Other pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157629991224798/show/
|My friends, my pen and my diary - Mike Ghouse|
I went to the storage today, and saw my old fountain pen, pleasantly lying in a box and smiling at me… damn it, I am so happy to see her. It is ridiculous that a pen can make you so happy! She is my old friend; she wrote my happy moments and my sad moments and brought calmness to me and restored my tranquility each time I was off. She is my friend, my best friend.
I dedicate this note to my friends Vanja Krupa and Yoshua Budin, whose comments on my facebook wall inspired me to put this note together.
Yoshua wrote, "that one day I rewrite it all and turn it into a real book….Sometimes I look back in these diaries. But not for long. It feels like lingering in the past. And I look forward.
Vanja shared, " Used to write dairy as well, to keep all the impressions, on paper to memorise and reread 'one day' …but I like to have all these Dairies and letters saved in large dusty boxes, for the next generation to read,"
Indeed, I am blessed with 5000 friends on facebook plus 2000 subscribers and additional 2000 in another group on facebook.. I write thank you notes, birthday wishes to almost all... except when my computer has crashed... can you do it? Yes, you can. Just have the will and commitment. I do that every morning.
Yoshua and Vanja's notes reminded me of my own habits. I used to write diaries since I was in college. My friend Jameel gave me an appointment book, the size of a book with 365 pages in it, I wrote so much that, I doubled it to nearly 700 pages by adding two to three pages and gluing it in the book, and I had so much to write including life, family and interfaith. That was early in 1970’s… I wrote every year after that. Finally, I burned all my diaries, the last one in the mid-nineties.
I always had fountain pens, and I wrote letters to my mother in Urdu, and prided in taking time to write to her, wrote as beautiful as I can - and when she said, I have the beautiful handwriting, it made my day. With her passing away, and phone calls becoming economical, I stopped writing in Urdu and there goes the fountain pen with it.
I used to write letters in Urdu to my sister when she got married and left home, I kept writing all the way through the nineties. Oddly I wrote a few letters to my brother Kaleem in Hindi, he was better in Hindi than Urdu. I am regaining my writing skills all over now including Kannada language.
Two years ago, Sada Cumber, the former Ambassador to OIC, gifted me a box of fountain pens… then the old-me woke up and start writing again in the fountain pen. I write everything, reminders to my daily lists, to my 3x5 cards to poetry, then take a picture from my i-pad and keep it for follow up. Odd, but I love it.
When I walked into public life in the early Nineties, I did not think I would have anything private. I was wrong, everyone has things that they don’t want to share - they may be silly things, or even idiotic or bad things. They stay within you and get buried with you. Except a few emotions and reactions here and there, much of my life is an open book. It is all encapsulated in my blogs, my forums, facebook and writings.
Is it the same with you?
Thanks to aol - my 18 years of notes, writings etc were saved in the form of files, and thank to some genius who hacked into my account - all of my work is gone, aol restored some emails, but much of all is gone, 18 years of emails and writings… was I angry? yes I was. Did I cry? No, I felt relief… thought of suing AOL, they guarantee storage, but did not deliver. Any attorney wants to take it up? If you win the big battle, the money will go towards pluralism education; my life commitment. I also have a full manuscript for a book, “The one minute accountant” on my old McIntosh, don’t know how to extract it either… let go man!
What is humbling?
If I croak, meaning die, of course, I will die, that is, if I die within a year… all my writings and books will be meaningless to my wife and my kids… why should they have to go through the pain of deciding what to keep, and what to give away (trashing)? I am glad it disappeared on the net - it frees me and frees them. I have over 5,000 pictures of the Dallas community… if I have the time, I will do an open house - come and get yours.
What about you, what will happen to your stuff should something happen to you? Why do we need to collect it in the first place?
Writing is relaxing… If you wish to receive a post card from me, send me your name and address to email@example.com, and I will handwrite your address and mail it to you, that’s a promise - Insha Allah. That is if God kept me alive.
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily.