Sometimes I can't help wondering why I continue to write. For some reason two newspapers where my articles were printed for years have stopped publishing what I submit to them. The lady editor of one newspaper refuses to even acknowledge that she has received my pieces, leave alone letting me know if they will be published. I wonder why she has suddenly become so hostile, as she was quite normal until a couple of months back.

Then there is the fact that most people I know don't read what I send them. Only two or three do so. So, the question arises, why should I write at all?

The number of people who like to read has always been very low. Well-read men are like an extinct species. My family was one of the few who spent time reading books and newspapers, which is why we were considered eccentric. Some older and distant illiterate relatives regarded educated people with contempt, with one of them once saying, "If I'd been educated, I'd have been a mediocre manager in a small firm, paying the school fees of the Seth's children and buying groceries for his family".

Yet I remember the time when educated people were highly regarded. I remember the respect with which some of our relatives would treat my father and his elder brother. Both of them were leaders of the small community composed of those who are descendants of migrants from our ancestral town of Bhavnagar in India.

My only hope is that what I write will one day be read by my grandchildren and their children, so they'll know how we lived in these tough times. That's assuming that humans won't become extinct in 20 years, as one scientist has predicted.