Okay, so I am chin deep in all sorts of work – from anchoring World Cup post match shows on DD Sports to finishing construction of my new house, from reviving my interest in art & painting to bringing up two boys and of course, writing.
Good old writing that happens to be my personal escape mechanism. My own, private means of teleportation that takes me into a different world; one where I can live vicariously and play God indulgently. It is liberating.
But. (You knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you? There just had to be a ‘but’.) The problem with me is that when I get hooked onto something, I don’t just enjoy it, I get obsessed. And then I overdo it. And I bite off more than I can chew. Seriously. There have been innumerable occasions in my life where I have felt I have discovered my true path, my raison d’etre if you will. Only to discover three months down the line that I am bored stiff. This pattern has applied itself with equal disdain to both, hobbies and people. Thankfully, however, I have also always managed to find a few lingering interests that have remained with me for years and will continue to do so. Like my obsession with sports that started at the age of eight and still persists like a teenage hangover. Or, ahem, my husband for that matter. Things (is a husband a thing?) that I love and passions that I know will be everlasting.
So now, about writing then. I first discovered the liberating, cathartic quality of fiction writing when I was about 15 years old. I remember waking up one morning, reeling from a particularly vivid dream that had caused me to toss and turn all night. It had been a nightmare of sorts – in the sense that it did involve spirits and contact with the netherworld. But it was also about friendship, teenage angst, sexual tension and heady adventure. Now that I think about it, it sounds the perfect recipe for a B-grade horror film. In fact, it sounds like Twilight. One and the same thing (ouch!). But I promise you, my book is nothing like Twilight, and I don’t care whether you consider that a good thing or a bad thing. Because it was written thirteen years before Twilight was published. As soon as I had woken up that morning in 1992, I had rushed to the phone and called my best friend, even before I had felt the need to brush my teeth or visit the toilet. Narrating it to her had felt that urgent. And I remember how I had recounted the entire dream, from beginning to end without so much as a whimper from her end. And when I finished, she had squealed in delight saying it was ‘the best story ever’. And that weekend she had come over to help me start what we had simply labeled ‘novel’.
Almost twenty years down the line, the ‘novel’ has now been christened ‘Dead End’ and is being reviewed by a genius of an editor who also happens to be a good friend. And in all probability, it will follow Running on Full as my next title from Rupa & Co. (Considering they initially suggested December 31, 2010 as the deadline for manuscript submission, I’m afraid I’m running a little late.) And that’s because we have hit a few roadblocks – my editor friend and I – so I’m not terribly sure when I will be in a position to submit a satisfactory first draft. Meanwhile, (and here’s where all that talk about obsessions comes in) I cannot stop writing! It is as if some alien beings have invaded my fingers and are causing them to type incessantly. At 3 am in the morning and 5 o’clock in the evening. All I ever want to do is write. Whenever I have a minute to myself, amidst all the chaos, the urge to perch myself in front of the desktop and start hammering away, is overwhelming. And my mind is working overtime too, spinning yarns by the dozens, stories jumping out at me in the dead of the night, causing me to throw off the covers and go racing to the computer like a patient with a bad case of gastroenteritis runs to the loo. As a result, I have a good half dozen synopses ready and am faced with a problem of plenty, much like the poor Indian cricket captain, MS Dhoni. (STOP using 7 batsmen just because you have them!)
So now, even as Dead End is being tidied up, I have begun work on an outright bubble gum, chick-lit comedy called ‘Lifted’.
(And by the way, these pictures are ‘working covers’ certainly NOT the final ones and maybe YOU all can help me decide which way to lean when we do finalise!)
But meanwhile, there are so many other story ideas tugging at me like a noisy, insatiable brood of children that I fear I might lose my mind trying to write all of them simultaneously! I have enough projects to keep me busy for the next 12 years.
So what have I decided to do? Take the week off and do nothing but READ!