ARS Iyer - Blog

A Writer’s Musings

HandwritingI find it extremely hard to concentrate these days.  May be it is due to advancing years.  In my younger years I would have called it plain laziness.  But now despite an urge to write, it has become quite an effort to put two sentences together and make it readable.  I pride myself that I have a clear thinking on any subject and it flowed freely whenever I put my pen to paper.   Since the advent of the computer these exercises have taken a different method for expressing one self.   Earlier it took a lot of brain work to form an interesting article but once you start writing it was rather easy to write freely.  The art of writing has undergone a lot of changes. The tools of writing vary from the early palm leaf days to the modern computer.  Many an author took years to write a story, novels, treatises, articles, short stories etc. in olden days. But later the typewriter made its appearance. The dicta phone came in handy for writers of novels and long essays to cut down on the manual work which is taken care of by professional stenographers.

I remember the days in my early writing career the pains I took to get an article written and made ready to dispatch to journals and newspapers for publication.  As many insisted that articles meant for publication should be typed in double space leaving a margin for editing it became an ordeal to meet the requirements of the fastidious editor to get his nod for the articles to see the light of the day instead of finding their way to the rejected lot/basket.  I was reluctant to request anyone the use of their typewriter or pay the professional job typist to get the job done.   Due to my insatiable thirst for writing I found it hard to get the work done without burning my pocket much.   Later on after I found a job as a typist I was able to do all my typing at the office (after the working hours).    I would like to recall an incident during this period.   After reading an interesting article in a journal critical of Jawaharlal Nehru my fingers were itching to write an article rebutting the criticisms point by point which ran a few foolscap sheets.  When I took the manuscripts to a job typist he refused to type it for me as he feared the contents may invite police action!  Editors were rather insistent that matters for publication should not be long winding but restricted to a short length.   Once I wrote a rather lengthy article expecting it to be mutilated beyond recognition.  But to my great surprise it was published in full.  Another interesting story (among so many others) was what I consider to be a miracle.  There was an ongoing debate in the columns of a newspaper on the efficacy of Sri Satya Sai Baba’s miracles.  There were a number of articles for and against Sai Baba’s miracles.   As one who has experienced one such miracle I was planning to write about my experience.  But before I could do that there was an article in the same series which reflected my thoughts word by word the next morning.  But the miracle was it was written under my name!



  1. rajamani

    Dear Sir,

    you are absolutely right re the changing mode of the art of writing. what i miss most is the almost lost concept of letter writing. till about 20 years ago, one communicated, and that too in detail, through letters. many of the literateurs viewed their letters as a post for posterity. Nehru,ofcourse is our most famous Indian writer, followed by Gandhiji. But then in Tamil Nadu, Periyar too has written extensive letter. The one that it at the top of the prism, in my opinion, ofcourse is the one written to his son, by Lord Chesterfield, which are over 400 years old, and available now for free in the web In these days of Facebook and Twitters and Instagrams, and instant gratifications, I think, the art of letter writing, or even the art of proper writing, has gone. Forever. Best wishes.

  2. Pratibha

    The writing trend has changed after all I guess. But I feel people who have the passion and the love for expressing their thoughts would continue to showcase their skill, just like you Thatha. You continue to inspire us with your vigor and ardor to pen down your thoughts.

  3. Ambika

    Yes Daddy, the mode of writing has been seeing a lot of change over the years and it has been very inspiring to see your flair for writing continue through these vast array of changes. I am sure it must be pretty interesting for you to experience these changes while you have continued to contribute towards different styles of writing from articles for newspapers to your current writings in your blog. I very well remember your narration of how the article you wished to write on Sai Baba was printed in the newspapers under your name the very next day, an awe-inspiring incident indeed!

  4. rajamani

    dear sir, did you entertain popular requests? 🙂 as an fond and avid reader of your blog, and as a fellow pattar, can i request you to ‘discipline’ yourself and provide us with steady postings (atleast once a week if not more often). india, and the world is going through exciting times. your perspectives would be most welcome. thank you.

  5. Sabeshan

    What you have pointed out is the supreme irony of writing! Before, your words were just waiting for your command to flow out through your fingers but the lack of a proper medium (typewriter) slowed down your writing. But now, the medium (computer) is available 24×7 but your words have naturally slowed down. As the gentleman above has pointed out, I think you should ‘discipline’ yourself and continue writing.