Story of a story

Many years back I had written a story called, ‘Reason to smile’. I did not blog that time. So it was lying there in my computer’s D-drive. I felt the story had turned out pretty nice. Unable to contain my excitement, I mailed it to some friends. I expected some will surely write back with a few encouraging words. I received none. Obviously for all practical purposes story was much different. As bad luck arrived in the form of a strong virus; my hard disk got infected badly and had to be junked. And I had to get a new one. I had already told the repair man the data was of utmost importance to me. So please somehow retrieve all my data to the new disk. I didn’t have much ‘text’ data but surely a lot of photographs were there. They were very important and had a lot of value, as well as cost! Well, because back then I used to shoot pictures on 35mm film camera. They had to be developed and printed. And whatever pictures were on the computer were scanned at a nearby cyber café. So you can see, cost of negative, cost of developing, cost of printing and then cost of scanning. Sounds like a scam today. So I was saying that the pictures on the HDD were actually expensive and if he did not manage to put them on the new disk, I will have to get them scanned all over again…

In 2004 December I started blogging. My first blog post was on a site called as ‘blogcity’ and my first post was about the death of my close friend, Pradeep’s father. It had exactly 5 sentences. I was quite happy that I had started blogging and my first post had a real serious topic. Soon, I got a chance to show it to Pradeep, the friend of mine. He was so excited! He read it twice and then called his wife and said ‘look, everything it written here!’

But this ‘story in question’ was 7 pages long and it could not be found in the new HDD. That was a bit too much to take. Around the same time my brother visited us. I told him about my loss. He said show me, I will try to find it. He knew something about retrieving lost data from the disks. Cyber forensics, I think that’s what they call it. Well, he did find a lot of other random stuff, which I didn’t even know was missing, but for my ‘Reason to smile’. There was no way that I will be able to write the entire story all over again. I knew the plot and the scenes by heart; but I had no patience, nor inclination, not even will, to rewrite it.

Enlightenment! I realized I should check my mail ‘sent box’. It has to be there. I had sent it to at least 4-5 people. So, it will take some time to go back and more back to find the right mail, but it will be surely there. And then I will download it back on my folder and then… Well dreaming too much of good things is not good for the good fortune. I signed in, clicked on the ‘sent items’ and went directly to last section. It wasn’t there. I came forward, nothing, one more step, still nothing… ooops I realized it was so utterly stupid to do that, because, I did not have ‘gmail’ then. My first email account was with ‘yahoo mail’ that had been shut long ago, also due to too many viruses entering my system; thanks to mail spams and bad spam filters. Oh my god. This is certainly the dead end. Somehow I was refusing to let go of the two fold problem. One I kept brooding that I couldn’t find it and second I was in no mental state to rewrite it; barring of course if someone put a gun to my ear. Yes it was that bad. During my weeks of worries I had another minor enlightenment and that was I knew to who I must have sent the story. Promptly, I wrote to few friends requesting them to please check their past mails and see if anyone could trace my ‘Reason to smile’ and if they did find it then kindly mail it back to me. Phew and I left it to non-existent, almighty. Now I had no more options to explore. This truly was the last one and if this does not work then it is the dead end…
I don’t know after how long, but one of them sent my story back to me. I read it once and then once again. I felt there is something not the same… finally it dawned on me that it was written so badly that in present moment I could not find it as exciting as I did earlier. Few days back finally I decided to rewrite, ‘Reason to smile’…

‘Sushmanjali’ – an initiative by ‘Nation First Collective’

I remember around 4 years back Akashaditya Lama had called me and 7-8 others for a meeting in Oshiwara. It was to figure out if like minded ‘nationalists’ belonging to cinema or any other art form would be interested in forming a group. For me it was a big opportunity, because it was the first time my nationalism was a qualification and requirement. I felt very excited, and soon we all met regularly (every month). We would talk about various incidences in news and discuss how some vested interests twist the colour of what happened. We thought people need to see it from the right perspective and why ‘what was in news was not right’. Our meetings would end singing full version of ‘Vande Mataram’…
We named the group “Nation First Collective”. We realised we all should contribute little amounts to cover-up for the cost of tea and samosas. Then we willingly started annual contributions…
On the way we did some projects, like supporting Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied a Kashmiri ‘stone thrower’ in front of his Jeep… We got noticed for that ”. We were firm on ” Indian Army!…
Well, we have a come a long way, putting together, ” a major online event in memory of Late Sushma Swaraj on her first death anniversary (6 Aug 2020). It has an unbelievable list of dignitories from various arts and cinema fields; heading the list is Shri Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.


This show is the culmination of hard work, coordination, dedication and technical excellence of Nation First Collective, Sanskar Bharati Poorvottar and Sanskriti Ganga Nyas.