To our madam editor Anahita, like the Swam of the Avon, ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’. Yours sincerely, when it comes to brevity, is like Big Moose of Archie comics – I am d-uh! Anahita likes everything short and sweet, as I used to hear yet another intellectual editor, Adi Marazban say “tukku ne tach,” economy of words they say. I wish someone told this to my better half whose vocabulary would put Webster to shame, most unlike aapri Anahita, a woman of few words. Woman of few words, now isn’t that an oxymoron?
When it comes to writing, I try to show off my vocab by using phrases like ‘earth displacing implement’. To Anahita, it is simply a spade. Even in college when, once, out on a really great date to the movie ‘The Summer Place’, and later to a secluded corner near Nariman Point which was then sans the Oberoi’s, the assembly hall or all the other buildings, we looked into each other’s eyes and I whispered, “I would like an anatomical juxtaposition of our two orbicularis oris muscles in state of contraction.” The cute thing got up. Fire burning in her eyes, she said, “You dirty &%^$##(*&^)” and left me baffled. All I asked for was a kiss, and surely she too had that look in her eyes. This haute habit of mine had let me down. Verily, I am, as old Bill Shakespeare puts it, “full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
Anahita, on the other hand, has to meet the deadline. She has to produce an editorial every week on the current hot topic. Thank heavens our community usually has much ado about something or the other. She writes. She makes others write. She keeps an eye on her happy staff – a happy and friendly bunch indeed! She has to see that Soli does not go gallivanting in guise of office work, that John does not play video-games, that Delaveen meets the deadline and Gitaben gives Gujarati write-ups on garba, ganthias and gup-sup on time! So, short and sweet is the preferred way.
I have the luxury of writing whatever and whenever I want, maybe an article or two a month or even less, and still call myself a writer, like Bertie Wooster, the ever-in-trouble-getting-engaged, easy-going hero of P G Wodehouse, who often boasts of being a journalist because he had once contributed a piece in his aunt Dahlia’s periodical ‘Milady’s Boudoir’.
I have a modicum of freedom which an editor cannot possibly have. I have no child to bring up. My daughter is married and it is not my business to discipline my grandchild. Let my daughter do the dirty stuff. My business is to be the good grampus and indulge my grandot. My wife leaves me alone so long as I limit myself to my computer, my books, an hour with my pals, baju ni building no Bhikhaji and ever-ready-for-fun Rustomji; and later, a peg or two of the amber nectar at the happy hour. Everything is hunky-dory with my …er better-half, so long as I am sans roving eyes. I don’t get to say much with her cause I cannot get my words in even edgewise with her. So at home I am the strong silent type. Ah! C’est la vie!
Ma vie is, there I go showing off my French my, sorry, my life, good, comfortable, easy-going, and as man of leisure is a cause of envy to a lot of men. I listen to my wife, of course that is all most men can do, but I listen to my wife intently and then go and do exactly whatever I want to do. Ah! As I said, c’est la vie.
Bonne année, Bliadhna Mhath Ùr, Felice anno nuovo, Gluckliches neues jahr –er oops! Here I go again. A Very Happy New Year to all… to the readers of apru Parsi Times and to all those who make the Parsi Times come to you every Saturday morn!