I have always been writing for some sort of purpose and not for pleasure. Of course, one did get the heady feeling when one’s name is in print (as I used to feel when I started writing ). But almost all that I have written have something to do with some aspect of the Tibetan issue and my perception of it.
The times have changed with the onslaught of the internet age. Today, personal websites, blogs as well as social networking sites have all led to anyone aspiring to be a writer to fulfill that aspiration without having to wait for the acceptance letter (or more likely the rejection slips) from newspapers or magazines of their articles. You write something that comes to your mind, upload it to your website or blog and in an instant it is already published (Just like I have done with this.)
Friends, colleagues and even editors of magazines for which I have contributed articles have been giving me good advises. Write on topics other than Tibet, one said, adding that it will give me a different perspective. A colleague once asked me why I was not bringing out a compilation of my column that I used to write for Tibetan Review. A younger colleague, who has since joined a creative writing course in a university (luck for her), said I should be writing more of non-serious blogs after reading one such item that I did some months back. Another, a head of an academic institution, suggested that I should write a book (I guess he was thinking of my experience being involved with the Tibetan issue.).
I actually did consider writing an autobiography of sort many years back. I even pondered over the title of the book, deciding to call it “An Ordinary Tibetan.” I wrote a synopsis and even sought advice from Dr. Dawa Norbu during one of my meetings with him in New Delhi. But I have not gone any further than that on this.
My life so far has been such that I did not really have much command over where it was heading.
The reason why I am sharing these thoughts is because today I got into thinking about reasons why people write. Sometimes when I look back at the writings I have done, I feel some sort of fulfillment. I have made some contribution to the Tibetan public’s discourse. I have got some small recognition of sort, whether it is a youngster saying he or she reads my writings or an older person saying he subscribed to what I had to say on some TV or radio program. But then I come across the works of many Tibetans who are doing much more than I am doing but who are not in the limelight, and I wonder how useful I am.
I am writing this as I sit on the couch and there is a rerun of one of the Friends episode on TV. It just finished and now there is a rerun of Two & a Half Men. These are interesting and entertaining shows that poke fun at the follies of society. I particularly like Friends for its ability to engross the audience over issues that are “nothing.” I guess I will take any of these shows over some of the reality shows that seem to be marking this 21st century TV world.
And I am eating some Haldiram’s Moong Dal that we get from the local Indian grocery store.