Mr JR Jyoti was a most fascinating person simply because he loved life. When I first knew him in the early 80s he was the strict father of my friend Sunil Jyoti, and we'd try to slip past him into Sunil's room. One thing I would notice with awe and think to myself that if one day I had a book collection (or rather a Wodehouse collection like the one Uncle had, I would consider my life a success!). Uncle had tons of books in steel shelves, well kept away from prying hands.
Then many years passed - Sunil and I passed, he got a job and I got one, he married and then I did, Uncle retired. We kept in touch and would meet up every now and then and that was when I found that Uncle had a whole new side to him. He was a writer and a serious one at that. And to improve his craft he would go to great lengths - buy books, attend courses and so on.
|Uncle's books on writing on my shelf|
Suddenly I found a whole new side to Uncle - where he became my friend and equal in our writing journey. The day he heard I had just attempted writing my first novel 'The Misfit' he invited me enthusiastically to a creative writing course he was attending as part of the Open University thing - it was at Srinagar Colony and I went to talk about my writing process. Uncle gave me a rousing introduction and told everyone I had written a great novel. I shared what I could. I met some wonderful people - Vinod Ekbote (the best gift Jyoti saab gave me that day - we still meet every fortnight), Anil Ekbote, Major Kiran and BS Murthy. Uncle became a whole new person - laughing, cracking jokes, talking to all of us like an equal, treating us out for chai and stuff. He later went on to publish his book 'Day and Night' - a collection of humorous articles which he presented to me. I still have that copy.
Uncle fell ill with a illness that reduced his breathing capacity. Vinod and I visited him and while he put up a brave front, and smiled and talked, we knew he was struggling. When registering his will he asked me to come and sign as a witness - something I felt quite privileged to do.
Then he passed away.
While clearing up his books Sunil thoughtfully asked me and Vinod if I wanted to take a look at the books on writing that Uncle had which might be more useful to me on my writing journey. I picked up a whole lot and they are such treasures. I have been reading them ever since one by one and consider it his great gift to me, his loving word of encouragement to me on my path.
Yesterday Sunil called me again and said he found a few more writing books and would I want them? O Of course! I would not miss them for the world. So I went today and got four books - writing a novel, writing for young adults, sports writing and so on.
|Uncle giving me a sign - stay on course|
As I got them home and added them to my collection I realised Uncle was up there giving me a sign, to stay on course, to stay on the path and not feel disheartened, and that he will continue to support me and inspire me.
Thanks Uncle. And Sunil. Don't know how to say it, but truly grateful. And surely it will all pay off someday, that I am sure of.
This is very heart warming Sir
Post a Comment