Whys and wherefores

Recently, I’ve had a few people tell me my writing has improved.

I believe this is true. I have found that since my time as a lowly sub-editor at the Indian Express in Delhi, my thought process really crystallises as I put my thoughts down “on paper”. It could be that I have honed the fine art of writing over the years, with practice. I’ve always written; most of it has been published.

However, I feel that the real change has come since I became a mother. I feel that many thoughts that have only lurked in the back of  my mind have become clearer and more defined since becoming a mum. It has more to do with the tediousness of being a mother, rather than the joys. It comes with being asked “Why” about ten times in the space of as many minutes so that not only am I forced to be concise and quick in my reply, I’m also on edge for follow-up ‘whys’. It makes for a certain sharpening of the brain.

OBJECT: CD cover of man who is not smiling

Mum, why is that man angry?

I think he is just thinking.


He looks like he is waiting for someone so he is just thinking to himself


What do you do when you are waiting to meet Keala?

I sing.

Ok. So this man is waiting for someone and he is not singing, but thinking.

Why can’t he sing?

I guess, he’s done singing. He wants to think now.


He is thinking about what to tell his friend when he meets them.


He likes to make his thoughts clear in his head before he says them.



They stop the way they start. For no rhyme or reason. While this may not necessarily sharpen the brain. Consider the example of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

SUBJECT :: News on Al Jazeera

Mum, what is that man saying?

He is saying that Israelis and Palestinians are fighting with each other.

Why are they fighting?

Because they are not sharing their home.


Because each one says it belongs to them and they want the other to get out.


They don’t want to share.

Why don’t they want to share?

Because they are not being very nice to each other.


They don’t really like each other.


They tend to focus on what is different than on what is similar between them.


I think humans tend to be like that. If you look at conflicts everywhere, its peoples who are most similar who tend to fight the most.




I believe that this sort of dialogue really clears my mind and helps me write and focus better. It’s a mix of simplistic explanations, complex denials and outright lies.

Of course, I’m not always in such a chatty mood. Sometimes, each ‘why’ is met with a ‘because’ and it just gets them Pissed Off. And that, is really, really cute.  I just smile and say welcome to my world!


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