Since I have been writing quite a bit these days (nonjournalistic), and reading people's blogs and websites, suddenly I am overwhelmed. When I worked as a fulltime journalist in India and the US, very few of us blogged (The Ithaca Journal launched blogging on their site just the other day). I mean even writers and poets I met up in the last five years, always made it a point to express their low-level preference for blogging or similar such cyber-presentation of their writing activities. Now, most creative writers I have been meeting in the last two years all have facebook pages, blogs or websites. Even journalists. What they publish or plan to publish, gets posted on their personal blogs. This reminds me of the huge stack of print-out sheets I accumulated in our Delhi and Guwahati homes, trying to stuff them inside cardboard boxes for posterity. My articles, reports, commentaries. Even some poetry. Was there fiction? Can't remember. But poetry in Assamese, Bengali and English. If I wrote all that today, I'd have a humongous blog! And everything at the click of a mouse. No cardboard boxes needed and no worries about mice (the real ones) making a mincemeat of my published work. But then, I have to do what I do now. Maybe if time permits, transcribe each of those printed works to file in my blog (maybe have a blanket headline like 'words from the past' or whatever). Well, that'll be an adventure of sorts. Especially because my Tehelka.com writings have most of their web links now inactivated (that was the old Tehelka, not the new one). Right now my slowness taunts me.
And now that I'm talking about the past, and my writing, somehow my mind (always a spinning wheel) is bringing up a quaint memory. Then I wrote poems everyday, like a mad person. and I had sent out some poems to be published, recommended by my father's colleague and poet Shibaprasad Barua, for an Assamese journal that's probably defunct now. Barua uncle loved my work and he insisted I send stuff out. He returned a few weeks later with the journal containing my poems in print.
"Do you know who edited your poems?" He asked me.
"No." I was a little apprehensive.
"It's Nirmalprabha Bordoloi, our baideu!"
Wow! Nirmalprabha was the prima donna of Assamese poetry. That was an honor. Barua uncle told me how baideu (older sister) praised my work saying "for her age, she has handled very complex imageries..." or something like that. I wasn't too young, perhaps sixteen, seventeen. Still!
Now that I remember this, I feel how badly I have ignored my work. Perhaps that journal is not to be found anymore, I don't even remember its name. Perhaps I never kept a copy/photocopy of my work, that work and several other work. Moreover, it's sad how I never took this opportunity of working more, writing better and seeking the guidance of the likes of Nirmalprabha Bordoloi, who, despite her excellence, was a down-to-earth and approachable person.
Well, one thing for sure, if I find that journal and my poems that bear the editing of baideu, I'll certainly have them up on my blog.
Meanwhile, the memory of baideu's kind words (she is no more) should propel me to do some real work, now!
About FOOTPRINTS IN THE BAJRA (Cedar Books, New Delhi); By Nabina Das
"Fittingly for a poet, Nabina’s novel also has a strong lyrical core. 'Footprints in the Bajra' takes the homely image of the millet field as its central metaphor. ... But the novel is less a thriller about guerrilla action than a subtly colored character study of a fascinating group of individuals who intersect at various points in their lives ..." -- DEBRA CASTILLO, author, editor and distinguished professor (Cornell University, April 17, 2010).