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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Existence

There are times when one feels as though he is miles away from his muse, too far away to be able catch the rhyme and too befuddled to create anything. The feeling is rather disconcerting, for there's no short-cut to ameliorate it and one cannot wait indefinitely for that favourable flair to flow from his pen. So one should start scribbling something--maybe for filling up the space in hungry waste-paper basket. That's how I thought I should do during my week off at Bhubaneswar. And the result? Um, I don't know what should I say about this. Not great...Yeah, it should be a post for my blog!
If they'd given all they promised, my friends
And if they'd taken all they envied, my foes
If it weren't for those little surprises on my way
What'd have happened to me and my lovely today?

Am I the sum-total of all they've given?
Or should I take them, all I possess,
As the hidden hundred they refused to purloin,
Treating them useless, a heap of garbage?

I'm eager for love, the love that craves
No more than a simple acknowledgement
But how can I return the favours forgotten
And those lovely little blessings in benign silence?

There're people to remind, nay nag and prod
I've loans to repay, borrowed before I was born
I don't believe them but that doesn't matter
Life's a loan to redeem-just a credit register.

What's hidden has more charm than what's seen
And here's the darkness, abysmal and intense
I'm a guide unto myself, heedless and blindfolded
And I'm a moving entity in search of my sweet end.

Yet I'm sprinting a lifetime, alone and restless
The eager million around scanning my speeding steps
They're unaware of my sweet end, a dream unto myself
I just cherish that to survive, the mantra of my existence.
A. N. Nanda




Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Invisible Guarantor

It would sound funny and so I'm eager to share it.

Today I received a surprise phone-call from a book-seller of Port Blair. He introduced his talk with a sudden regret that he was delayed in sending the amount that was due to me as the sale-proceeds of my book "The Remix of Orchid". The amount is not verily great, say a little over a thousand bucks, and that is why I had had no great worry while sending my books for sale with little or no guarantee. What surprised me was that the consignment was shipped to him some three years ago and he remembered only today to say "Sorry" for not remitting the money! Okay, it doesn't matter--don't they say it, better late than never. Otherwise, it is not a single case; there are book-sellers from Mumbai, Jaipur, Thiruvanthapuram, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Delhi, Jodhpur, Indore, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Shimla who have not yet paid my due, but they have not felt the need of saying "Sorry" to me. I've even reminded them and received no response so far. What could be the reason that inspired my lovely little bookseller from the mid-sea city called Port Blair to make amends for his commercial silence?

I was reminded of a joke that I read some years ago: A dentist doesn't have to remind his patients to pay the bill outstanding against them; he just waits for the onset of another bout of toothache in them!

So, the reason why this particular bookseller is suddenly reminded of my due is that some orders are in the offing. He needs more copies to sell. It's okay if that is how the matter has developed.

And here's another fact for me to take note of. Good books, not the block-buster ones, gain in popularity in time. Should I start dreaming that "The Remix of Orchid" is due for its second edition?
A. N. Nanda



Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Last Mile


All my thirty stories drafted, now I should not delay it any longer but announce it.

Aha! A book is in the offing, my second collection of short stories in Hindi. It is going appear under the title “Ek Saal Baad” [ एक साल बाद ] taken from the eponymous story inside. As I started penning the draft in last July, I had in my mind to make it something based on human relationships, its tress and strain, its beauty and ugliness, its essence and aberrations, and now that I’ve drafted the thirtieth story, I’m rather happy that I had to digress a little.

For a writer, the end could be the beginning. The draft needs extensive refinement. Let me quote Oscar Wilde:

I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.

Hindi is a difficult language, for its grammar has more exceptions than rules. If I’m to say it so, in difficulty level Hindi would rank only slightly less complicated than Sanskrit. Besides, I’m in the middle of a strange experiment. People start writing after gaining a command over a language and in my case I’m learning it in the process of writing. Absurd, isn’t it? But that’s how the whole matter stands. My editors would vouch for me.

My first book in Hindi, “Virasat” had a smooth sail, if I’m to say so finding the response of the readers and reviewers alike. Even yesterday, I received a call from somebody in Allahabad interested in making a telefilm out of my story “Dakmani”. It sounded too good to be true, but then that was that.

Now here’s the big question that bothers me: Should I get it published by a good publisher? My information is that good publishers belong to an extinct species. Jurasic Park? Whoever crowds the publishing space wants good materials from a gullible writer. But then I need respect from the publishers! Respect? Really, it’s an item out of stock! And all my experiences have been insulting—the less said the better. I know I can publish a book and circulate it with success. I've proved it twice--once, as I self-published my book in English "The Remix of Orchid" and the last one being "Virasat", the story cllection in Hindi. Self-publishing has not been a washout for me. I can even earn some money to finance my book promotion…or even my future book project.

There’re still chapters to be written. I should complete my preface, decide on a decent cover, finish ISBN formalities…and finish the page-setting. This should take me through June, or maybe July.

But then again, my readers have already started asking me: how soon?



A. N. Nanda




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