By Arun Kumar Sahu*
“Papa! Why do you write?” My fourth-grader son asked, staring at my laptop. He was afraid I might not accompany him to the playground. It was a weekend. Ordinarily he gets upset when I go to office on a weekend or sit with my gadget to write something. He thinks it eats into his exclusive time of fun with me. Not to disappoint him, I answered, “I just feel like it.”He smiled and switched off my gadget so we could go for a game of tennis.
The question was banal and dull; butlet me attempt an answer. After all, I spend my valuable time and energy writing -blogs, essays or short stories-either in Odia or in English.
I write to communicate, communicate with people, known and unknown. Some are my own, from my past, some I get to know as I embark on the journey of life. So far, I’ve met many interesting people: friends, acquaintances, colleagues, advisers, teachers, adversaries and foes, cutting across geographical and cultural boundaries. Some I’ve admired, some I’ve loved, some I’ve remembered. A few have touched me. I write to communicate with all of them at once. I want to connect with minds fertile with new ideas and vision: similar, different and opposite of my own mind.
I write to tell stories, good, bad, ugly, moral, allegedly immoral and semi-moral. Over these years I have crossed physical boundaries and oceans, moved from culture to culture, shed some of my own values and imbibed some of others’, lived a life of both loss and belonging. In this ride, I have stumbled on rubbles of human stories, gloomy, morbid, bright, effulgent and promising. Some have moved me, some have saddened me, and some have amazed me. I want to share all these stories of human trial, travail, struggle, triumph, hope and despair.
I write also to feel the words, hone them and play with them like a child plays with pebbles on the banks of a river. They are part of my cultural and social existence, my identity. There is no greater pleasure than playing with the phonemes of sounds and the morphology of the words of the languages I know, tweaking and creating them in order to express what I want to say.
I write to feel that I exist, among all my fellow travellers, my co-travellers, the travellers who are ahead of me and those who follow me. We are all travellers. Some of us move faster, some slower, but all of us move, to the ultimate, the unknown. But as we travel, we can share our stories, our thoughts and our feelings, to make each other’s burden lighter. We can connect.
In this process, as I write my tenth blog, I thank Odisha Sun Times for giving me a space to express myself; to reach out to my past, present and future, to relate to both history and hope for the future and I expect to continue sharing my stories with all of you.
*Arun Kumar Sahu is the Deputy High Commissioner of India to Canada. He may be contacted at [email protected]
The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of www.odishasuntimes.com