Friday, 13 March 2009

Writing for patience

Is patience one of my virtues? Let's just say I am learning the art (marriage and mommyhood have helped immensely)...
A friend rang me the other day and wanted to know if I could help his friend's father pen his memoirs. The 'protagonist' in question, he said, is 76, a doctor, with adventurous stories of his service years in the Andamans. "He sounds like a nice person," said my friend. "And I thought of you 'cos you would lend him a patient ear." Now, whatever gave him that idea.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I've said 'yes' to the project. Yes, it could give me a lot of insight into how different medical practice, and life in general, was over 50 years ago and, as I have learned from my father, old people have a remarkable way of 'anecdotising' their lives, which always seems immensely more enjoyable and exotic than our everyday tales.
I just hope I am able to be 'the patient ear' my friend intended. My dad, who tells interesting stories of his first rubber chappal, first watch and the time he walked from Alappuzha to Ernakulam, would say I have a long way to go. But you have to forgive me for tuning out of his stories at times: he may be recounting it to a visitor but hey, I have been hearing them for the the past 31 years!!
Last year, I told my dad to write down all his childhood tales (which involve a lot of girl-chasing, drinking bouts and general roguish behaviour among the good times like winning basketball championships). he hasn't gotten down to it yet but maybe once I'm done with this project, and with my enhanced reserves of patience, I'll help him do it. Just hold me to my word, guys. 

2 comments:

Sam said...

Adventures in Two Worlds by A.J. Cronin is one the best books I have read; it is about his life as a doctor and later as a writer.
I got a copy from a roadside vendor in Delhi and gave it for binding to a person, but he lost it. But I have vivid memories of it. One story is of Cronin going for house visits in a village in Scotland when he started his career. Young and educted, he was conceited as well. The village had only an old, registered medical practioner.
One there was a strange case of wheezing in child that Cronin had to attend to. The cillage nurse went for him after she tried some home remedies for a day or two, but a whistling noise from the child was troubling her. The child, however, seemed ok.
Cronin examined the child and could not find anything either. Then the old doctor came in, examined the child and pulled out a whistle (the ones they use in toys) from the child's nose. Cronin says he has since always remembered it when he felt conceited.
Hope you get memoirs like that. And let the writing make you (and all those who read it) the wiser for it.

SunnySmile said...

I am meeting Dr George Varghese tomorrow. Will put a post on my interaction.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Writing for patience

Is patience one of my virtues? Let's just say I am learning the art (marriage and mommyhood have helped immensely)...
A friend rang me the other day and wanted to know if I could help his friend's father pen his memoirs. The 'protagonist' in question, he said, is 76, a doctor, with adventurous stories of his service years in the Andamans. "He sounds like a nice person," said my friend. "And I thought of you 'cos you would lend him a patient ear." Now, whatever gave him that idea.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I've said 'yes' to the project. Yes, it could give me a lot of insight into how different medical practice, and life in general, was over 50 years ago and, as I have learned from my father, old people have a remarkable way of 'anecdotising' their lives, which always seems immensely more enjoyable and exotic than our everyday tales.
I just hope I am able to be 'the patient ear' my friend intended. My dad, who tells interesting stories of his first rubber chappal, first watch and the time he walked from Alappuzha to Ernakulam, would say I have a long way to go. But you have to forgive me for tuning out of his stories at times: he may be recounting it to a visitor but hey, I have been hearing them for the the past 31 years!!
Last year, I told my dad to write down all his childhood tales (which involve a lot of girl-chasing, drinking bouts and general roguish behaviour among the good times like winning basketball championships). he hasn't gotten down to it yet but maybe once I'm done with this project, and with my enhanced reserves of patience, I'll help him do it. Just hold me to my word, guys. 

2 comments:

Sam said...

Adventures in Two Worlds by A.J. Cronin is one the best books I have read; it is about his life as a doctor and later as a writer.
I got a copy from a roadside vendor in Delhi and gave it for binding to a person, but he lost it. But I have vivid memories of it. One story is of Cronin going for house visits in a village in Scotland when he started his career. Young and educted, he was conceited as well. The village had only an old, registered medical practioner.
One there was a strange case of wheezing in child that Cronin had to attend to. The cillage nurse went for him after she tried some home remedies for a day or two, but a whistling noise from the child was troubling her. The child, however, seemed ok.
Cronin examined the child and could not find anything either. Then the old doctor came in, examined the child and pulled out a whistle (the ones they use in toys) from the child's nose. Cronin says he has since always remembered it when he felt conceited.
Hope you get memoirs like that. And let the writing make you (and all those who read it) the wiser for it.

SunnySmile said...

I am meeting Dr George Varghese tomorrow. Will put a post on my interaction.