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The Unenviable Chroniclers!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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  2. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    If your past posts are an indication of your chronicling style of mundane events, then we are ready to read your diary entries about trips to the Gymkhana too.:yes:They are sure to be peppered with witty observations about the parkinglot attendant, the bearers, the snacks at the outdoor counter, the dyed moustache of Brigadier Rao or the antics of a reeboked Alamelu Mami.

    If Writer Sujatha's Laundry list can make it to print, why cant Cheeniya Sir's diary entries enliven IL ?

    Regards
    Manjula
     
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  3. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniyasir,

    Another piece worth reading.You are one prolific writer!

    It is said that we Indians lost much of our tradition and texts since we relied more on memorising and reciting by rote, rather than chronicling. Our Mallu writer,MT Vasudevan Nair remarked that had the Mahabharatha been really written rather than strung together, it wld have been very different but truer to fact. Anyway, we are a patient lot in IL, bring out your diaries from the gym visits.

    And to take leave a la PGW, 'pip,pip'!
     
  4. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri:

    Like you, I am a Wodehouse fan of course. And I too have found myself in Bertie's predicament throughout my life. As you know, his predicaments did not involve writing skills alone. I forget which story this was, Summer Moonshine probably, and it didn't have Bertie in it either to the best of my recollection. It was probably someone else who was pretty close to Bertie in most affairs of life. Whoever it was, he was parambulating in the garden of some magnanimous relative -- Aunt Dahlia's second -- when he runs into this nice little girl. They converse for a while and a thought flashes through our hero's mind. Could it be worth his while to fall in love with her!! Just imagine. He doesn't fall in love. He merely contemplates whether falling in love with her might be a good idea.

    I have to confess that I have often found myself in that situation. :rotfl

    And as I read you, I never detected the Bertie disease -- not knowing where to start. But then, you may see it differently. People appear to like your style, whether you began anywhere or not. And realizing this, I found a solution to another of my problems. It's a Bertie problem too. Few girls ever fell in love with him and those that did, fell out pretty soon.

    Similarly, few readers are interested in reading what I write.

    I gave this matter serious thought and prayed to Jeeves to come out with a solution. Believe it or not, he did. Just read and comment on others, especially Cheeniya, he said. Then one person at least will read you and acknowledge your comment. This sounds like a great idea. Instead of writing on my own, I will leave fb's for you and others. Some will at least read them and are likely to respond to the fb's.

    This could be fun by itself. The posts I do not enjoy, I can simply ignore and the ones I like I can pontificate on. And rest assured that your gymkhana tales will continue to appeal to me. :thumbsup

    All the best.

    oj
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear oj
    The synopsis that you have provided is so typical of a Wodehouse plot. The beauty of PGW is that he never tires you despite the fact that all his stories give you a feeling that you have heard them before. That's where he scores. For those who think that writing such stories must be kid stuff, I would recommend a reading of his "Performing Flea". The other day I was watching a Mr.Bean episode. He is travelling in a train with a solitary co passenger who is engrossed in a book. All of a sudden he bursts out laughing to the great dismay of Mr.Bean. As he goes on reading the book, his laughter becomes intense and extremely noisy. Mr.Bean tries all sorts of tricks to shut off the noise of his laughter but in vain. I always tell my daughter that the book he is probably reading is Wodehouse novel. I say so with such authority because I too laugh like this in my travels much to the annoyance of my co passengers and the book I always carry is Wodehouse!

    Getting contemplative is a lot better before falling in love than after! I should say it saves blushes for all concerned!

    I see that you have taken Jeeves' advice very seriously judging from the lavish FBs that you
    keep showering on IL writers. I should honestly say that your FBs are classy stuff and extremely motivating. You may not know how motivated I myself feel after I started getting your FBs.
    Sri
    .
     
  6. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri:

    You and I share a great deal in common. How I wish I knew you in person and lived in the same city. I would love to read the books you read and sit together over a coffee (unlike Kamalji, I am not much of a whisky lover) and laugh together.

    In fact I have watched the Bean movie you described and enjoyed it like most of his other skits.

    All the best.

    oj
     
  7. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CMridula%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS Mincho"; panose-1:2 2 6 9 4 2 5 8 3 4; mso-font-alt:"MS 明朝"; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:modern; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:-1610612033 1757936891 16 0 131231 0;} @font-face {font-family:"\@MS Mincho"; panose-1:2 2 6 9 4 2 5 8 3 4; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:modern; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:-1610612033 1757936891 16 0 131231 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB; mso-bidi-language:AR-SA;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Dear cheeniya sir,


    Could this day get any better…got to read about my favorites…..first MS and now PGW….….one of the things both dh and me have in common is our adoration for PGW......we can talk endlessly about his quotes from different books….and Big Laugh

    My fav are “joy in the morning” and “ batchelors anonymous”…

    Many a times I have also laughed in trains…be it Bertie and his aunts, ,Emsworth and his sisters, Jeeves, Bingo little and his novelist wife, or Monty bodkins. .no one to beat him in comedy…that u are a fan is obvious …many of your writings have the same effect on us…so do get out your diary and enthrall us with your chronicles…

    As for julius Caesar coming home with stomach pain from Cleopatra it made me :rotfl:rotfl



    regards
    Mindi….
     
  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mindi
    It's great to know that you and your DH are both PGW's fans like me. Calling myself a fan of his is an understatement. I am just crazy about his novels. A few pages of one of his books are a must for me before I fall asleep. There is no better way to end the day and get rid of all the hangover of the day's happenings! If I were to be born again, I would love to be born as PGW but in India and as a member of IL!
    I am happy that you liked this thread of mine Mindi.
    Sri
     
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    I can't believe that you have problem where to start when you write something. You have made so many posts in this IL forum over several years. Sometimes, I noticed that you start three different subjects and while I was wondering how you would be able to connect all three unrelated topics, suddenly, at the end, you tie them up all together through a philosophical or practical life comparison. The sense of humor in every one of your posts is simply stunning.

    Over the last several months, I systematically read 5-10 of your posts every single week until I gave fb to each one of them. I can't explain my emotions in words that this fb covers the only post left in Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings. Unless you write more, I will be missing your writings from now on unless I reread some or all of them.

    I sincerely look forward to meeting you in Chennai during my next trip. Until then, I will find a way to stay in touch with you.

    Viswa
     
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  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa
    I am truly beholden to you for your love and affection. I have always felt touched by the detailed FBs that you give to every one of my threads and thanks to you, quite a few new members have become my regular readers too. I am grateful to you for the wonderful sentiments expressed. I too will look forward to meeting you during your next visit to Chennai.
    Sri
     

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