Vinish Garg

Technical Writer. Published Author.

The Baton. And Spacebar

with 3 comments

The Baton was Passed

[Vinish writes]: 3 copies of certificate are attached with please.

[He suggests]: We do not begin a sentence with a numeric figure. If it is required, write it in words as “Three copies of certificate are attached with please”.

[Vinish writes]: “Dear/Respected Sir” for formal communication to Indian national newspaper The Tribune.

[He suggests]: Sometimes, we should do away with the adjectives. “Sir” should be fine.

Just as a paracetamol or juice helps me recover when I am not well, his instructions helped me recover as a professional. I fumbled and recovered. Sometimes an extra run was conceded but the effort was worth it. These lessons are part of the writer in me now.

He had great eye for attention to detail, and was very particular about drafting letters and documentation where every comma would make sense. I typed so many affidavits, agreements, applications (to local telecom office, banks, and attorneys) that using commas and full-stops were internalized.

As if he was a technical writer.

As if the baton was passed somewhere.

[For readers]: Language use can be tricky as two individuals may differ on using a comma, colon or on sentence structure. So, if you notice an issue in this post, do not assume that I learnt it from Him.

There was always some pride at the corner of his eyes; he knew his world very well. He knew that he could not even iron his shirt or change the punctured tyre of his car/scooter but he knew that he was very good in writing. He felt good about his strengths and did not feel bad about his weaknesses. He was happy with his limitations. His eyes did not have any space for regret though he had complaints (like many of us have).

The Poetic Self. Sublime.

And there was a philosophical self in him as well, beyond all his limitations and complaints. Like many writers, he appreciated art and Hindi poetry. I remember how well he used to recite the following.

“ek shahenshah ne daulat ka sahara lekar,
hum garibon ki mohabbat ka udaya hai mazaak
meri mehboob meri mehboob,
meri mehboob kahin aur mila kar mujhse”

[The man asks his beloved to choose a place other than the Tajmahal to meet him. The grandeur of the structure mocks the common man’s love, which cannot be expressed so beautifully even when the emotions are pure]

“Boo-e-gul, nala-e-dil, dood-e-chiragh-e-mahfil, Jo teri bazm se nikla, pareeshaa’n nikia”

Hindi (Simplified version): Phool ki khushbu, dil ki aah aur chiraag ka dhuwaan…. in mein se jo bhi teri mehfil se nikla, bikhra hua aur pareshaan hi nikla.”

English version: The fragrance of a flower, the sigh from a heart, or the flames of a lamp…. Any of these is disappointed to leave your (gracious lady’s) company.


“Rabb firda si dhaney de chubare, ohne kehra kachhh payi si…!!”

[God was wandering in the house of Dhaney (a common man) who was so poor to even afford to buy a trouser/short. It meant that God is everywhere even if with poorest, and not necessarily with rich people.]

These were not poetry sessions per se; only once in 2-3 years. Just as a passer-by says to another when they cross each other at North Corner.

The baton was passed. Somewhere.

The Relay was passed with:

  • On envelops used for postal mails, the address should always be in caps.
  • Completing (filling details in) a form manually should be in all caps, and well-legible.
  • I should read The Tribune. I fell in love with it.
  • For many years, I read Competition Master (A journal for competitive exams).
  • Dalton’s atmoic theory was my first science lesson that I learnt in English. (studied science in native language till VIII standard). I still remember the basic postulates of Dalton’s atomic theory that he made me learn and understand in 1989 (22 years back).
  • Any cheque that goes in a drop-box in bank should have my phone number on its back side, in caps.
  • For any cheque given to an individual or to a bank, I should have its photo copy with me, for reference.

The White Space

The baton was never manually handed over to me, nor the poems were recited (and appreciated, clapped, admired) in sessions. It all appeared like a white space on an agreement. You see white space, like space between two words or two paragraphs, or in page margins.

But spacebar is the longest key on any keyboard.

PS: For the complete series, please see: Thank you.


Written by Vinish Garg

April 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Leisure, We, the people

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. There was some pride at the corner of his eyes; Like he knew his world very well, I certainly feel that he knew you well too.
    I remember with how much pride he has shown me a article written by you, published in 2003(not able to recall the exact date). I also remember with how much pride he has shown me the newspaper cutting of your interview this time, as a writer of your first book ‘Death of Common sense’.
    I think like he knew his strengths and weaknesses and had pride in his eyes for his strengths, he had same feelings for you.
    After all the baton was passed somewhere. God Bless.


    April 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

  2. […] was thinking. The writer in me had paused. It went for a toss. As if a double space after a period. The longest key was in action for longer than it was required.   […]

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