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