Getting a response to one’s articles or news is something I’ve always looked forward to. Often it is hate mail, especially if I’ve written against the right wing fundamentalists, or written human interest stories on the families of TADA detainees. Once when I wrote about the security wall around Siddihvinayak Temple impacting on real estate prices I got the most entertaining reactions from some devout followers. Some questioned my eblief system and some thought I was doomed.
Then there have been many a Marathi Manoos who has given vent to the angst they have held in their hearts when I have questioned the politicisation of the Marathi language and identity issues. They have attributed my questioning and investigating the issue as effect of convent schooling, only because I went to a ICSE English school. The joke is my school was a Protestant!
Even if Manu (of Manusmriti fame) were alive wouldn’t have thrown such choicest names at me, the way many a Brahmin has, because I have questioned the community’s fence sitting attitude always. Some readers send couplets to me hoping some sense will dawn on me and I will eventually get enlightened about how those politicians who beat a poor bhaiyya in the name of Marathi are the true messiah. If only their wishes were to come true.
The readers often also tell me how the paper has to be run. They have elaborate plans and ideas, which they expect me to convey to my editors. Like most Indians who know before hand if Sachin had to hit a particular in a particular way he would’ve scored triple centuries, similarly they insist if the paper ran on the lines of their suggestions then we’d be number one in the country. One reader recently asked why don’t write on the sex lives and personal lives of those in public life.
Whenever I have written about cooperative factories, agriculture or on Girgaum I have received a lot of response from readers. It is nice to see how curious and open readers are to new ideas and learning to imbibe new research. When I wrote on a private company doing research on paddy and other crops, many readers called and wrote asking for details, from remote places.
Receiving emails is one thing, but I don’t know why readers’ response to agriculture has always come in form of inlands and post cards. I have actually stored these for keep sake value. In fact one senior citizen wrote on a post card on the article I wrote on Alphanso mangoes. He said he appreciate the number of places I stated where the Alphanso mangoes are grown. He wanted to test only one from each place. The only hitch being he is old and immobile so if I could do him a favour of getting one mango from each place and sending it to him for testing! I thought of booking a seat for him on the Konkan Kanya train to taste the amcha mango.