During a recent trip to home, my cousin brother comes to me and asks me to help him with an essay. He had chosen the topic “My Aim in Life”. I asked him what he wants to be, and we being born into a family of doctors, and he being a kid instantly replied, “I want to be a doctor”. “Ok”, I said, “Problem solved. Now just start writing the essay.” He came back in a minute with a 9 word long essay – “My aim in life is to become a doctor.” Bemused, I asked him for the rest of it and he said, “This is it.”
Patiently I started explaining to him as to how an essay is written – introduction, some quotes, good matter, a proper conclusion etc. I explained to him about the beauty of the written word, the way one can emote so well, you can convey your exact feeling. I gave him the clichéd quote – “A pen is mightier then a sword”; how a written word can influence a generation, how the world was revolutionized after the printing press was invented. I was on a roll. I was about launch into another sermon, when to all my remonstrations he posed a simple question, “If I can say what I want in 9 words, why do I waste the rest of 491 words?”
I am still searching for an apt answer.