Two pennies’ worth

Monday Musing

[ Asok Pillai ]


It’s true. People on Twitter are different from those on Facebook. I speak in the context of Arunachal, of course. It’s true.

I’m a Facebook person myself, with poor comprehension of the nuts and bolts of Twitter – all I know is that people ‘follow’ people – even though I have access to our daily’s Twitter page. I have the app on my phone, and I sometimes read the comments on our reports, articles and poll questions. They are, by and large, acceptable replies, as far as I can see.

On Facebook, there was stiff opposition from trolls to a poll question we’d run last month regarding women’s rights. At least two of the commenters directly and indirectly threatened to burn down this daily. That was hilarious.

Why? For running a poll? We were seeking opinions, not standing in judgment, my friends.

No, I didn’t come up with that poll question (in case you’ve started wondering), but I quite liked it, in a clinical way. Personally I am only a dispassionate observer of all these debates on social media over races, places and faces. However, just to be clear, you can read my name. I don’t own anything in Arunachal and I’m happy with it, even though my late mother was an Arunachalee and so is my ex-wife. My son bears my surname. If he’s destined for great things, no one can take that away from him. He doesn’t need an ST certificate to get around, in my opinion.

Having said that, I am neither with nor against the non-APST people who have obtained ST certificates, by whatever means for whatever reasons. I am, as I said, a dispassionate observer. Who am I to judge?

However, let’s turn back to Twitter. On Twitter, some of the responses to the same poll question were accusatory and argumentative but submitted properly. They made sense in their own ways, without anyone resorting to threats.

That, my friends, is class.

I hope I’ll become famous enough someday to have people following me on Twitter, instead of me having to follow anybody. To this end, I mean to start writing that famous manuscript.

Like any other would-be author, I dream of winning the Man Booker Prize. You laugh, but from my perspective, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Aim for the stars; don’t settle for the usual. Take the road less travelled and come out a winner in the end – that’s my motto as far as writing is concerned. But I am unable to make the time because while I should be living, breathing and writing the manuscript, I am busy writing for Monday Musing, and when I’m not writing for Monday Musing, I’m thinking about what to write for the next Monday Musing. It’s always in the back of my mind.

When you grow mentally accustomed to a certain pattern of work, it can be harmful for you in other ways, I’m learning.

So, here we are, and I must figure out a way to deal with Monday Musing and the manuscript at the same time. I know I’ll work out something eventually. I am an Aquarius. I have patience… and ingenuity.


They say that great writers write in the morning. I write late at night, which probably explains my mediocrity.

When I say write, I mean it quite literally. I write on a ruled notebook in longhand with a ballpoint pen, in handwriting I bet even a doctor would not be able to decipher. There’s something raw, something atavistic about putting pen to paper. There’s no other way to describe it. I could type this in MS Word, but it doesn’t match the silver magnetism (oxymoron spoken here?) of writing in longhand.

It’s an old habit, and old habits die hard.

Tonight is a Wednesday night. There are stars in the sky, and a cool breeze blows outside. I’m sitting on my bed on the linoleum floor – a floral-printed light burgundy (I think) queen-size mattress sort-of gifted by out deputy editor – with my back against the wall, said back supported by two pillows.

 In a few days from now, this will be in the public domain. I sure as hell hope to god that it doesn’t attract trolling. They make me nervous, trolls. The negativity they spread is horrendous and, unfortunately, contagious. What the world needs now is more love and understanding among nations and peoples at all levels. Why get into minor battles on Facebook when you can join the war on climate change for instance? Make yourself useful. Don’t spend day and night on social media. Calm down. Do yoga or something, I don’t know, just – just don’t spread hatred. Seriously. It’s not cool.

… And with those words of inspiration, perhaps it is time to say adieu until next time. I’ll go to the balcony and bathe in the breeze, watch the city lights shimmering coldly in the silent night.

Itanagar is fast asleep, and I like it this way…