Sunday, July 24, 2005
Search DH  
Home | About Us | Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Feedback | DH Avenues
Edit Page
Net Mail
It's Your Take
In City Today
Daily Almanac
Horoscope by Tiny
Year 2005

Pearls of wisdom
If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. Vince Lombardi 

Economy & Business
Metro Life - Mon
Science & Technology
Consumer Bytes
DH Avenues
Cyber Space
Metro Life - Thurs
DH Education
Open Sesame
DH Realty
Metro Life - Sat
Sunday Herald
Fine Art / Culture
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Art Reviews
Kuldip Nayar
Khushwant Singh
N J Nanporia
Tavleen Singh
Swami Sukhbodhananda
Bittu Sehgal
Suresh Menon
Shreekumar Varma
Movie Guide
Ad Links
International School
Real Estate Properties in Bangalore
Deccan Herald
Now Available
in Print Format
About Us

Send your Suggestions / Queries about the Website to the

To send letters to Editor : 
Letters to Editor

For enquiries on advertisements :
Contact Us

Deccan Herald » Shreekumar Varma » Detailed Story
Changing with the times
By Sreekumar Varma
My first published story was called The Change. I was less than twenty, and surprised that anyone would want to publish what I wrote.

The story covered a single page and included an illustration in which the artist very kindly gave away the ending.

It was about this city-educated boy returning to his village to find nothing has changed. Or nearly nothing. The only change is in the young girl he’s longingly come back to see. And it’s this change that shocks him.

A year later, the same magazine published another story about an artist who, briefly separated from his wife, finds he cannot recreate the magic he needs to paint. But that night he finds their maid bathing in the garden. The beauty of the moonlight on her body sparks off his creativity, and he’s able to paint again!

At 18, and then 19, I had no experience of love and marriage. And longing featured only in the silent infatuations that a rather reticent college student is prone to. But I read a lot in those days, and my imagination was at full-mast.

That was all I needed to create my little worlds of desire, love and longing, though a couple of readers did show visible signs of unease when they learned that I was the author.

Now, several sobering decades later, I find it’s not only the imagination that works out a story but also the ways of the world. Your writing reflects the world you live in. Your experience dictates the way you write. Your silent interactions with other writers leave their mark on your style and subject. And like Eliot once said, generations peer over your shoulders to make sure you address a certain tradition. With all these influences at work, your writing instantly gathers the world into itself. And it represents itself to the future as a face of its time.

Take Eliot himself as an example, and you’ll see how writing changes with time. His poetry describes a wasted world, complicated and confused; in fact, it simply reflects the time he lived in. Stunned by war and a world order gone crazy, it records the bewilderment of a civilisation without direction.

A far cry indeed from an earlier generation of poets that noted the warbling habits of birds, the sweetness of wayside flowers and viewed the world through narcotic fumes.

In Eliot, that sweetness succumbed to the harsh realities of a world in serious conflict. The world progressed, and so did art. Like life itself, art too picked up the wiles and technologies of the world.

When everyone else talks of multi-tasking, why not the artist. When everyone else plays to the gallery, why not the artist.

So you see live music inspiring the artist to paint; computer graphics, comic strips and pop art drawing the writer to broaden his horizon; the poet looking frantically for even more barriers to break.

When I wrote The Change, I hardly imagined how significant the title of that first work would appear in my later years!

The Emergency would happen in a couple of years. Computers would be used a decade later. Almost anything you found in the west would be available here. The urban landscape would change so dramatically you’d be surprised you were still in India. And, of course, the world would be at your fingertips.

You’d know exactly what happened in the remotest corner of the world, you’d talk and correspond with people there on a second-to-second basis.

Your art, whatever it was, stood balanced on a razor’s-edge between now and then, a present that was already mutating into the future. You thought you knew where you stood in terms of world art because of the internet and the speed of ideas, but before you blinked, you were even further behind!

The change! How true! I saw Junglee the other day, and later Anniyan. The simplistic, melodious, colourful, formula of the one and the noisy, technology-ridden, in-the-face, semi-realistic formula of the other were pointers to the journey of art.

It’s like getting blindfolded and joining point A to point B with an invisible marker! Who knows what went where to come up with what we now have! Anyway, the journey has been interesting, and we’ve gathered the world into ourselves and, most of all, we’re really lucky we have point A as well as point B with us.

Today, I still write stories of love, longing and marriage, but console myself that I now have the voice of experience.

The author can be contacted at
Comment on this article
Ad Links
Florist Send Flowers Gifts Bangalore Delhi Dehradun Hyderabad Mumbai All India
NRIs! Do you know?
Home Decor
Flowers to India, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore
Send Flowers, Cakes, Chocolates, Fruits to India
International School
Real Estate Properties in Bangalore
Copyright 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G. Road, Post Box No 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523