When he threw the ball back to her, he said, “Change your point shooter.” Somehow he managed to put it across in correct English.
”What?” – She exclaimed and surveyed him top to bottom. That was the moment he wished he had worn better clothes.
I salute that thought came from Chetan Bhagat, not because of any aesthetic excellence, but for a sharp shoot of thought in which a reader enjoys the same wave-length of a writer or even vice versa.
Chetan Bhagat is not one of my favourite Indo-Anglian writers. But I like him, and the writer in him who doesn’t claim anything. He knows he wouldn’t be strong enough to wrestle with the many stand outsize. There are umpteen writers in India who can draw and paint in warmer tones than Bhagat.
That makes me talks to him.
While talking to Karthik Kumar, at the Hindu Lit for Life in Chennai, Chetan Bhagat said, “I know that I’m not a good writer. I’m not in line with the many authors who fill your bookshelves. I do not want to be remembered for ever; I want to be forgotten!
That again makes me closer to him than any Titan who carries the false celestial sphere of languages and looks at all others scornfully. (Reminds me “A little disdain is not amiss; a little scorn is alluring” by William Congreve – The Way of the World)
Before the session started live, a video screen opened with a lady throwing several brickbats at the writer. ” I hate Chetan Bhagat. He’s trash. He’s not rich in words. He doesn’t know how to write in English.”
The concert hall of Lady Andal School was packed and thicker than the many sessions it had earlier. Not because of any box-office hits on the Three Idiots, Two States, Kai Poche. Not because of his latest book, The Half Girl-friend. It’s just Chetan Bhagat, who didn’t have anything to hide from us or claim over anything. It was a hearty talk. A talk from an ordinary human being who thinks he’s one among the millions who lives here.
Bill Le Blanc is an artist unsung. He is often spotted during casual morning or evening strolls somewhere in the Hamilton Beach Strip of the Confederation Park area. Most of the time, he is found engrossed chiseling wood to carve distinct images out of tree stumps.
I saw him first on a warm Sunday morning; sweat dripping across his eyebrows while he was chipping away the unwanted stuff stuck to the Roller Skater sitting in a Poplar stump that could only be seen with Bill’s inner eyes.
I walked down the road to greet a few more interesting characters in his wooden story. A Beaver – who took almost 50 hours to be conceived – dedicated to his lovely great granddaughter Nicole. Another one is a Turtle that also took the same sweat of his brow. The ‘Sirens of the Sea’ consists of four mermaids, took its shape from a Manitoba Maple Stump after 160 hours.
The Beaver is the first of a kind experiment for Bill and that gave way to the subsequent themes, restoring confidence.
Bill’s humility never prompts him to claim to be an artist and continues his free service to the City of Hamilton. The decades he had spent as a steel-worker did not help in tapping his buried creativity, but he soon realized how he would be spending his retirement years.
Bill’s ‘Sirens of the Sea’
Bill never tires of explaining his unique hobby to the intrigued passers-by. In fact, he’s extremely happy to converse with them about his plans adding beauty to the nature. Only a true woodwork artist like him knows what sleeps in the stump to be resurrected later, even after the death of a tree.