Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Other Side of Me.

You see, at times, we are bogged down by work and most often, by the environment and humans in it - puny, sloppy, snobby, quirky, lazy, etc.,. What is positive and negative, I still wonder, and I have had left reading for couple of months. This perilous act of mine, to remain 'illiterate educated literate uneducated' started sometime in 2015, and no matter how hard I tried, I always seemed so lost to read.

Let me not google and let me take a risk, I believe it was  sometime in 2007 when Sidney Sheldon died, maybe it was 16th January 2007? Nope it was 30th January 2007. Okay, when he died, it was then that I came to know that he was a man and not a woman.



During High School days, I would read a lot. The heaviest book I had come across then was The Count Of Monte Cristo, some 1500 pages of thick book, and boy did I fell in love with Alexandra Dumas. Then I was Charles Dickens fan, then Jeffry Archer got me hooked, then came in Sidney Sheldon. I won't read back blurb of the books, most of the times, read what friends recommended (landed me reading one of Nicolas Sparks and three of Mills and Boons) and I always presumed those authors to be someone whom I had thought they would be, and I was always wrong. Like I had no freaking idea that Alexandra Dumas was partial African, that Danielle Steel was a lady, Sidney Sheldon was a man, Charles Dickens never went to school & Jeffrey Archer was one time MP. Yes, horrendous act you might think to be a lover of books, well what can I say? We all have our moments of embarrassments? Crime and Detective kicked in high school and Ruskin Bond stories were baffling and I wondered why Anton Chekov and Arthur Conan Doyle wrote prolific stories while they could earn fortunes out of being Doctors? In these, O' Henry (Sounds more like Wai Henri for locals), I would only know you were a writer and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorain Gray had to find me. I haven't read most of Oscar's works but he did have some pejorative titles of works which would make any feminists of this era pms - A Woman of no Importance? Even Feminist would be very brute over him, if he had gone for some LGBT riots, let alone the homophobic-s. While anecdotes of Gandhi inspired me, life of Abrahim Lincoln mesmerized me, I always got spooky feeling while I read Hitler and his band of brothers, who were from the hood like, Idi Amin and Stalin.

But college was fun, Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown shook the world, inserted ideas about the probability of fornication of a man crucified on the cross with agonizing nails, what had he done wrong to Mr. Dan? I was set on my own voyage with Che Guevara along with his Motor Cycle Diaries and Cuban Revolutionary War. While I read Jaswant Singh's Jinnah and got myself into Chetan Bhagat, how stupid I feel now, to have missed Khuswant Singh. Why aren't people in India aspiring to be more like Khuswant Singh than Chetan Bhagat?

Philosophies of Democritus trickled my funny bones and Khaled Hosseini's memoirs of post wars Afghanistan were intriguing, melodious and sad at the same time, I finally had laid my hands on Amish's Shiva Triology while I had Gurcharan Das as my mistress over his classic - The difficulty of being Good. While I came across the greatest American Novelist Mark Twain and his plot of The Prince and the Pauper, and it made me loiter around the House of Tudors, I desired of being Henry the VIII during his youthful days. I had only wished Nikola Tesla had written a novel - all his plots might have been dazzling for it would sound like sci-fi and won't be fiction at all.

After a long void, I opened this book The Other Side of Me in the month of May and read some 25 pages in a go and left. I had to leave because I was busy. Let me be blank honest here on, let's not hide anything. Judge me all you can, say whether this is a showoff or whatever, let me pen it down - keyboard it out to be precise.

So, I had this idea about writing a technical compendium and visit few colleges in country, and the business proposal competition happened so I worked there - write up didn't take much time but being in and around Thimphu did. Then there were other things that kept me busy, like essays and drawings for friends. Then there is this date line that I can't miss, coming up in the month of August, whereby I have to submit a research paper and I had small projects side by side, you know, small designs - not much money in it but interesting ones - which I find interesting to get involved in.

Planning for a radio program and while doing all these, I suddenly became so unproductive. At work, I have had this few calculations to do, which isn't that tough but it has become monotonous, say some three years have been gone for engineers to come up with some rates. Not many manuals are there which could guide us and the ones which are there are too abstruse and outdated, and in all these, I seriously lost the part whereby I was productive. No outings like before and most of all, not meeting and socialising with friends like before.

In all these hassle of sorting out schedules, and actually doing things, I bummed into this book by Sidney Sheldon again, 25 pages I had read in the month of May. How was this going to help me? He was a successful writer during our age and why read him? Those thoughts crawled upon my mind, and just like all those books, I put it in my back pack and left for office. At office, my work which I had worked on, needed to be revised again - because the manuals are outdated and not many have done analysis of rates for Hydropower sectors in Bhutan. I have kept in touch with people who were involved with DPR preparation, from and outside Bhutan, and still after so many years, we haven't come up with rigid methodology which can actually resolve most of the things.

While gazing at monitor, I remembered I had to write back to Jean, I have received his seven letters so far and I had only replied to him once. I will write about his letters next time. But I felt bad that I hadn't written back to him. I wonder how mad Jean is with me? Then I read two of his letters and jotted down few points and inquiries to reply. Then I stumbled back to the book, and I read it - it's Sidney Sheldon - how long will it take?

By the way, Sidney Sheldon, Mills and Boons, and Crime and Detective, these three books were considered Chara Books during our high school days. Today, Fifty Shades of Grey might be reviewed by some teenager in ninth grade?

While reading Sidney Sheldon's book, it got interesting. In those first 25 pages, he had gone from being a suicidal teenager to a coat hanger to usher to barker. And then, there I found him, like his father Otto said, "flip the pages, you never know what's next". I don't know how he was in person, but while I read his autobiography, I was very much inspired by his story. How he made it to Broadway, Hollywood, Television Shows and finally into Novels. Above all, I liked the pace with which he had worked. I realized then, it is going to be busy for everybody, or nobody, but it is the choice we make - we choose to work hard - being busy or not is secondary. I was very much inspired by - he being bicoastal, he delivering those scripts out of desperation and over short periods of time, he always being skeptical over his own work, his little funny witty jokes in those pages, and he being writer, producer, director, and everything. I can't explain it to you, but maybe certain things like getting inspired by - we just stay awestruck without words.

So that was what it did to me. After a long break, I went back to reading and completing a novel. And that being of a great figure, I felt very good inside. It was like reading Old Man and the Sea for me again. While most got bored over the Old Man dragging that 18 feet long fish for days, I on the shores found epiphany - not to give up upon something one has committed to, that no matter how tough it gets, and even if we don't get what we want in our lives, there's always room for appreciation for one's hard work, giving out our bests. And just like that, it was as if like an abandoned lance being found by the right knight, I found my mojo to work. Sorry Sailesh Sir, your write up is on its way, tomorrow morning you will have it in your mail.

Don't give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don't listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself. ~ Sidney Sheldon

Might sound narcissistic, but like someone once told me, "it's your madness that I am in love with." We all want the American Dream with American Cheese and Pepperoni Pizzas, while we act so mellow and lock away all our emotions and accolades, hugging our rugged nugget dreams and go to sleep, compromising over lovers and situations suitable for what our current positions of locations, family or stigma compel us, only to be found painfully letting go of the chillies we ate previous nights, going easy and giggling over atsaras nabbing wooden phallus between our legs - one should dare to dream, care to find how to love like Nadola from Dear Seday by Ugyen Gyeltshen. Learn to refrain committing suicide like from the book Then I Saw Her Face by Aue Ngawang, go back to memories of college days by Monu Tamang in his Chronicles of Love Foretold (or Chronic Loff by few here in Bajo - but then again, cycle was cenkal and Siri was Tseri), learn to be slightly kinky like those slightly and overly horny characters of Aue Lingi Jamtsho in The Night Hunters, learn to be nice, friendly and vouch for our loved ones like in Pema Yuden's Coming Home, understand the abuses of women and strike back for women empowerment in Dorji Dhratyul's Escapades and Chador Wangmo's La Ama?


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