What is ‘A Fine Balance’ all about?

This site is dedicated to Rohinton Mistry.


Mistry has authored ‘A Fine Balance’, ‘Such A Long Journey’, ‘Family Matters’, ‘Tales From Firozshah Bagh’, and ‘The Scream’.


A FINE…, WHAT?

This site was previously called ‘An Observer And His Keen Observations’ and has now been renamed after a book. Why has it to be renamed at all? Is it all being done on one of those days when the writer struggles for words, and finally when he manages to find some and put them on the screen in front of him he is dejected at the knowledge of the story heading in no particular direction and that whatever was conceived for the last few days within him has now come out and is stillborn, and so he decides to venture on an adventure – and if I were to do so I’d call it a cheap adventure – just to pour some words out on the screen? Let me assure you that it is so not the case.

I do realise that it is uncustomary, albeit not unprecedented, to name your site after other person’s work – recognised or otherwise, or after an author – dead or alive. A prerogative, hitherto, principally in practice among humans to name their children after popular personages, who lived a decent life and left the world with unparalleled accomplishments to their names well before the child’s birth (cricketers and movie-celebrities being the only two professions in India wherein any individual soon elevates to the status of Gods and is hence the exception to this rule in that the children are immediately named after them while these people are still alive). Perhaps with an expectation that names do matter and that despite the fact that the history might not repeat itself and there won’t be any more Ravan to be destroyed by Ram, the world will be – might be – lesser cruel to a name they revere. No wonder that we, in India, have more people named Ram and Vardhaman and none named Ravana. But this is not the pretext for renaming the website (naming it after a great book can’t make this site great) nor is it a justification to corroborate my actions in doing so.

I have several reasons for renaming the site. For starters, the previous name was hackneyed and dull. Of course, when I had chosen it, it had seemed to be the most appropriate choice – an authentic name expressing my intentions for the site, and, I have tried to remain faithful to its name. But it just kind of didn’t stick to the core idea of all my writings. Of course, there are observations in all the writings, but I have, in the stories that I have written down, tried to maintain that delicate balance between the hope and despair, and in the end of all the stories, when all has been said, and some of the characters have died, and some others managed to outlive the end of the story (for no story ends with a writer’s final full stop, characters continue to live on) it all comes down to the question of how well balanced a life they lived.

The site was also named what it was named back then because there were two different sites – one for the observations (articles on topics like ‘Conversations’, ‘People’, ‘Father’, ‘Family’, ‘Mother’ etcetera), and the other for the stories. I was young, and as is often the case with the youth – more meant better. The mist of ignorance has subsided and both the sites have now been merged into this – again, an act of balancing the art of telling things across to the readers.

But most importantly the site has to be renamed because the title that I have now chosen answers all the questions about (and around) what motivated me to write – Sadness? Loss? Grief? Loneliness? Yes, I have lost, was saddened by it, grieved for as long as the eyes were capable of forming the tears, and have had found myself lonely in the busiest of places. But who doesn’t go through all of these phases in their lives? At the core of my storytelling lies my desire to provide you with a company our distance notwithstanding, and to reassert to you the fact that it is fine, whatever it is that you are going through, is happening to a lot of people you know nothing about, and you’ll get past it just fine, and then in hindsight you’ll be bolstered by this experience.

I do realise that it might not be the best of all the bold moves that as a writer (I am no blogger and this is no blog site) I have had attempted so far. Experiments, they call it. But I tend to think of this move (changing the name of this site to the name of the book that changed my life) as my only way of dedicating something to the author I revere the most rather than a meagre experiment.

You can find all the writeups here.


Author’s picture has been downloaded from google.

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