17 Nov

My fascination with words began early, perhaps not as early as Abhimanyu, as I don’t remember anything
prenatal, but soon afterwards as I was fortunate in a literate ayah, who was my major childhood influence, and a literary mom, who had a sizable library at home. To keep me quiet, my babysitter would read to me from anything available, including Bangla translations of the English classics, and the Bengali Mahabharata. After such a classical grounding, I could not help but be a lifelong addict to the magic world of fantasy and fiction, initially oral, and later of the printed word.
But addictions have fatal side effects, and I became quite useless at all useful skills of survival. I wasn’t focused on studies, and my handwriting made me suitable only for the medical profession.
I learnt to read, so that I wouldn’t have to wheedle others to read for me, and was a very precocious reader, forcing my parents to hide books in unconventional places, and put covers on some. That’s how I knew which to read first, and in secret.
The inevitable next step was joining the ranks of my heroes, and start writing myself. Writing was fine, but I faced the problem of all would be authors, how to get readers? I had a captive audience in my family, but they couldn’ t or wouldn’t decipher my writing. Solution – a little brother I could bully, who would copy it out for me.
Jump cut to high school. Obliging friends copied out my stories for our hand written wall magazine in exchange for doing their maths homework, and other obliging friends copied out pieces for our first handwritten cyclostyled little magazine, edited and mostly ghostwritten by me in exchange for names on masthead to impress girls. Believe it, bong girls fall for such stuff.
Fast forward to the 80s. Handwritten contributions are no longer acceptable, and typing is a skill I’ve failed to master. However, obliging young ladies willing to support the arts help out, and college, univ, and company magazine continue to feed my need to be heard. That’s how my partner to be first heard me.
Working life and matrimony soon put all creativity on a backburner, until my children appeared on the scene, and mealtime, bedtime and anytime stories took care of all my creative juices, and was well within my technical knowhow.
As time passed, I hankered for a wider audience. By now, I was empowered with a stenographer, and a bit of charm could overcome my tech handicap, and double spaced typed offerings with self addressed envelopes haunted editorial desks and found kind supporters like Jug Suraiya of TOI and others and I had the ultimate high, seeing my babies in print with my byline, and being paid for it.
Work and family took precedence, and creativity was limited to sales pitches and the incredible job of bringing up two daughters to be independent freethinking individuals, well adjusted in life, until they no longer needed or heeded me, and the craving for an audience hit once again.By now, the world had changed beyond my tech challenged comprehension, and the virtual world ruled, denying me access. My wife, who had moved with the times, my friends, who had learnt to cope, and my children, who were born with mouse in hand, had no patience for my illiteracy. It looked like my outpourings would die unheard through lack of virtual space.
Finally, with patient coaching from few young colleagues and friends, I attempted the new medium, THE BLOG and the FB and through many blunderings in unexplored and mysterious realms of which more shall be disclosed later, the end results are for you to see


Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Fiction, Humour


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Vemulakonda Sai Krishna Rao

    November 17, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Nice piece, Sir. But seeing the pics on your FB profile, you seem to have done quite a bit of biking too. Would love to read about that. VSK Rao, RO Hyderabad


    • wiseguy from the east

      February 17, 2015 at 6:39 am

      the biking was strictly pillion. or in the backup jeep. plan to write those sometime Krishna Rao. Thank you


  2. Anonymous

    November 17, 2013 at 7:08 am

    The expression comes from within….. technology is but a medium which every dumbo can master. Keep the creative juices flowing ( even when other juices slowly dry up)


  3. purbaray

    November 17, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I remember reading your first post and my eyes rolled clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Great content with minus formatting skills. But now when I read your posts, I can only nod with satisfaction. Going great guns, Soumya.


    • TheLastWord

      November 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better, Purba!


    • wiseguy from the east

      February 17, 2015 at 6:37 am

      thank you Purba. the formatting is done by obliging friends. I remain techilliterate. I hope content is still up to your satisfaction.


  4. Sanjay Srivastava

    November 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    So, lack of attraction to technology got you to come out as who you truly are? Good piece. Write something about the human side of taking out insurance: love, anxiety, risk, certainty….


    • wiseguy from the east

      November 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      insurance and writing are separete helps earning a living,other helps learning to live


  5. Priyanka

    November 18, 2013 at 7:44 am

    very relatable and straight from the heart . Well done Soumya.


  6. Anonymous

    November 24, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Nice writing – I like the end and relate to the challenge


  7. debajyoti

    November 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    most of us are tech-challenged and we all try to hide this fact from others. some of us succeed and are considered tech-savvy.

    enjoyed reading this post as usual. so you are not a newbie blogger, eh?


    • wiseguy from the east

      November 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Blogging yes. Used to write “middles” for TOI mostly also HT Express etc on the days of typed manuscripts & stenos


  8. neelam

    December 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    U are a tech savvy. .I have seen u working freely on laptop and handling n making the ppts..perfectly. .

    Article is as always good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • wiseguy from the east

      December 5, 2014 at 10:14 am

      No Neelam those ppts are made by smart kids like you. I merely suggested ideas & do the speaking 🙂
      Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


  9. vishalbheeroo

    February 18, 2015 at 4:57 am

    It’s so me and when it comes to tech, I am challenged and slowly m learning but still freak me out. I can relate to it so well:)


    • wiseguy from the east

      February 18, 2015 at 7:55 am

      hey I thought you belonged to the born with mouse in hand generation. Read the sequel, you will identify more

      On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow wrote:



      • vishalbheeroo

        February 18, 2015 at 8:01 am

        No way, Sir. I am a 90s kid but not the red carpet wala where everything smart phone is not made for me. Still struggling to learn and would you believe that I only know 5 per cent of things on d phone and Ipad. I am a computer illiterate::)

        Liked by 1 person

      • wiseguy from the east

        February 20, 2015 at 5:09 am

        Aha you are a dinasaour like me. Cheer up. We can be the new Luddaites



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