"All these things you've written", Surya
from my past starts to say, "they are all so inaccurate ... so inaccurate..."
I'm cutting onions and tomatoes for making dinner; I don't reply because the way Surya finished the sentence, he seems to want to add more.
"I can understand the name thing, you made Renuka into Anamika, Radha into Vishakha, but you have modified so many things in the way it happened, you've embedded lies in the facts."
"Not lies! No! I've maybe mixed a couple of events to make one at places, changed the timeline and sequence of them, to glue some events I have added imaginary ones too, yes ... but it's not history, or autobiography, these things I write ... these are like stories built around my memories", I slowly and with pauses reply.
Surya is looking at a few pages through his thick reading glasses with disapproval. "Swarna never had sex with Ajit; I doubt they even kissed in the three years they were together ... by your account that's all they did ... what if Swarna's husband ever reads this, or Ajit's wife ... they can put two and two together and realize it's their spouses you're talking about ... that won't be nice. It'll be impossible to explain your philosophies to them..."
I add mustard seeds to heated oil, add sliced onions and start to fry it. When onions are brownish, I'll add coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, turmeric powder, and ginger-garlic paste. It is a standard procedure for me, Venkat - my first roommate taught me how to cook. He wasn't very good at cooking himself though ...
"That's how histories are distorted, by misrepresenting facts, adding lies to the facts, so someone with partial knowledge of past will believe that a given account is accurate and start believing in the false history", Surya continues, without once looking at me.
I add diced tomatoes to the paste. Soon, the curry would be ready, then I'll add Peas and cubes of Paneer to it with two cups of water and keep it to boil. Not the best recipe, but nice enough Muttar Paneer would be ready soon.
"This is what happened in case of Kashmir, the history is widely misrecorded, its easy for both India and Pakistan to keep fighting forever over it." Surya looks up at me at this time. He has kept my notebook down; he's expecting me to answer but I keep busy with cooking.
"There's a difference between a story and history...", Surya continues, in much lower volume now and looking at the week old newspaper kept on the iron board. 'Pick it up and read it! Pick it up and read it!!' I start to repeat in my mind as if that'll telepathically reach his mind ... It doesn't work, he turns to me again.
"Have you registered at ofoto.com yet?" I ask him before he restarts. "No, not yet, I'm very busy at work nowadays, I keep forgetting", he responds.
"Register only through the link I've sent you, this way I'll get 10 free prints too", I feel glad the topic has changed.
"...you should stop writing man!", Surya continues, "It won't be very nice if all your friends start to read what you write ... you'll be burning a lot of bridges..."
"Dude!!", I smile, almost chuckle, look at him and say, "forget it! the food is done ... let's eat..."
Surya doesn't look amused, he's still looking at me through his glasses ... he adjusts them by running his index finger from tip of his nose to the top...it's going to be a long long evening....