Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Hip Hoppy Birdie

And then one day you find / ten years have passed you by / no-one told you when to run / you missed the starting gun …

Not ten years, just one. The second version of A Simple Desultory Philippic is now 367 days old. A year and two days, for those who are arithmetically challenged.

At least a hundred different people have read this blog till date. Well, fifty. Oh all right, more than TWO (lowers voice) dozen. Mind you, this does not take into account my long-suffering "faimlee" or Pandit-jee and other assorted friends whom I have exhorted / implored to read posts where they feature. Or the Pleasant Young Man who would rather be asleep. He categorically told me the other evening that he’s seen my blog. (Good man, that. Wouldn’t do a Shayan Munshi on me). Or wait, even the man with the running nose who kept looking over at my screen, that time at Delhi airport when the flight was delayed. That’s 16 already. Well into double figures. (Sedate gambol). This is Fame!

Now to wait for the Seventeenth Reader …

Wait. Even a couple of mentions in the press. Thanks to the kindness of the Akhond, of course, but mentions all the same. Oh the ineffable ineluctable indescribable titillation of the Fleeting Moment! Oh Hatterr, oh Ghote, oh Hurree Jumset Ram Singh!

Some bloggers exhibit a most unseemly eagerness to post. Some, indeed, post almost every day. (Some Learned Blogs, of course, average as many as 6 posts a day, but they are Serious Stuff and not to be compared with out own frippery offerings.) One is happy to record that this blog has displayed no such déclassé haste. With 111 posts in the first year – this post being the 112th – we have averaged less than 1/3rd of a post each day. Or a post every 3(.2888 recurring) days. Presumably the days recur, not the posts.

One-third of a post each day. That translates into approximately two digressions, three parentheses, one ellipsis and one irrelevant quote per day. Two long-drawn compound sentences. Several discordant attempts at what the Fool dubs “purple prose”. One or more mumbled phrases that start with “And” or “But” (the folly of reading Hemingway and Kerouac while one’s brain is still runny). And at least half a reminiscence of a childhood in the dim and hoary past. All right for one’s dotage, really. Go, Geriatrix!

The down-side. All this effort, all this time, all this Googling and gobbling, and not even the faintest whiff of a multi-million dollar book deal as yet. Multi-millions be damned, not the slightest throw-away offer to write a column in the measliest yellow rag. No swarthy lounge-suited men with crocodile-hide briefcases sidling up to mumble out of the corners of their mouths. No Zeta-Jones look-alike gasping in obvious awe, “YOU are J.A. Prufrock!!?” No bright-eyed adorable tyke shyly proffering a grubby note-book for an “Autograph, please?” Dammit, not even a cent from AdCents. Gah!

picture blurs, fade-in to long-shot of J.A.P. standing wide-legged on the corner of a wooden sidewalk, a la The Outlaw Josey Wales. A single flat violin sobs on the sound-track, camera moves in at boot-level. The Blogger’s lean, rangy (stop cackling back there. Yes, I mean YOU) frame moves forward, one hand reaching under his long duster to loosen his weapon. As the kettle-drums take up the theme, J.A.P., with a speed that dazzles the eye, draws his trusty laptop and fires off three posts so fast they blur into one …Camera tracks the readers falling in slow motion.

Cut to close-up of J.A.P. as he shifts his cigar from one side of his mouth to the other, no hands, and mutters through clenched jaw “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do …”

Umm, re-take. What he actually says is, “We wrote our posts regularly, in that sunlit corner by the Lakes back when connectivity keened in every corner of our collective memories – you will appreciate that we refer to a hypothetical collective, not the versions once found in Israel or in China … have you ever tried the hummus they make in Basra? Quite divine, as indeed all Mediterranean cuisine can be. I remember once when I was in Italy … but I digress. Ah, memories – as I was saying …” At which point the Collective (I refer in this case to the Hypothetical Audience), goaded beyond all tolerance, gun their (individual, not collective) SUVs and drive over the Old Gaffer. Wild applause on the sound-track, squelching noise and a sudden shrill “Ainh?!?” …

Credits roll.

**** ****

And we have been such a captive audience. Gun held to our head and made to comment etc., Keep them coming old man.
this blogger is fan of urs of late (thanks in large to my ignorance and slow clicking abilities) and which is more suitable time to tell you than now!

P.S.:- How much of pain I have taken to express this! Word verification: "zynjmqco"
Happy B'day. Chaliye jan dada - aamra shunchhi.
Alternate Ending: Midnight. The show over for the night. Another thundering performance. Another house brought down. But the audience has gone home now, the lights have been dimmed, the greasepaint has come off. JAP, having taken off his sequined costume, is locking up the theatre. As he turns down the last light, he turns to look back at one year of posts rising tier upon tier upto the empty ceiling. How fleeting fame is, he thinks, how transitory fortune. So many nights of entertaining these people, of making them laugh, of moving them, of making them happy. And still, at the end of the day, this empty theatre. Ah well. The rain it raineth everyday. He sighs. The show, he knows, must go on.

(happy birthday, JAP, and as for fame - you know what they say about wayward girls)
Here's to another 367, JAP. Your one-third a day is good as a whole.
We want quality not quantity! Thanks for maintaining it. And..happy belated 1st anniversary.
But you do have three blogs going simultaneously,that's something,and authors wish you would have gone up to them(okay , only one, but even so!)
The sporadic eighteenth or am I included already??
More, more I say!

Yes JAPda, I was indeed referring to THE Mohor-di. A bit incongruous right, her nephew (or grandson) operating a choper dokaan, but apparently the fellow is an artsy sort, and makes money on the side this way.
i too, read you
for the want of
better things to do
happy birthday!
Good going! Love your blog :).
O happy day!

And well, since it is a birthday an' all, YOU, are J.A. Prufrock!!?

Well, we're no See-Zee-Jay, but look! This is us, gasping in obvious awe.

Go on, be thrilled!

Those not in your list are readers like me who rarely comment or get counted. This is to wish you a happy birthday and to assure you that safety isn't always in numbers. We are all (the few of us that is) with you!
Will a Bheto Bangali female do for "gasping in obvious awe, 'YOU are J.A. Prufrock!!?' :-)
Happy belated birthday JAP ! And keep all those blogs rolling...
*clap clap clap*
Happy 1st, JAP!
“YOU are J.A. Prufrock!!?” doing my best to look bright-eyed and adorable, but alas, time wounds all heels "Will you sign my grubby blog, kind sir?"
dada aapni aachen tayi aamrao shahosh korey field naamchi. janmodin-er pennam.
Well, if this will make you happy, I have actually sat through atleast 2 events listening to your speeches. I might even have yawned or sneezed or doodled, I don't remember, but the next time I shall come up, clutch my pearls and gasp dramatically, "What! You are JAP?!!!!" Happy Anniversary!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Funny, I just wrote about how anniversaries are overrated (in my secret blog, so don't bother looking for it).
But happy birthday anyway Pru-me-lad. And keep those posts coming. I'll wait for my SUV in the meantime.
Ah, congratulations, and all that. On a careful re-reading of this Another Quite Brilliant Post, I thought I discerned a hint that only readers owning SVUs were welcome. In which case, I shall mail you my full name, address and date of birth. *beams at, Kaku*
Cue the Love Song.
Ph, all of you share one head? No wonder the gun does not suffice!

Zero, much appreciated, sir. Now to translate the kudos into cash.

Pondit Moshai, dhonnyobaad

Falstaff, what DO they say about wayward girls? Thanks for the scenario, but it smacks of Mera Naam Joker and I just cannot abide Raj Kapoor!

KM, thankee kindly.

Kele Bhaya, pennaam hoi.

Fingertree, who is this author who wishes I’d gone up to him? And three blogs?

Swati, dhop-er chop naa holei holo.

A-Literate, honoured by a haiku


"Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease."

- John Keats

Hmmm...haven't actually seen Mera Naam Joker, so allusion is lost on me. The movie I was thinking of (if you must know) was Bergman's Fanny och Alexander - there's this scene were Gunnar Bjorstrand plays the Jester in Twelfth Night - hence the rain it raineth everyday bit.
Ah yes...but is it really declasse haste or just obsessive compulsive disorder working overtime. This tap, tap, tapping at the keyboard of the world is addictive, you know?
Happy birthday dude :D
No bright-eyed adorable tyke shyly proffering a grubby note-book for an “Autograph, please?” No?? U sure?(smile)Just look at the extent you go to just for a little attention!
Now stop day-dreaming, and get down to posting. Wednesday was long ago...hate not to have my usual dose of stimulant to read on a Monday morning.
you have such an enviable ability to write "bhaat" ... and I am so happy you are not one of those "serious" writers :)
What ho, a birthday, what? Capital, capital, capital! Ah, all the best of wishes, of course. Must go tell the Empress. A birthday, just imagine!

Eh, what was that again?
D, Anindita – Thank you. Cockles warmed and all that

Tom P – the thrillification is quite pronounced.

Vijay Kumar – Thank you, and muchly reassured, honourable sir

Patient Portnoy – is that an offer?

Eve’s Lungs – aye aye ma’m, right away

YesBob, DoZ – (bows, all misty-eyed)

Griff – we be most ‘umbled, kind sir

Hutumthumo – boro howo, josh barhuk. Tomader bhorshaye toh achhi baba.

P, Nickel - last-gasp effort much appreciated ... in anticipation.

Sue - long wait, if you rely on me.

Rimi - read above.

Tabula Rasa - to music by Elgar, or Ian Anderson?

Falstaff - you really do make Bartleby redundant. Feste ... a secret sorrow, I'd rather have played him than Malvolio.

Nick Z - I so agree. And welcome to my humble abode.

Death - yo! (high fives, presumably)

Priya - I may take some time to obey your peremptory diktat

Bonatellis - bhaat? Then fall, Caesar!

M. Map - Brilliant Emsworthism, I say, what!

that made for fun reading, man...good work...
Tell you what -- stretch it out a bit, throw in a plot, some characters and a dash of dialogue. Have an Owl suprised, when Kangaroo run close by.

A Passion Play for Alfred P. J.
A very happy blog-birthday to you, J.A.P., from one who has followed and admired your writing for a long, long time now.
sorsuqx. and none of the laters were crooked! or maybe I'm on something. And finally, finally the machine I'm on is slower than I am. Now! is'n't THAT something!!!

Have already wished an Eagle for the blog (to soar,i.e., lest someone takes THAT as constructive sarcasm).
So let me bare the obvious here. You are good. But that's effing not enough. Simply put, you ARE B Lee. I'm (playing) the guy in the mirrors.
Take as many takes as you like. This is a big-budget film. Where the money comes from !!! Aap ko aam khaane hain, ya ....

I thought your comment was a comment on falstaff's first comment. But everyone takes everyone at *face* value in these parts, pardner. Only the occasional joker goes up and asks the BoE to ante-up a pound's worth.

I admire you. You I owe my introduction to geese etc, too. All of 6 moons ago.

my own fairy.
How good you are. Only time will tell. But, too timid still. But maybe you want to grow slowly. Good policy. OK with me. :-)

Good people you pull to your Salon. But am already too eager to get to the Philo-cafes in G Paree. If they're still around.

XXX (take that as U will)

As a greenhorn in these cyberparts, I must be mistaken about 3 blogs ...but there's Prufrock's page and you're on rediff or am I confusing more than one Prufrock?

And does this not refer to you,or is this your doppelganger?

Do enlighten, one can only learn!
Oops!If you're the Original Prufrock with two blogs and Prufrock Two is the Other...I would have done the unforgiveable, on your birthday besides!I am so sorry for this faux pas!
Carp sells. Any Plaice. Any time. Keep selling. That's the main thing.

Keep rocking and keep the f***ing posts coming

Wee Free Men & Kaku
JAP: Errr...more like Bartleby makes me redundant. It's so unfair. You spend all your teenage years stuck inside your room reading all this poetry, thinking (foolishly as it turns out) that someday this will impress girls, and then Google happens and any idiot can find all the stuff you spent fervid nights memorising.

Also, yes, certainly Feste over Malvolio. Though I wasn't really considering you for M anyway (you're not going to go all cross-gartered on me now, are you - you wouldn't want that kind of greatness thrust upon you). The other candidate was Sir Toby, but I figured I'd let you be Feste, seeing as it was your birthday and all.

bostik: Me? Geese? 6 moons ago? As far as I know I've never had anything to do with geese. The occassional swan, yes, a la Leda, but no geese. Though now that I come to think of it, there was that unexplained white feather on my shirt... are only 347 days old...gawd knows why these chokras call you JAP kaku. After all the character "JAP" isnt all that old.

Happy birthday...
But I want an autograph! Please give.


Just emni...
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