The laughter that my (older) sister and I sometimes shared with our parents. My father and mother fought or stayed surly for days and weeks on end, often for no reason at all, but when they told stories or shared jokes it was like being in heaven.
The stories that my grandpa, my mother and my uncle told me in my childhood; everything from David Copperfield and Oliver Twist to Sherlock Holmes, Jim Corbett, tales from
Hollywood classics of the 30s, James Hadley Chase and Hercule Poirot … they made up as they went along, and held me enthralled for hours together; there was an added pleasure in reading up the books and watching the movies for myself later on, often years later, and somehow, unconsciously, I imbibed both the taste and the skill, and that skill, more than anything else, is what has kept me in gravy for 25 years now.
Being in love, again and again and again…
The joy of finishing stories of my own.
Organising picnics and excursions, from in my neighbourhood as a child to my college days and as a schoolteacher.
, getting photographed before a real, perfectly-preserved Spitfire that had seen service in the Battle of Britain. America
Doing excellently in examinations and contests, as when ‘If winter comes’ won first prize, or I got a very high rank in the joint entrance for medical colleges, or maxed the TOEFL, or topped the university merit list, or was chosen as one of the translators for Oxford’s Tagore project...
Working as a quizmaster.
Getting paid for my work. It
er ceases to amaze me, and fill me with wonder, 25 years since I got my first envelope. nev
Watching my savings grow, and pulling me up ever so slowly from genteel poverty.
Seeing the relief, joy and gratitude on the faces of many humble but good people to whom I have been of some slight use.
Courting my wife to be.
Seeing my daughter being born, and the first decade of her growing up.
Seeing my writing in print – everywhere, from Basumati, The Statesman and The Telegraph, Misha, Proma, Reader’s Digest, the St.Xavier’s silver-jubilee souvenir, message boards on the Net…
Hearing many old boys and girls acknowledge their awe, their affection and their thankfulness.
Writing To My Daughter.
Being told that Father Gilson died with my letter underneath his pillow.
Getting my own computer, and hooking on to the Internet… the delight of being able to write instantaneously to people around the globe, and find and download every kind of information imaginable – often for free!
Discovering that great writers are still being born as I grow middle-aged, and the realization that they still find devoted readers in large numbers all around the world.
( Nov. 17, 2005)