[L. 77 | 84] 18 December 1963

Yes, yet another letter from me!

As a concession to the Venerable Objector, I have altered the offending 'rot' to 'decay', which is perhaps less of an irritant. For my part, I have no wish to irritate anybody at all. On the other hand, if it seems necessary to do so in order that some definite benefit may result elsewhere, then I don't shrink from it. (It is not I who set out to irritate so-and-so, but so-and-so who allows himself to be irritated at what I write; and that is his responsibility.) In any case, I am not prepared to be blackmailed or threatened into silence by pontifical tantrums, though I am prepared to be silent if I think no good will come of speaking. The question is, are people seriously interested in the Notes, or merely nikang[1] interested? In any case, we are not obliged to decide immediately, and we can afford to wait until we see if there are further objections to printing. (It seems rather a pity, now, that I was not able to cut the stencils on the Venerable Objector's own typewriter—a very interesting situation might have arisen.[2])

Editorial notes:

[77.1] nikang: The Sinhalese word nikang means both 'simply', 'for no reason' ('I simply came to see') and 'nothing' ('there is nothing in the pot'; 'something for nothing'). Many times, as in this letter, the meanings of nikang are combined to convey a slightly derogatory connotation. [Back to text]

[77.2] typewriter: The stencils were cut on a typewriter belonging to the 'Colombo Thera' (i.e. Kheminda Thera) who, later, was the recipient of L. 1, 93a, and 93b. [Back to text]