One of Those Afternoons

 Ashutosh, Santosh and Arijit were not established writers but dreamt to be one since their college days. During the good old days in Kolkata, they used to spend hours in the college street coffee shop arguing. They have now known each other long enough to understand one another and are at peace with their agreement to disagree. Not always though!
  Sometime they would find themselves on the brink of publishing their first novel after striking a fantastic plot or encourage one of them to apply for the position of an editor of a leading newspaper. But once out of that place, money and relationship took precedence over writing their journalistic dream always got pushed to the back-burner. After so many long years things haven't changed much in this respect except for the fact that now they have access to portals for publishing their thoughts.

The coffee house in the college street is famous as a breeding ground of intellectuals and artists, while at the same time it engulfed many a prospective career through never-ending debates and impractical ideas. The irony of that place, they once debated was that all the socialists minds argued within an environment, which could be best defined as a reminiscence of the British Raj of India. 
The very idea of drinking coffee, served particularly by waiters dressed in a uniform designed to evoke the memories of the orderlies from the British era is so foreign they contemplated the other afternoon.
 By sheer luck they landed up in the same city and were thrilled to find long lost friends in an alien land. Old habits die hard and this trio too caught up after work, once every week to discuss, debate and argue over steaming cups of coffee. After all the weekend debates over hard liquors doesn't have the same zing as these sessions.

Arijit started excitedly before they could settle in, “With the freedom of press enslaved by the advertisers and sponsors, is still the pen mightier than the sword?” 
 He seemed to feel threatened this afternoon by the bias in the media and the eluding truth. Moreover with the social media being evolving as the parallel media, the audiences are bombarded with photographs, videos and statistics which are often manipulated. Everyone can put forward their views and opinions to the public, which is an advantage but there are no one trustworthy to control that.
  "Unless you are aligned to the popular or the powerful your post will never matter, no matter how excellent your views and analysis may be. On the other hand they will keep flooding the scene with more and more trash." He rest his case for others to react. It was now a bit clear that his blog was not getting footfalls, eyeballs or as they call it page views causing frustration and anger towards the media.
"No one has invented a condom for the pen yet to put a cap on the productivity of all those trash" said Santosh quoting  Khuswant Singh trying to pacify his friend. 
 “Well the pen has a cap, if one wishes to put a cap on the flow of his rubbish”, Arijit later argued, not willing to give in. “There is still a lot of optimism left in this world”, Ashutosh chipped in for the first time that evening.  “After all, the pencils always last longer than the eraser” he concluded.

 “One should not undermine the power of a humble pencil when it comes to symbolism”, said Santosh as the discussion drifted along. He quoted the thoughtful remark Mother Teresa's once made to induce some serenity.
  “I am a little pencil in God's hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more.”

They were touched by this and continued with their discussions on other topics.It was soon time to depart and one of them said, “I thought of telling you guys a interesting story about the broken pencil... but it was pointless.” they giggled and parted ways for another week.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


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