…there was a young girl who loved reading. At any given point in time you could bet your last rupee that she could be found with her nose in a book. Buried three inches deep. Take her to a toy store and she would screw said nose up and request her parents buy her a book instead. By the time she was eleven she would scoff at the local lending library because she had more books in her collection than they would have. Her mother would be tearing her hair out in despair over the space in space crunched Mumbai to stock these books.
And yes, this girl loved to write. Writing was something that came naturally to her. Words flowed from her pen. When she hit junior college her uncle bought her typewriter and she taught herself to type. And she typed out poems and short stories and was most pleased with herself when any of the ones she sent out got published.
Then she grew up and got into journalism. And soon her writing got relegated to assignments, and seeing her byline in print didnt give her any thrill because she was seeing it often enough. She quit because she wanted to try for a baby. And she needed to go in for ART. And she had her baby. For six years her life went onto the back burner as she played slave lackey to the demanding tyke who thought it his birthright to expect her to fetch and carry. Which she did, of course, ungrudgingly.
Until March of this year, when she sat down to take stock of her life. Nothing accomplished. Nothing done. She put her head down onto the desk and almost wept. She had morphed into a boring suburban housewife. That was not what she wanted to be remembered for when she died. She wanted to have her name on a spine that could be cracked, and with pleasure. She wanted to have a book to her name. At least one. Then, she decided, she would die happy. Till October, she promised herself (and Parul Sharma, the author of Bringing Up Vasu: The First Year and the too be released By The Water Cooler, and also dear friend and constant prodder to get writing. And Priyanka Chaturvedi. And Sue. And….). I will do this by October this year.
So she sat at the computer and wrote. Wrote a long tortured saga about two sisters who were as disparate as chalk and cheese and had a terrible secret between the two of them. She sent it out. It came right back at her.
Then, for a lark, she began writing something loosely modelled on herself and her life. She wrote around three chapters and mailed it out with a brief one line synopsis of the rest of the chapters. She struck gold. The editor she had mailed it to, liked it and wanted to see the rest. She didnt have the rest. She hadnt written it yet. But she was one never to say no. Two weeks, she told the editor. Will have it to you in two weeks.
So for two weeks, Monday to Friday, she sat and wrote for a couple of hours everyday between her regular assignments, and child pick up and drop and by the end of two weeks she had a book she mailed out.
The editor liked it. The contract was signed. And the book is now in the capable hands of the editor at Westland Publishing. And will be out eventually. Will take time I’m told. A long time. I’m in no hurry. I can wait. I waited this long to write it.
For all those readers of this blog and Karmickids.blogspot.com who told me to write a book, this is for you. And yes, this is for the mother who never stopped asking me when I planned to sit down and write a book, even when I was trussed up like a chicken in the delivery room for my C-Sec.