Wednesday, February 28, 2007

the written word

yesterday i visited an investment firm in dxb. after a few moments an elderly gentleman came in and was seated next to me. While talking to the manager, the manager asked if he had an account with so-n-so bank and he said yes he did and his publishers usually send him his royalties there.
at the words publishers and royalties i became very curious. in my head, i kept wondering what did he write, have i read anything by him? should i ask? what if i ask and dont know what hes written? what would i say? what if i ask and actually DO know what he has written? curiosity got the better of me and i asked him, "are you an author?" [in other words, sir i was eaves dropping on your conversation. ] he gave me a smile and said yes i write about pharmachology and chemistry. after he said it, i didnt have a disappointed expression on my face, but i felt it. i did smile back. then he proceeded to ask me are you doing chemistry? i laughed and said no sir, im doing blah blah. hes like i have been writing since before you were born.
that was enough to awe me! and i was like wow. and then asked do you write textbooks? he said yes, a bit. now when i have googled him [all hail google] i notice he has done lot of research, written many a research papers and won many awards and is the department head at a university.
this got me thinking many a times in school at university, we have to buy these textbooks and most of the time its not by choice. at least in my house none of us even read the foreward written by the author. and sometimes we end up buying lots of books just by their titles and we dont even recall who the author is. forget knowing anything about the author. and among my friends too none of us have ever written to an author of any of our textbooks/or even any book that we read and thanked them for a book well written or showed any kind of gratitude.
theres just this one time i remember in my first year at uni, i had read one of the chicken soul for the soup books (books on inspiration life love etc) and there was this one story typical popular sports captain(jock) likes the class nerd. however they keep their relationship a secret, because he is embarassed by her and how she is not considered popular and all that. and his friends make fun of her and in the end he doesn't stick up for her and admit that he is dating her. so they break up and he writes this incident and says that if she is reading he is sorry that he ever did that and that he spent the best moments of his life with her. forward a number of years he is now a sports editor of some magazine. being somehwat of a romantic, i emailed him and said you know why dont you try contacting her and maybe she feels the same way. i was very happy with myself for giving this "brilliant advice" and kept imagining in my head that they will reunite and they will thank me in their wedding speech. i am so velaaaa(jobless) sometimes. he emailed back saying that he did meet her(the her being the class nerd) once sometime ago and she forgave him but now he is engaged to another wonderful person. something like that. [a big puchka for me.] so much for me playing cupid. however, im sure he felt good that someone cared enough to write him an email about his story. ive never done anything like that after that. i hope i dont forget this and everytime i read anything i really like or even if its a topic i dont like but is well written i hope i remember to express appreciation. even if it ends up making me look dumb.


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