Seriously mulling over a topic to write on, I harped on putting the question to my friends on a social networking site. Lo and behold! They came up with an unending stream until the last, and the most workable one, which I will mention in the end.
When you put a question to people at large, they generally assess your potential to respond, befittingly, rewardingly, jokingly, seriously, or, otherwise, for they know your capabilities. This is one way to keep assessing oneself, as to how he or she is being perceived in the others’ eyes. Perhaps this is the most benign way to analysing oneself, giving an auto-suggestion of a kind, of self-introspection too, as reflected in others’ assessment of you.
Well, as I have already explained, they began to suggest topics and accordingly, I started to auto-suggest myself. Those who thought I was a humorist counselled that I must write on funny situations like ‘How to enjoy the thrill of being caught up in a traffic jam!’ or, ‘Realising all of a sudden, having made it to a wedding reception, that it was a different one, while one already had had the food there’ or, ‘Baby-sitting an old man’ — to count a few.
Those who thought I could handle serious subjects wanted me to inter-alia write on topics such as: ‘If the Rohtak sisters’ act wasn’t vigilante action’ or ‘Khap and gotra issues’ or the ‘Dowry Act being misused’ or ‘If there should be a uniform civil code’ or ‘The North-South divide’ or ‘Housing problems in urban areas’ or ‘Senior citizens’ safety’ or ‘Child rights’ or ‘Improving police image’ or or ‘Bridging the gap between education and employment’ etc.
I liked many but two of them, a bit lengthier, were close to my heart; the first being of professional interest, and the second, an emotional one. The first said, ‘How to train all police organisations of India to be more responsive, proactive and preventive at the same time minimising the top fatness of police pyramids and optimising the sharpness at cutting edge level.’ The second read, ‘Happiness on the face of a mother, who sent her children to the town for studying and making their mark in life, at the same time staying all alone and by herself back in a village, coming to terms with her widowhood and penury’— this topic was more of an emotional narration.
And lastly, the friend who suggested ‘Search for a topic to write on is also a good topic’ walked away with the cake. I stood speechless, scribbling some icing on the cake right here!
(The writer is a senior Haryana IPS officer)