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Happy habits

“Old habits die hard” is a popular adage. Some practices become habits, whether good or bad, and are never given up.

Though a septuagenarian conversant with computers and typing, I still prefer to write my short stories in Tamil using a pen. I do it because somehow, I feel my thoughts flow better when I write than type. A couple of years ago, I was translating some popular authors from English to Tamil, all with pen and paper. I still keep the manuscript of a work which runs to 600-plus pages as memorabilia.

Not conversant with computers, my 80-plus elder brother writes with a pen and uses a portable typewriter from decades ago. Recently, he searched for a shop at Mylapore in Chennai to get the ribbon for the machine and got it. His handwriting is neat and legible even today. He has the meticulous habit of keeping receipts and bills (most of the times, they are useless), guarantee cards and some flyers that come with the newspaper, and arranging newspapers and magazines in order. He does not read much, but maintains any book or paper worth the name carefully.

Though I read a lot and write, I am not as scrupulous as my sibling in maintaining books. I do it only to an extent. Once I was not ready to part with special issues of magazines. But today I am just indifferent to them, sometimes leaving them unread after a cursory look if they don’t carry anything of interest to me.

I am really fond of writing materials such as paper, notebooks, pens and pencils. I keep several of them. My collection of pens ranges from Montblanc to the cheapest ball pen. If I see them in the shops, I just cannot resist the temptation to buy them. After a period of time, this practice of buying and accumulating turned into more a habit than necessity.

Call it fad, mania, hobby or passion, habits make us happy. No complaints!

gswaminathan19@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:48:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/happy-habits/article33948091.ece

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