented saali, wanted me to write my own obit page in her friend’s blog. I thought about it and concluded that I would never remember a wasted monkey (and, fat) like me. So why would anybody else remember me! Secondly, I would neither like to be remembered because I just do not qualify the minimum credentials. I have been cruel, selfish (now that my children are grown-up I have also started hating children: angels of light and hope), self-centered and vulgar all my life. I have never stood up for anybody or even myself (that is the biggest crime I have done). I have never been overwhelmed by the sufferings of fellow human beings. I have always looked the other way. Contrarily I have put on the mask of a concerned gentleman looking for an eager audience. I am not gentle in any case; I am arrogant. I have not enjoyed my life for I was never passionate enough. My comparison of myself to a monkey is misplaced, I am factually worse than a monkey. And monkeys are not bad by any stretch of imagination, Mimi would agree with me. Am I a godzila then? Animal lovers like Mimi would protest my comparison of wretched me to the varied heavenly animals on this planet. I have no consistent body of work. I cannot sing. Nor can I play any musical instrument. I cannot even dance. In the name of love, I have done duties by actually organizing them through others. Secretly, I have always wished to own a company of slaves who would be at my beck and call. I am a good womaniser (although I am fat) and I have neglected even this talent of mine. What a perverse waste of your only life?

4.) When the autumn sunshine made of gold warms up your back
You know in your heart
The winter is not far away

When the sky is ultramarine and spotted with cotton-ball like clouds floating like fairies
You know in your heart
The winter is not far away

When you wake up in the night shivering because of midnight chill
You know in your heart
The winter is not far away

When you can feel your lips and skin drying up and cracking
You know in your heart
The winter is not far away

When you crave for a cauliflower roast along with the opening course of your Sunday lunch
You know in your heart
The winter is not far away

We, who dwell in tropical metropolis, beating perpetual heat, dust and sweat
Yearn for our fleeting winters
Like the Eskimos yearn for their cold summers

5.) If we would make museums out of our memories they would serve as very good benchmarks to understand our own lives. And some of them would be works of art, which could be appreciated by one and all. What stops us from making personal and private museums? Effort, of course, because you would require tons of it and patience in doing so. This idea struck me when I was reading Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence a few years back. We as a nation and also as a continent are not much inclined towards museum construction, refurbishment and maintenance and also paying a visit to a museum. Our major museums are poorly maintained and attended. Museum is a habit of the West – mainly, Europe. Our own museums unlike the public museums should be reconstruction of our own lives, revolving around all kinds of incidents and anecdotes: happy, pensive, important, unimportant, passionate, compassionate, all. This will have substantial anthropological value and would require training, which should be inculcated at the school and high-school levels. Museum construction requires a meeting of various kinds of skills. This will throw up a serious branch of training not to be trapped in the mugging-and-examination mode and would seriously become a fountainhead for many hidden talents to flower. At the end of the day, we take resort to serious art because we want to comprehend our own incomprehensible lives. What better way could there be if we could recreate it with our own hands and brain?

6.) Nowadays I cannot argue beyond a point of making my case, that is all; I have just lost the steam. Another proof that I have become an old man. I love listening to various points of view instead. I will make my opening move and then withdraw. There was a time when I was a reasonably good debater. Well, long time back … maybe. I also do not feel the emotion of anger nowadays. There is more or less a feeling of resignation. In general, I am always searching for words while talking in a group. But I am very comfortable while writing. One thing that I love is silence: locked inside a chilly, deathly-silent room with random thoughts passing through my mind like a north-westerly wind. Silence excites thoughts.

7.) Half my life I have spent wondering: what is home; what constitutes a home. Lastly, I have concluded home is a place, a shelter that primarily protects you from the ravages of nature. The ancient definition still holds good for me. The secondary add-ons are fringe elements. Still the idea of home is illusive. And: what is love; what constitutes love. I am ultimately reduced to the idea that love is a transient expansive feeling reverberating in our chest that rides on the passion of conquering another person primarily initiated by lust for that person; while the passion of lust withers away with time, the propensity of conquest lingers on. So don’t I read love stories/poems or watch films made around love stories? I do but do not enjoy them much. At times I wonder if love was this as portrayed; life would have been a blessing. Still the idea of love is illusive. I hate the romantic approach to life. Romanticism is part sentimentalism and part mythologizing and takes away objectivity (which is the building block for serious art) in approach and attitude. Romanticism is also an antidote to black humour and being truly passionate about something. My son asked me how I wanted him to prepare for his Semester 3 (which is critical to his summer internship at the University of Surrey); I replied, with the intensity of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Gangs of Wasseypur 2! I like the detachment of Meaursalt in The Outsider (Albert Camus) or that of Dr Rieaux in The Plague (Albert Camus) or that of Michael Corleone in Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola).

8.) Intuition is the key to understanding and unlocking of any kind of mystery. Whatever enables the power of intuition is good for the human race. And, this power is also genetic but requires intense nurturing. Educational institutions especially would have to pitch in in this effort. Munich University where Albert Einstein had studied and many other great intellectuals did, was/is a place, which is famous for nurturing intuitive geniuses. What makes an institution so special? I wonder but get no specific answer. There are many things operating at the same time: autonomy and non-interference of the political establishment, the liberal atmosphere, the quality of the faculty and infrastructure, the faculty-student ratio, the faculty-student relationship, the way classes are delivered, the syllabi, stress on creative and thinking capabilities rather than on the mugging and examination mode, permissibility of various opinions to co-exist, and, possibly many other things. In India the reverse is happening now; well, it has happened earlier as well but now things are taking a very worse shape. Take the examples of: Trinamool’s interference in every administrative step in the cases of Jadavpur University and Presidency University in Kolkata (earlier the Left Front had literally killed all the educational institutions worth its repute in Kolkata barring JU and Presidency College, which are now being gobbled up by the present dispensation) and the primeval comments of Dr. Subramaniam Swamy when he was mooted to become the VC of JNU.

9.) Is it true that somebody somewhere is waiting for you forever? You never get to reach there in your lifetime. In spite of all the breathless expeditions that you undertake.

10.) People love exotic birds. Go after them. Shoot them. Put the prints up in exhibitions. Other people are awed by their multi-layered existence.

I am moved by – crows and mynas, whom we experience almost every day.

I am drawn to tears by the sighting of – crows flying against a blue azure sky, a bunch of crows waiting on transmission wires against an overcast gray sky, a herd of mynas bobbing on a green wet field.

The lucidity and nativity of crows and mynas remind me of Chinese folk poems.


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