A place for writers! Are writers such gregarious? Will writers ever flock together, and will it ever be good? It is like cheap politicians and state ministers visiting Europe at government expense and on return insist that there should be total computerization in their electricity-short country! ‘A place for writers’ exists in European countries but in the Orient it is rare. It is seldom that good writers co-habit with others. When a writer is immersed deep in writing and his wife comes and demands ‘hold this child’, what better distraction is there to land him onto life’s immediate realities and keep him away from lunacy through constant flight in imagination? So, a ‘Home Away From Home’ for a writer is not good for the Orient unless he is the ‘fifth husband living with the sixth wife’. Such homes are useful for him if he is interested in sexual acrobatics and Bacchus Worship. Kerala’s writers’ boycotting this idea of a ‘Home Away From Home’ is a sign of their good breeding.
One may ask what wrong is there in providing writers with cozy quarters, good living, peaceful atmosphere, and the opportunity to mingle with equal intellectuals. Well, if he cannot provide the means for these in his homestead and share such golden atmosphere with his wife and children, he does not deserve such settings. Writers who created great literature almost always lived in poverty, isolation, seclusion and neglect. They were always burdened with financial and parental problems in family. Only just a few were free from family encumbrances or blessed with richness in money and companionship. Fewer still were helped by generous royalties from publishers. This did not deter them from writing fine books and poetry, and many did not have the consolation of seeing their works printed in their life time. Authors like Ethel Lilian Voynich, the author of The Gadfly, even did not know they were printed and read. It is when there is pain and loneliness in soul that the soul speaks with itself. That is when, and how, literature is born. Without knowing this architectonics of literature, it is in vain to think about flocking writers to one place and housing them in supposedly adequate dwellings.
Social media sites are praised here in this news article- they need no praise. They are far higher in a level beyond praise, compared to the little-minded big news papers and the petty staff behind them. They provided people with the democratic rights for freedom of expression which the executive, legislature, judiciary and media denied them. They also provided people the right to speak directly and to dissect and examine openly the policies and lives of so-called people’s representatives who became a class unto themselves. They are the fifth estate, allowing people to speak directly, without subjecting themselves to the mercy of arrogant news paper editors. Whatever deficiencies and money-orientation Google, Face Book and other internet platforms have, they provided people with this democratic right to speak directly, without needing anyone to represent them.
Some people hold the wrong belief that social media sites are used for expressing oneself without revealing identities. This wrong notion stems from one’s acquaintance limited to only with those who fear expressing opinions publicly. Millions of people use these platforms to express their opinions and views fearlessly and publicly, without hiding their identities, which is what terrorizes world governments. These people do not fear governments, firmly believing that people are masters and governments are servants, tilting political equilibriums everywhere gradually. When people speak directly- which is for the first time in this world- the servants will have to obey. Governments are loosing grip and people are recapturing power. Tomorrow they will read government bills in senate and parliament and vote online and veto. It is real people behind Google Plus and Face Book and Blogs, and they do not commit the base crime of hiding identity from other real people. There may be exemptions, like the writer here observed, especially in totalitarian states like China, but such helpless anonymous are far few in numbers to be noted.
It is understood that whatever posted in these social media sites adds to people’s education and free thought. If a writer has received something from the world, he has the obligation to give it back someday, free. Internet is a free information highway and those who use it only for monetary gains are violators of the spirit of this magnificent discovery of mankind and frowned upon by everyone. Some writers do not release their articles and books in social sites, fearing that people will read them free and their revenue will dwindle. So, they post only a link to their publisher and condemn dissemination of free knowledge, yelping phrases like DRM.
There is no wonder the writers of Kerala ignored this project for ‘A Home Away From Home’. They might have looked up who this writer who was offering them a sanctuary was and might have found that he was a person who writes poetry without perfection in rhyme and metre and without even punctuation and proper capitalization, and decided to keep away from him for ever. Also, the tiny and inconspicuous interface of this author’s website might have screamed of selfishness and incompetence as a warning. The writers of Kerala are not that cheap or misguided.
[In reply to news article ‘Kerala shattered my dreams’ dated 29 April 2015 in English Manorama Online]
Link to original news article: