Friday, August 26, 2016

Writing the next volume in life

I put together a collection of a few posts that I had tagged as "life"--like in this post too--and formatted them into a book, with a bunch of photographs.  After extensive editing, I got it printed in color, had it bound, and mailed it to my parents.  It is one expensive gift from me to them--the cost of printing/binding and then airmailing it is nothing compared to the time that I spend on it.  But, it is always worth the effort.

"This is the ninth volume" my father said after he received it.  I have lost track of the volumes that I have sent them.  Of course I cannot cite this in my annual self-evaluation at work--these volumes are not peer-reviewed ;)

"This is the one that made me think the most because it was philosophical and it involved plenty of old family stories. In fact, it even upset me" he added.

Understandable.  After all, my autoethnography is his as well.

Towards the end of the hour-long conversation, I told him the feedback was awesome to me.  "As writer and as a teacher, I want my audience to think about the ideas, especially in terms of their own lives.  So, if this volume made you think so much, then this is a huge success."

I hope that my writing anywhere, and yakking in the classroom, makes a difference at least to a few.  I am always keen on finding out how I am doing.  The unsolicited feedback makes me happy and excited.  Like earlier today.

I placed the basket of grocery items and waited for the cashier to start scanning them.  He looked about forty.  And, boy did he have a head full of wild and unruly hair.  I used to have such hair a long time ago.  Now, that image of me is a distant memory.

He started scanning the barcodes.  He looked up at me.  "You write editorials, right?"

At that very moment, I felt like I was as famous as George Clooney and JK Rowling combined.  Usain Bolt can kiss my ass ;)

Soon, I will be in the familiar setting of the classroom.  Most students will perhaps ignore me as best as they can.  There will always be a couple of them in every class who will later let me know that I am doing alright.
If nobody does, well, I have my father's certificate that I am doing really well.  May he and I live long enough for a few more volumes.


Ramesh said...

Well, you get lots of feedback on this blog, from at least 3 of us. We praise you when you say something sensible, upbraid you when you talk nonsense and debate you when you author a debatable point of view.

You are doing very well. 3 more of us are happy to join your father in giving you the certificate. Mike, Anne, say Amen !!

Have a good term (semseter ?). You are wearing a tie these days, so your students have to address the distinguished Prof as milord :)

Sriram Khé said...

There is only one utterly false claim in your comment--that I sometimes talk nonsense. You know well that I always, always, write ONLY sensible stuff ;)

Yes, you have been consistently providing feedback for four (five?) years now ... Anne shows up less and less these days. The young man, Mike, has moved on, it seems, as he should. So, it is back to you and me now ;)

Well, there are others who provide me feedback in other ways too--like even my niece, who is a subscriber to this blog, who apparently engaged in serious discussions with an Uber driver thanks to the ideas that she picked up from this blog.

IP-MD said...

Have been reading your blog for some time now. Nice posts...writing is very personal and intimate...keep it coming!

Sriram Khé said...

Hey, thanks ;)

Anne in Salem said...


Sorry - trying to show up more. It's been a rough summer. Maybe this fall . . .

Sriram Khé said...

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!!
I suppose I need to get ready for Anne's critical comments ;)

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