Is there life after death? This was the question that dominated my mind throughout the day, as I writhed in pain on the bed. Common cold, they say; murderous, I say.
A whole day spent in morbid worries over how my funeral would not entail a 21-gun salute, and there won't be State dignitaries to send me off; no pangeric dedicated to encapsulate my achievements and contributions to a society I scarcely believe in. Sad. I behave like a child whenever I am down with flu. Common cold is always debilitating, as it robs a person of his vitality and courage with uncommon precision. The smallest of coughs ring hollow in the chest cavity and fears of something worse always gnaw at the mind. Common cold is nature's way of giving small doses of senility to youth.
The only good thought I had throughout the day was a fictional debate I had with a colleague. Weeks ago, a small debate was started in the office on whether editors made good writers; and vice versa. I was of the opinion that editors need not necessarily make good writers. On my deathbed, I replayed the arguments and won the debate handsomely. My first point was that editors are essentially guardians of style, ethics, integrity and grammatic laws. An editor is much like an assessor, possessing the touchstone to ascertain the quality of a gem. However, mere possession of the knowledge of the gem's merits does not make him a goldsmith, who possesses an altogether different skill set. Editing involves being disinterested, cool and calculative. One has to dissect emotionally-rich content to ascertain whether they can stand the test of procedural scrutiny; and suggest ways to make them an organic whole, bereft of any blemish that might tarnish the reputation of the product. An editor needs to have the propensity to decline emotional attachment with the work of art, such that when he wields the scalpel as an adept surgeon in the autopsy chamber, his hands remain steady as a rock. Moreover, a writer is swayed by the artistic impressions, while an editor has to hold firm to stylistic conventions. These and a few more arguments tilted the scales in my favour and I won the debate to much acclaim from my own brain.
Later, I started comparing the plot of two books and found unnerving similarities in them. The books in question were Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram and Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. Both stories involved protagonists doing time in prison for crimes they did not commit; and both emerging out of captivity, stronger and more resolute. There is something in Count of Monte Cristo that makes me calm. Edmond Dantes escapes prison with a fortune and sets forth on a retributive journey. While he develops a taste for the final outcome after investing so much in their processes, he maintains a cultivated disinterestedness in the suffering of his targets. There's something everybody can learn from Dantes, for it's not without reason people say that revenge is a dish best served cold. I think there's a connection between Dantes' transformation and the traits of an editor. Both crave for anonymity and set about transforming others' lives. A sick comparison by a sick man.
Am dreaming of owning a Bonneville. The looks of the bike are supreme and it oozes out a vintage charm. I have never had the fortune to see it in flesh, but think that owning it would be a lifelong relationship. However, the bike is prohibitively priced in India. Seeing that it comes down as a Completely Built Unit, and the exorbitant taxes the Indian government levies, there's little hope for people like me ever getting into its saddle. Not that I'm unhappy with my Pulsar NS 200, the fact is it runs out of steam on the highway. The Indian roads do not inspire confidence and the most viable speed ranges between 80-100 kmph, in which realm the Pulsar thrives. However, the route to Kerala is so scenic that riding a Bonneville on that stretch would be an experience in itself. Pulsar has been a revelation though. Graduating from a 150-cc Discover, Pulsar seemed a mean machine until my brother brought in Duke 390, which is madness. Will write a detailed review of Duke soon.
Need to sleep. It makes no sense to shuttle between morbidity and fantasy.