Q has stumped me, since finishing the post on P, I’ve been in writer’s no man land. It isn’t as if there are no words that begin with Q, or there was a paucity of thoughts for those words, there are many words that have great potential. Since I’m no quitter I have to write and get to the end of this challenge. As I agonized on what to write the thought came to me to let the post write itself. So like you at this point of time I have no idea what’s coming next.
Looking for inspiration in my much thumbed copy of the ‘Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and Proverbs’ in Q, of course I found this quote interesting, so I will begin here.
“A quotation is what a speaker wants to say – unlike a soundbite which is all that an interviewer allows you to say.” –Tony Benn 1925
If you will look at the date above again it says 1925 and here we thought that the problem was invented by our generation. When I did some freelance writing for India Today (once upon a time) I met the actress Nandita Das for an interview, she had earlier, politely (that’s her style others were more brash about it) given me a 15 minute window as she told me she was rather busy (she should be, I remember thinking at that time, after all she is one of the most talented actresses of our time. My opinion others may have another.) I reached her place early to not underutilize even a moment of this small window. Since I was so in awe of her and her acting acumen I had not prepared any standard questions, looking at her rather extensive bookrack I asked her about her interest in books and she began. The 15 minutes turned into 3 hours where we talked on varied topics. A time before cellphones and other social media interruptions that is one of the best memories that I have of my short lived career as a freelance features writer. While wrapping up she asked me a question, “Are you new to writing?” I was to say the least perplexed and then anxious that I’d made some serious faux pas, hesitantly I confirmed that I was. What she said next was rather heartening, “I thought so, other journos come with answers already decided in their heads that they expect me to give. It was nice talking to you.” When I watch Indian news channels today I totally get what she meant then. Here’s a picture that a friend shared on a social media group I played with it a bit and changed it to symbolize what our news channels look like these days.
To the next Q word. I am often confounded by the lack of ability of some people to stand in one, that is in a queue. You will see parallel human lines beginning to form in front of ticket windows, cash registers, at places of worship, at hospitals, bus stops, railway stations till it all resembles a mob rather. On roads one person stops at a crossing and you will soon have cars zipping in from all sides blocking the parallel lane for oncoming traffic. Common courtesies and rules be damned I need to get ahead seems to be the attitude that drives such behavior. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere quickly. Is it because we are so busy? Or because we are running late? Or because we are too impatient? Whatever the reason be, the same people when forced to do so do manage quite effectively when barricades are put into place at roads and temples. Some may argue that this is a malady of the uneducated but I’ve seen the affluent and educated also ‘cross the line’ as often.
I think I’m going to stop here now at 657 words this post has written itself. Now to worry about the next letter of the Alphabet – R, my focus shifts to you.