Sunday, 4 March 2012

"Young Child with Dreams - Dream Ev'ry Dream on Your Own"

Is it a milestone? Sunbyanyname is all of two on the First of March. Is it a milestone, after all? It should be only if one considers that I work my bottom off, as a Senior Vice President at Reliance (which has got nothing to do with this blog and views expressed in the blog are entirely my own), six days a week; and the seventh day, my day - the Sun Day - is all I have to think and write, write and think; and yet make my wife and sons feel that I am a good husband and a father too.

Illusion of fame. A little child in a Tiny Tots nursery was asked his name by the teacher.
He replied, "William Shakespeare".
The teacher was taken aback and asked, "But don't you think it is a famous name?"
And the boy replied, "It should be; I've been around for two years now."

The beginning. Sunbyanyname toddled along not knowing where to go on the 1st of March 2010, just a day after I retired from the Navy on 28th Feb 2010. Having a blog whilst in active service in the Navy is sacrilegious and against all sorts of rules, regulations and norms. We are not cleared to publish anything. We are supposed to take three steps backwards, two to the left and four to the right when the Press or the Media asks us a question. The reason is that the people in the armed forces really know their stuff; and hence, if the Press or the Media were to publish what they utter, it would be utter disdain of the Official Secrets Act, which is nearly nine decades old, and can be justifiably called archaic as well as arcane. No such danger exists from the politicians or the bureaucrats as their utterances can never be construed as flouting the OSA. In their case, the country tries hard to keep their ignorance a secret.

This 'n That. Anyway, let me get back to this two years old baby called 'Sunbyanyname'. Initially, in search for a name for my blog, I scratched my head, pulled my hair (a habit I had until very few of the grey matter was actually left) and came up with the name 'This 'n That'. Aha, it sounded best to hide my confusion whilst sounding intellectual. I didn't know what subject to have the blog on. So, I selected a secion called Humour, another called Poems and Limericks, yet another called 'Stories' and another two called 'Navy - No One Asked Me But...' and 'Navy - Nostalgia'. All my serious writing I put under 'Opinions' and all that the four letter word called 'Life' has conveyed to me under 'Life is like that'. Later on, I felt that I needed to write about 'Philosophy' too to spread my confusion about the 'truth' of life amongst all those who can be duped to read it. Finally, I added 'In Lighter Vein' for funny anecdotes and 'Music and Cinema' to express my love for both these. I also added a section on Travel. The only thing left for me to do is to add Plays in 'Music and Cinema'. It was a little of This and a little of That.

Change of name. No, it was nothing to do with police and the authorities being after me or a trick learnt from the Pakistani Jehadi organisations. I had to change the name after I realised that the world has lost count of the number of blogs and other artefacts simply called 'This 'n That'. It lacked individuality and character. I know that those of you who have read William Shakespeare - not the two year old infant in Tiny Tots nursery, but the bard who regaled the world by anything from Comedy to History to Tragedy to Sonnets - will testify the truth of Juliet's saying in Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) , ""What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." But, I somehow didn't let Shakespeare interfere with my plan and changed the name of the blog to 'Sunbyanyname'. Initially, people thought it was the south Indian Subramaniam spelled wrongly but later people got used to it.

Making the rose smell sweet. This was the difficult part; I had ideas but no time. For more than a year after the blog was born (until end May 2011 to be precise), it lay atrophied like any other public project in India whose foundation stone is laid by a minister with great fanfare, but, whose f stone resembles a tombstone a few years later. Suddenly, one fine day, a Sun Day to be precise, an idea stuck me. It wasn't as earthshaking as Newton discovering an apple falling from a tree; but, nevertheless its pull was as strong as that of gravity. I reckoned that I was a tad too harsh with myself; thinking that I should write only if it could be published under the 'World's Best Dissertations'. Why not just write as it came to me with no frills and repeated editing to make it sound the work of a great intellectual. And the darned rose, the subject of Juliet's assertion, started to smell if not totally sweet, at least not pungent too.

Joining indiblogger. It is at this stage that I joined 'indiblogger'. I heaved a sigh of relief when I realised that there were any number of these prolific writers whose blogposts would take as much space as half of what Juliet said in the quote above. I was reminded of a pair of rabbits being chased by the foxes; the male rabbit told the female, "Shall we out run them or wait here for a while and out number them?" Alright, Sunbyanyname, I addressed the blog, "Go for it, boy; write a blogpost a day and keep the doctor away." After a few days 'Sunbyanyname' found me, like WW, in vacant and in pensive mood, and rattled out without preamble, "Why do you want to keep the doctor away? She is a Pretty Young Thing (PYT) and worth having better than an apple or a blogpost a day." "Brilliant" I told Sunbyanyname, "It is ideas like these that have changed the world. Lead on and let them know you are unique and original as the Sun. Don't worry even if you write a few times a month when the idea strikes you rather than breaking the world record with 'I breathe in and breathe out blogposts'."

Miles to go before I sleep.  "Are you and that blasted 'Sunbyanyname' of yours happy?" you may ask. Well, ladies and gentleman, now you are getting me into deeper waters than I have been during my Navy career. I admit that I am unhappy about the following:
  • I have visited several places in India and abroad but I haven't got adequate time to recount these.
  • The darned pictures take a long time to be inserted and yet they never appear where I want them to appear. From the available time, much precious percentage of it is lost on this.
  • When I write Humour and In Lighter Vein people lap it up readily but the number of people who read 'Opinions' can be inscribed on the back of a five paise stamp, leaving enough space there for inscribing the number of people who died in both the world wars.
  • Sometimes, when original ideas strike me, I am busy in some official meeting or so; and hence, before I can jot them down somewhere, they vanish like snowflakes.
  • Existential pangs; that is, what is it all leading to? Is it just This 'n That?
Light across the tunnel. Still, there is some light across the tunnel. I believe that if a certain political party in India comes to power in the next general elections, they have promised to make days, by an act of parliament, as long as fifty hours and Sun Days as long as hundred. Sunbyanyname and I will have all the time in the world to write some really good stuff. Even at that, on the second birthday of my child, I sing like Waheeda Rehman in 1963 Hindi movie 'Mujhe Jeene Do' (Let Me Live):

"Tere bachpan ko jawani ki dua deti hoon,
Aur dua deke preshaan si ho jaati hoon"
 (I wish your childhood would blossom into youth,
But, after wishing, I become nervous (about you future))


  1. Very well narrated story.
    I think that this plot can be developed into an interesting novel.

    1. Thanks. I think your comments are meant for my story 'Dori'.

  2. Sir, I think you are lucky to have a nice family. I can't think of touching my laptop on weekends. Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes of sunbyanyname. And, congratulations on completing 2 years...:)

  3. Thank you, Saru. I hardly get time to look after the blog on week days and hence if the blog has to be run, it has to be during those few hours on weekends.


I welcome all your comments as long as these are not vituperative, use obscene language and are communal