The Unenviable Chroniclers I never cease to marvel at that outstanding creation of PG Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster. I have more than one reason to have singled Bertie out of all his priceless creations. The most important of them all is that I see myself as a mirror image of Bertie for the precarious situations I land myself in through my indiscretions and the ham handed manner in which I try to extricate myself out of the muddle only to find myself in deeper crisis. It is as though Wodehouse had me in mind while he was conceiving Bertie. The other sound reason is that both Bertie and I have similar literary ambitions and in pursuing the same, we are beset with the same kind of problems. Hear what Bertie has to say about his own: “I don't know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I'm telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It's a thing you don't want to go wrong over, because one false step and you're sunk. I mean, if you fool about too long at the start, trying to establish atmosphere, as they call it, and all that sort of rot, you fail to grip and the customers walk out on you. . Get off the mark, on the other hand, like a scalded cat, and your public is at a loss. It simply raises its eyebrows, and can't make out what you're talking about.” The fact is I can’t sum up my own problems better than Bertie has summed it up for me. Though we are justifiably proud of our creations, we do not solicit customers actively. We do mention them from time to time in passing as Bertie talks about his article “What the well dressed man is wearing” that he wrote for his Aunt Dahlia’s magazine, My lady’s Boudoir! The special love Bertie has for his Aunt Dahlia is on two counts specially. The first is, as I have already mentioned, that it was Aunt Dahlia who discovered his literary talent and gave him a great opening. The second is of course is her cook Anatole, who is God’s gift to gastric juices! His love for his other Aunt Agatha is no less but he prefers to express it from a distance. The problem that Bertie and I share is not just starting trouble but there are others too. I always wonder how a chronicler does not get carried away by the micro events of a mundane nature. His job is undoubtedly an unenviable one. He has to be highly objective and resist reporting on such trivia that may not stand the test of time. Every man or a woman for that matter has several interesting incidents happening during the course of his life and they can be strung together into a nice, gripping story if only he knew what events to string together. They are certainly not our attacks of migraine and constipation which when they do occur may take precedence over everything else at that point of time. Imagine Julius Caesar as a man who suffers from acute duodenal ulcer caused by his epileptic drugs. He may be coming home every night from the house of Cleopatra with a chronic stomach pain caused by an over indulgence in an exotic dish of lizards and what have you. He swears unmouthable inanities at his dumb Negro slave Commonus Muccus and gives it further effect by a strong kick on his shin. To the poor Negro slave, these daily tantrums personify the character of Caesar but tell me whether such events ever get recorded? That’s the point I’m trying to make. If Commonus Muccus had chronicled Caesar’s life, it would be a kind of textbook for gastroenterologists! We would never know if Krishna Deva Raya considered Tenali Rama a pain in the neck at times like when Rama walked into the Palace Courtyard with a pot covering his head and remarked so to his Queen in a frustrated whisper. That is where the deft recording of lives of great men by highly capable chroniclers comes into play. Such discretionary abilities keep eluding me all the time. Just one look at my diary is proof enough of what I say! They are just a chronological list of my visits to the Gymkhana Club! But I shall continue to write until the patience of Indus Ladies wears thin!