Nothing moral or immoral but who writes good or bad about human interest stories...

Why do I write?

Why do I write? Fundamentally, I am a writer. Eventually, at some point in life, we discover our true calling. For few unfortunate ones, a whole lifetime passes without knowing the purpose of their life. By god’s grace, I discovered I am born to write. This is my true identity and I can’t live without it. I, believe I can express myself, very well through my writings.

When it is really inevitable, I speak. Man is a social animal. He stays in society. The society spins a web around him and he finds himself struggling for survival; working to earn. For this, he has to communicate with people of different mindset. Personally, I do not indulge much in vocal communication, instead prefer to write. Till date, I have expressed myself through biographical notes, political analysis, articles, columns, poems and other medium of communication. The reason behind this writing is my first and last innate inspiration.

What inspired me to write?

The answer is simple-my life, life of people around me and the society we stay in. It could be an Indian, Maharashtrian, some foreign country or Cosmic. It inspires me to write. For I feel a sense of curiosity building up within. Why did this man behave in a particular way?Could he have behaved differently if circumstances happened to be different? Why do I react in the way I do? All these questions make me restless and I am forced to go within, for I cannot express myself verbally. I am forced to put pen to paper, call it inspiration or the need to do so. Here, the word ‘Inspiration’ means to be dependent on somebody. When I write, I am making a statement, it comes from within. It becomes not my inspiration but my need and I cannot survive without it. Writing has become a part of my life. With every breath, a word is born and if I abstain from writing it will go down in history ‘Once Raju Parulekar visited this planet, he saw but he left unsaid.’

Since when I began writing?

I started writing at the age of thirteen. Back then people said my writing is ahead of its time. I had written an essay based on one question. ‘Is fire, air or matter?’ My Godbole sir had laughed at me. I demanded an answer and he in turn reprimanded me, saying I was two years younger to other children in class and I should not ask such questions.

He even went to the extent of saying that, I should immediately stop writing and get back to my studies. I grew up in this kind of environment and system. Many years later with the help of Oxfam fellowship, I travelled all over Maharashtra to conduct a research on sugar cutters and in the process met many workers and came across many isms’ at Gandhi Ashram, Vinoba Bhave’s Ashram, Konark, Naxalites, Leftist movement or office of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had tea with Rajju bahaiyya.

I wondered then why these isms’ were born. My interview with Sharad Joshi, founder of Farmers Association is on You Tube. They all agreed on one thing, ‘this society needs to change, our world needs to change.’ But what I think, the real question is, to embark on search of one self. Everyone, from Gandhiji to Sharad Joshi, tried hard to find answer to these questions and is labeling it as, ‘social change’.

Who am I? To find answer to this question, one has to go deep inside, through a dark tunnel. People are afraid, it scared me too, for I am a human. Then we search for an escape route. There is a beautiful story of a famous saint. The saint, was caught in an Earthquake in Japan. He remained calm and sat through out while his disciples fled the place. When everything came back to normal, one of his disciple returned and asked him why he did not run and if he was not afraid.

On this he questioned him back, “the place you ran to, was it safe? Tell me one place you ran to, where there was no earthquake? It was all in your mind. You could have died anyways, if you had to”. The same principle applies here. You escape from the fear of unknown. Even I, am scared at times. When there was an earthquake, even I fled.

The difference being, I ran inside and you ran outside. A writer always runs inside, as he is an escapist. A true writer runs within, while an impersonator runs outside. One who has the power to change, is capable of running within and a writer should take that stand. One main reason being, only a writer can change the world. In any regime, communist or other a writer, is either killed or sent to Siberia for he really takes effort from within.

A writer’s efforts, are always organic in nature, hence those who try to climb up the ladder using organizations, system, people and corrupt people are wary of him. This is the uniqueness of my writing, which I started at the age of thirteen. Since then, I have written in many periodicals at the age of 17-18. At the age of 21, my articles began appearing in English newspapers.

But, I always remember my first essay which my teacher had condemned. ‘In condemnation lies honor”, I believe. I, was felicitated with many awards from Gyanpith to Sahitya Academy. For instance, when I wrote Sachin Gladiator Tendulkar people condemned my thoughts but I was committed and stood by my views. One day, when our society will be reduced to the level of Mohenjo Daro, what will remain behind will be my writing. I am not saying there is no one who writes like me but if I come across anyone, I will surely tell them so.

Some Thrilling Experiences about my Writings

If I have to write about thrilling in terms of exciting, hair-raising or shocking experiences then there are two which I can mention here- one is from within and the other external. Oscar Wilde had said once, “writing cannot be moral or immoral, right or wrong. It is either good or bad”. A good writing is always thrilling for it is always praised while bad writing attracts criticism.

When we receive praises our ego is happy but otherwise it hurts our ego. I stay away from both. Hence, I did not find either experience thrill. Here, I would like to mention one experience. There was a certain Mr. Naik, who liked my thoughts and said, it had the potential to change the world. This feeling, since I was young. It was Utopian style and a dream.

There is a chance, the world might change but I can’t say for sure, it will happen, till I am alive. If it does take place, I will notify you through my website. Most probably it will not be required, for you will notice the change soon enough. Mr. Naik, would read my articles and convey me his thrilling experience. One day, I had been to a party and the pictures appeared on page three.

There I was dancing in some of them. I am an excellent dancer and well versed with jazz, disco. He called me up and said, “Raju Parulekar you are a writer with a philosophical base. We look up to you with the hope, one day your thoughts will change the world but it pained me to see you dancing in that page-3 party. A feeling of helplessness grasped me, as if the last light, on the light house is fading. Please don’t ever do this”. This does not end here. The next day, I got a call from his son, saying his father passed away. Since then I stopped going to page-3 parties. The conversation is engraved on my mind, never to be forgotten. I remember this as hair raising experience of my life. It is up to the reader to decide whether this experience is thrilling or not. There are very few writers, who go through this kind of experience and if at all there are, then they are fortunate. There are many more experiences, I would like to share.

I have seen people crying, after reading my articles, hugged me with renewed emotions, patted me on my shoulder, thousands of women and young girls wrote love letters, some even ran away from their house with the hope of meeting me. This could be thrilling but for me it is not. It is just a part of life. The experience was an accident, which I had not anticipated but it enriched me forever.

People expect things from us and knowingly- unknowingly we get entangled in it and the perimeters of our freedom narrows. I realized, I cannot take this world for granted and I started respecting people. For, if you give respect people will respect you as a writer. You need to write exceptionally well and be consistent which is most important. If your writing is not of that stature, as desired by people, then people will criticize you, have no doubt about that.

Journey as a Reader

In my journey, as a reader I have come across works of Anthony Hopkins, Alexander Soletzinistin, Boris Pastranok, Ossif Mandelstum and Albert Camu to Tsu Zu. Books, from varied faculty of writers like Simone De Beauvoir, Jean Paul Satre have touched my life at one point of time. They have enlightened and enriched my life. Mira Chaudhary’s ‘Autobiography of unknown Indian’ has given a different perspective to my life.

I have read historian Romilla Thapar, A.R. Kulkarni, Venkatesh Madgulkar, Vijay Tendulkar and N.D Mahanor to name a few. Poems of Chandrashekhar Sanekar, Ajay Kandar, D.V. Dhamnaskar, Shashikant Kavthekar have been my inspiration. I think, books are tools to enrich self and I am not a student of tenth grade to think about its usefulness. I, am a matured person who will not make childish statements like I got good grades because of my teacher, mother, father, sister, grandmother or authors like V.P Kale and P.L Deshpande.

I, am confident that life without books is worthless. Books not only enrich but cleanse your soul and rid you off prejudiced thinking. You realize many people have gone through the same experience as you and there is no need for any angst. Nelson Mandela’s auto-biography, presented me with a new perspective. He was imprisoned for 25 years but never expressed anger or blamed the ruling government. After ten years of reigning over people, he made a quiet exit and busied himself in his work.

Not for a moment, did he think what will happen to his book or if he will be erased from people’s memory. Such writings and thoughts, give you an inspiration to live on without being afraid. He learns, that people who come in touch with him, should find him reliable. It is not how much I read but what I read makes me. I read 250 to 300 pages a day, not out of compulsion or my wife’s coercion, neither, I dreaded my parents as a child but I read, as it gives me immense mental satisfaction.

“A day spent reading is day well spent,” is my thinking. My collection of books goes over 60 thousand and it could cross the figure of lakh or two lakh. I buy house for my books. It’s not that, reading will make me wise, then get me a job, followed by money and make me capable of buying a house.

I think exactly in reverse way; the number of books is increasing and hence I feel the need to buy a house. My wife feels, my thinking is inconsistent and my father is shocked but I am helpless. I am what I am! My books have sculpted my life and my thinking and not the people this I agree frankly.