In September-October, 2017, Coldnoon celebrated six years of publishing, and travelling with you. To mark our anniversary, we got together with writers, intellectuals and stalwarts of the art of thinking (and travelling). Here is an interview with Makarand R. Paranjape.
We believe making travel arrangements, we subconsciously tend to eliminate those possibilities which we deem unfit to perceived etiquettes, or norms or occasions. Our understanding of travel is based on premises that define what travelling is not. Is writing for you a similar activity, where you are conscious of what writing is not? If so, what according to you is not writing?
Well, mostly, writing is not faffing, gassing, or faking…
Besides writing what would you most like to be known for?
Of course, we have all have our ambitious, but in the end (as a former RBI Governor famously says), we just do what we do. Later, posterity will do what it must. But, yes, for those who perceive themselves as unfree, not to have achieved jeevanmukti is to have lived in vain?
In 1794, the French author, Xavier de Maistre, wrote the renowned book, Voyage Around my Room, during a month and a half of solitary confinement, in consequence of a duel. Besides being a satire on the contemporary literary culture of voyages and adventures of colonial sailors to prospective new worlds, the book proved to be a demonstration of how an individual is almost always travelling, but perhaps does not recognize the value of their domestic travels, mobility or even touristic acquisitions. How do you see or understand travelling? Do you think it is a necessary activity for a writer?
Desirable, from time to time; necessary, I’m not sure.
Do respond to the following words:
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” ― Mark Twain
I don’t know if the world was here first; but, yes, the world “owes” you nothing — except what you make (of) yourself.
Your favorite or most striking lines by another author; or if you will, any composed by yourself?
Let me combine two: “The world is what it is” (V. S. Naipaul) but “Who am I?” (Ramana Maharshi).
What do you think of Coldnoon?
Great idea, even more remarkable for having survived for six years. I dissuaded its founder when he proposed the idea. I am glad to be proven wrong — for now. But then that is what little magazines are; they have their run, then their oblivion. But in the interregnum, they do a lot of good.