Uday Lama

I am proud of the fact and can justifiably say that I am a collector of information. And I am not much concerned that this makes me out an addict of sorts. There is much more to it than just being a processor of newsy snippets and tidbit and being upbeat about the larger issues that dominate the conversations in the living room.

I have with me a large box file and half-a-dozen A4 sized envelopes bulging with newspaper cuttings and other odds and ends. These form in large measure my effort to accumulate, to the extent possible, anything of interest. The process still goes on. It is heart warming just to be able to go through them once in a while and so refresh my memory.

Add to these my daily habit of reading a couple of dailies and a weekly (in English) and somehow my urge to fulfil the daily quota gets satiated. Poring over the headlines and the block of print that accompanies gives me satisfaction and a lot of pleasure.

No item of interest goes unnoticed. I snip it out with a pair of scissors and file it away for future reference — anything that has got to do with education, journalism, out-of-the-ordinary news and sundry articles. These chunks of facts somehow float to the surface of the conscious mind and I am smitten by it.

These have a newsy value far above their yellowed content. But I make it a point to keep in touch even though they are dated. Somehow or the other I have withheld arranging them in some sort of order. And so these accumulate in a haphazard manner.

The process of sorting out what is of interest, evaluating their newsworthiness and storing it away takes place in no time. Although I may discard some. Others of more significance take pride of place and are relegated to fit in my scheme of things.

So far I have not given to surfing the Internet. The only thing I know is that it starts at a certain point and stretches out ad infinitum. The whole caper makes me a bit edgy and so I am only sending out e-mails of my write-ups. Although I am sure the Information Super Highway has a lot in store for me I have no stomach for it.

But what has all these got to do with being an addict? The word sounds a bit strong and harsh but there is no helping it. It seems I am stuck with it for the time being. The current line of work I am engaged in means that I have to deliver the write-ups so that any discerning reader can make some sense of it. I am not bemoaning what I consider a fact of life that comes with working with sheets of paper rolled into a manual typewriter. Only that at some point I have to ask myself where I am heading to.

Information comes in a guise and so can catch one unawares so it is best to be on guard. Reading for fun or for the heck of it is one thing but in all seriousness takes precious time. Even when I am in a hurry I read as much as possible at the risk of developing an eye-strain and a headache. This is not an indulgence on my part but a necessity and there is no holding back.