As a writer, It’s an elation to see my own words in print, to float them out there for all the world to read and to learn that some of the world actually does read them. Of their own free will! It warms the heart. However, I have learnt that in spite of frequent and sound advice, the world has not become a noticeably more peaceful kingdom. Folly abounds, incompetence, wrath, crime, nonsense prevails, thieves multiply, power corrupts. And my bones creak in the morning. Still, spectacular things go on in the sky; forms and colors and movements, cloud shapes and sunscapes so awesome I ought to end everyday standing on a rooftop and clapping and calling for more. Slowly I learn bits of what there is to see and then forget and learn again. And learn too that mortality is the stuff of life; learn how soon the young get old, how short a while is for ever. It’s sad to stand on the hill and, one by one, see the lights go out around you; sad to know the paper has begun turning yellow before the pencil gets to the bottom of the page, to realize there won’t be time enough to get it all done – the chores, the cooking, the sitting on the porch to watch the birds dart at dusk, the major work. But there’s something reassuring too in understanding that death is nature’s, life’s, God’s way of letting us know that we are never meant to save the world single-handedly, to keep the sun aloft and the old globe spinning. What we’re meant to do, I hope, is fill some small and temporary slot, to give off a little light for a little while and then lie down. I’m comfortable with that, with the notion of being a small voice yapping away in a small planet. One of many voices, neither the wisest, nor the best, but mine and fairly close to as good as I can make it.
Manasa Rao