Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Realisation of Inadequacy

Every day I come across a dozen things I’d like to put on my blog. If I had my laptop and the time, I’d do another India Uncut (albeit far less erudite and far more flippant) and post 346.29 times a day. But I don’t and I don’t. (On second thoughts, perhaps not far more flippant than Amit. Of late, he's been stooping to conquer.)

There’s another problem. I’m too damn self-conscious. My posts have to conform to my personal standards of Writing. It won’t do for them to be grammatically and syntactically correct, they have to read well, hold the attention of the imaginary reader. Well, not so imaginary after all – thank you to the two dozen of you who drop by at least once a week (though I do wish you’d leave a comment each time. Maybe even two. Feels good, you know what I mean?)

So as I was saying, after I find something to write about, I get stuck trying to write something Clever and Interesting. Then I give up. (I’m very good at Giving Up) Which is why this blog gets about 2 posts a week during a good stretch.

Bothers me, it does. All these clever folks who are so prolific. About politics, the environment, relationships. (Relationships. Now there’s a word that strikes terror into the hearts of most men. Even, I suspect, the ones who wax creative about relationships.)

Books, films, music. And such music! From Andy Summers to Raga Hamsadhwani and Rachmaninoff. All I know is between the ‘60s and the ‘80s. The books, too. There are people out there who have read every book short-listed for the Booker. Do I even know the authors’ names? Me, I’ve just discovered Artemis Fowl (and am reading Durrell’s – Gerald, not Lawrence either – Corfu Trilogy rather than The Inheritance of Loss. Whattodo, we are like this only.) The last film I (re)watched was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Don’t mention that to Jai and Falstaff, the poor dears might need medical attention.

So anyway, these are erudite polymaths with refined taste. Which inspires their writing. What inspires me? Food.

So the Sad Old Bong [1] is a Sad Loser. I’m low-brow. Creatively constipated. And just too damn lazy. I might as well live with it.

[1] Sorry, sometimes I get a bit carried away with this link thingy. And the awful temptation of footnotes.

**** ****


Ph said...

Bah. Too much drama.

chronicuskepticus said...

Mr. Prufrock, do not diss Durrell -he rocks. And so does food.

And I'm mighty disgruntled with the 'erudite polymaths' (so disgruntled in fact, that I refuse to look that up) - not the ones you refer to (i.e. the blogerati), but those who wince when you say Gerald instead of Lawrence.

Pah! I say to them!

Abi said...

What inspires me? Food. So the Sad Old Bong [1] is a Sad Loser. I’m low-brow. ...

Man, this post is so depressing. If you claim you are a Sad Loser, then what are those of us who are (a) not erudite polymaths, (b) not into food, and (c) not even -- not even! -- Bongs. Very cruel you are ...

ys said...

Aaaargh! Who cares how good ur writing is by UR standards, eh? I agree 360degrees with ph. What makes u think v r all fools who keep waiting to see what new things u have to say? Heff. Puff. Juuuust don't write when u are simply trying to ;) seek attention :)... so, there! btw, me's put flamenco on the list of things to experience. Thank you.

Rimi said...

And yet, and yet, you cannot resist labelling this The insufferable sadness of being. Watcjing me watching you watching me, I call it.

And please. Wax not dramatic about feeling inadequate and wotnot. I'm Empress of that circle, thank you. At least you travel. At least you eat.

Tabula Rasa said...

speaking of which, have you seen my Comment? i left it lying around last week.


Anonymous said...

One more thing: Durrell is almost the ultimate :). I consider it an insult to think of any other author while reading him.

Aaaand, as if any musician is supposed to worry about how someone else performed a similar piece while enjoying making one's own ! I mean, can't u simply keep writing the way you like? Hope u won't come up with 'this is what I felt like writing - period' or some such teeheehee. Perhaps to bring home that u r Sad n Old.

How about seeking advice of the SO whom u have mentioned elsewhere as superior?

ys said...

sorry, the previous comment got posted as anon...

Teleute said...

Dropping in to say 'Hello!'

Teleute said...

And just to indulge you, Hello again. :D

Revealed said...

And what is wrong with Monty Python that he must be held up for ridicule in this way? Tsk.

Nitya said...

Big *HUG* for you, Mr Prufrock. You write very well. Now stop whining. Stop. Now.

Veena said...

JAP-da: Into food. Low-brow. Tries to be Clever and Interesting. Gives up. Hmm...You shouldn't worry so much. It isn't really your fault. Must be the water in that river you love. Generations of Bongs turn out this way apparently. (Bill's excuse, needless to say)

Plumpernickel said...

bThe words aren't "Sad Loser". It's more like "Way Too Busy" unlike students, housewives and journalists, who I envy like crazy for all the free time they have. Oh to be a lazy student! Oh to live off a husband! Journalist, now... thats a different story...

Vivek Kumar said...

At first reading (yes, I read your posts twice to absorb it all), I read "Raga Hamsadhwani" as "Raja Hindustani" :))

Laborious laughter lurks. As India Uncut might put it.

babelfish said...

Prithee kind sir, I shall refer thee to an author who would have been most grateful had you been at hand to give him tips when he was writing his masterpiece. I believe he was called, Izaak Walton.

km said...


You Know My Name said...

Dude are you in the "NC giri" mode. Stop "NC'ing" and write about whatever catches your fancy (or doesn't).

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Concur with Ph on this.

Just one question. Curious about the etymology of "whattodo, I am like this only" Any ideas?


Falstaff said...

Ah Durrell in Corfu. That brilliant, brilliant scene with the scorpion on the table. And the dancing bear episode.

You're not one of those annoying people who actually own a copy of Rosie is my Relative, are you? I've been looking for that book for years - Amazon / Campusi doesn't have it, and no bookstore seems to have ever heard of it

Oh, and you're right. I wouldn't re-re-watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Not when I have the Complete Flying Circus to go through for the fourth time.

Anonymous said...


If you could write to me at, you may learn something to your advantage (and mine).

I'm not joking even though I called you saarji.


shakester said...

my word. you are low brow and creativel constipated?!
lazy, maybe...:)
(am not one to say)

and yes, one must leave comments more often

adopted bong said...

nitwit. nincompoop. troglodyte. atleast your write and amuse - there are many of us who lurk in the shadows and do not dare commit pen to paper...
and to falstaff - i actually have a battered, tattered copy of Rosie, which is autographed - Gerald Durrell visited goood old Xavier's many years ago....
eat. your. heart. out.

thalassa_mikra said...

JAPda, how is the enjoyment and appreciation of food any different from the ability to respond to the nuances of Rachmaninoff's 3rd concerto (a piece that, may I add, I absolute adore)?

Don't let the Wolfram Siebecks and Michael Pollans of this world catch you calling food writing low-brow.

As for Durrell, perhaps he's all the inspiration you need to pack your bonchka and paari dao to Corfu.

Sola said...

Sir, if you feel inadequate what about poor sods like us? I'm glad you wrote this post, now I know that even damn good writers suffer from delusions of inadequacy.

Anonymous said...

Aabaaar indulging in ASB? Methinks you are spending way too much unproductive virtual time with low brow, deadly dumb, very very sad losers. Hmm?

-SSS (grin)

ys said...

Amazing! You are waiting for even more ppl to shower sympathies??? And, happy Valentine's if u r the sort to celebrate it.

"sen"sational said...

Artemis Fowl!!!
Yay!! Discovered it a month back myself!!

p.s. And..err..ahem...lowbrow??
*raised eyebrows*

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Ph, how much is too much?

CS, I so agree.

Abi, eat, read and learn Bangla (and try out Jobakusum Hair Oil)

YS – the point is…?

Rimi, incoherence is a style? And eat, child. Shukher shoreer je shukiye jaabe.

TR, thanks muchly, I have them next my heart.

YS again – (nods in amiable incomprehension)

Toots, hallo right back (and a wave)

Revealed, I shall reveal no more of my tastes, then.

Nitya, thank you. For the reassurance AND the hug.


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Veena, you are a Fifth Columnist by marriage!

Plumps, wait for the hate mail now.

Vivek, thanks for the re-reading, but Raja Hindustani is a bit too low-brow for even me.

Babel, very subtile indeed. Gah!

KM, qwaht.

Kaku, NC or not, it’s MY mood.

Joyee, I first came across it on Channel V’s “Top Gun Murugan” promos.

Falstaff, MUST you gloat?

Shakester, one waits for you to bridge the gap (between the conception and the creation falls the Shadow etc.)

Adopted Bong, gloating AND gaali? Cease and desist, sir!


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Swati, could you please say that again slowly, in short words?

Sola, you are kind. Thank you.

SSS, what is ASB?

YS, I am NOT the type to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Thank you nevertheless.

Sen, Fowl is highbrow?


30in2005 said...

I'm glad 'Food' inspires you - nothing like a full and happy stomach to write the wonderful prose that you do.

And you are definitely no sad loser - I dread to think what would the rest of us would be if you were?!

Sense said...

Why this low brow opinon and call it 'just food'. to Quote Nash "...A poet, I guess, is more or less
Preoccupied with gender.
Yet I, though custom call me crude,
Prefer to sing in praise of food.
Yes, food,Just any old kind of food."

shakester said...

thought this might interest you
roebuck has a site

Anonymous said...

There's this book just out, titled, "How to Talk About the Books You Have Not Read". Or thereabouts. HTH.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the fact that you can spell Rachmaninoff correctly make you high-brow?