The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Quick Recapitulation

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Just to churn out a quick post for my blog, I think I can give an update on the book I am writing these days. It is going to have an interesting title "The Roadshow" and I think I had indicated that in one of my previous posts, maybe in February 2008. This is going to be a first person narrative, with a character that is weird and affable at the same time. The character will move from situation to situation, get enough of learning experience but would simply refuse to go by them. He would not learn from his experience, for he knows if he learns those doses of worldly wisdom, he would simply die. Believing in oneself is living; and one's instinct should always have the answer to all the problems of life. In this way, I have so far completed twenty-one short stories and, if my plan remains unchanged, I'll add another nine stories to it. That will give the book a respectable size, affording a complete reading experience or rather the value for money to the readers.

In fact I began writing this book as soon as I was done with the publication of my last English book "The Remix of Orchid" and that was way back in December 2005. But then during July 2007 I received another creative vibe: I should have a bilingual writing experience; I should write a book in Hindi too. And then I was drawn into "Virasat", the book I could finally launch in May 2009. So, my next English book "The Roadshow" remains where it was, except that I have been able to add only two or three stories to it in the meantime acting upon the rare iimpulses with abilities to deliver.

Now "Virasat" has been successfully launched. I don't have to gripe about the fact that no big-time publisher came forward to publish it. Compared to whatever "The Remix of Orchid" could do with a warm-hearted foreword of Mr Ruskin Bond and an award behind it, "Virasat" could do even better. There has been an enormous welcome from the readers. Besides, it has not put me to financial loss, like my first book of poems "In Harness" published by Writers Workshop, Kolkatta did. Even a publisher of that repute demanded money by cleverly selling a hundred copies of the book to me even before he actually published it. Now I'm an experienced hand and I know what price he took from me, whether it was the cost price or the cost-plus. Anyway, "Virasat" was left to prove itself alone on its own strength. I'm not worried about its future. Reviews will come in due course and maybe its second edition….

So, it is time I restarted in right earnest to give a final shape to my unfinished book. And actually so I have already come there, just last week while I could key in the words needed for the eponymous story. I am satisfied with the result and if I proceed this way I will be able to have the first draft ready by the end of 2009.

Before concluding this post, let me reason out why I have decided to write a whole book of thirty stories in first person. Isn't it too restricting as a writing objective? Yes, it is so. Writing in third person is lot easier for the simple reason that a third person character leaves the writer with the autonomy of an omniscient creator. But that is not the case with the first person. Here the author is very much into the character, all the time thinking and behaving like him. How can he know about what is happening outside the room he is staying at present? And about what others are thinking of him? Despite this disability, I've chosen this format. I want to get totally involved, for it is the involvement of the author with the character he creates that makes the story lively. The challenge is worth taking.

Oh yes, I have an apprehension too. Reader's appreciation of my Hindi book "Virast" has a distracting effect. Sometimes I think I should have a second book in Hindi…and even I've a couple of plots ready in my mind, rushing into my creative domain every now and then. If really they grab my hand and take me towards them, then what do I do? In that case, "The Roadshow" will again get shifted. Who knows that for sure?
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By
A. N. Nanda
Muzaffarpur
20-07-2009
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