MIDWAY: Patient papers

I have friends who’ve read hundreds of fiction novels and they constantly coax me to swim into the ‘world of fiction.’ However, fiction has never impressed me as much as real life incidents, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs etc. Diaries, too, never fit into ‘my-type’ of literary reading.

I have come across the famous “The diary of a young girl” by Anne Frank a number of times. But I couldn’t get myself into reading it. However, something mysterious made me take up the book last week. When I started reading, I couldn’t hold myself from completing it. In fact, my first experience of reading a diary was fantastic.

As far as I’m concerned, the best quote from the book is where the little girl who has just stepped into her teens writes, “paper is more patient than man.” How simple yet overpowering that line is. There’s no doubt that the patience of a paper is far greater than that of a human being. The paper is patient and strong enough to engulf all the pain, suffering, hate, anger and dissatisfaction of the possessor. It’s only human that we tend to share our happiness and celebrate it with style.

But our miseries and pain stay within us, longing for an ear to listen and a heart to feel. Maybe, because of this reason, everyone wants to share happiness but we would hardly find anyone who’d like to share his agony and pain. This is how a diary comes into existence.

The diary of an individual could be of national or international interest as in the case of B P Koirala or Anne Frank. I wonder what would a diary of a young Maoist cadre or a soldier at the battlefield would consist of; what might be the content of a village belle who’s seen her neighbours being murdered, girls being raped, houses being plundered, among other atrocities. Obviously, such diaries would have a lot to offer.

A diary could serve to be a great medium when we think of our deeds in retrospect. It might turn out to be a friend who’d give a patient hearing. Having said so, I must confess that I don’t have the habit of writing a diary. But Anne’s diary has jolted and revolted my soul. It has encouraged me to start one of my own which might be in the offing soon. Who knows?