Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Who you? You who? I noticed I've always been writing as if I'm speaking to someone. Never really thought about who that is.

I was going to make a vague-ish stage&audience reference here, but I am struck by a memory...

This is somewhere in my third year in college. That year we had what turned out to be the last really big college festival (the princi changed after that year, so...). This was huge by Indori standards. [See, now I'm assuming that You know I went to college in Indore]. Spread over a week, the festival took place in the ground next to our college building. Tamboo/shamboo gadhaa kar. We invited other colleges to take part in the competitions on the last day, and I, Swapnil and Mukul lost the Dumb charades by a whisker that day. But back to the topic....

I was 'helping' out with the Fish Pond, which was supposed to be read out on stage by another guy every hour or so during the entire week. Eventually I ended up doing nothing beyond getting the 'dabba' for the messages, and getting some prizes sponsored by some bookshop for the best messages. I'd been to said bookshop the previous weekend, and the other guy (who was to read out the messages) did not know yet that I had a bunch of discount coupons as prizes from them. He liked the idea and I went along with him when he was to announce this. What I wasnt expecting, of course, was for him to speak into the mike,"Sudarshan has an announcement!" and step back, looking at me expectantly.

Err...Mmm...I told them about the coupons okay enough. I was just about to tell them about which messages would get the prize ( whichever ones *we* thought were good, basically), when I spotted her.

I'll call her A. I'd been noticing her for a while now, she was doing the management course that ran in parallel to my computer course, and she was different from the rest. She'd grown up in Zambia, she'd grown up in Gaya, she'd grown up in Delhi, everyone I'd asked had a different story. Of course I was too scared to talk to her directly [How that happened is another story] and ask her. Anyway, she was there in the audience. What was a large audience of 300 people, in front of whom I could have sang, danced, joked, turned into one attentive girl and 299 eavesdroppers. Seeing her looking at me threw my vocal facilities into roughly the same level of competence as a 6-month-old.

I dont remember exactly what I said then; I let autopilot carry me, until i noticed the guy standing next to me shift restlessly.

This brings forth many more memories; I'll write about some of them later. For now, I guess the lesson to be learnt is this:

Part of the reason I'm able to write here is that I'm talking to you, you who are an undefined audience who listens attentively to all I say. I dont see you shifting restlessly, I dont notice if you join in midway or leave in disgust. Sometime flashes light up people in the audience and i recognize them from elsewhere..I recognized Ramanand ( the other day. Other people I have myself invited..Dinker and Snehal and Srivats and George and many others...but I dont know if they are in the audience even now. Does it matter? I cant let it. You, the dark auditorium, is there, listening attentively. If I write for any one person I'll be tonguetied.

It would be interesting to know how others perceive their readers. Do they have anyone in mind when they write ?

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