Friday, September 05, 2008

Forebodings and Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Today was full of dark forebodings, wading through it; I had the feeling of being tired of the rat race, the feeling of really getting nowhere. Another agent wants to take a look at the novel, and I guess I have done a thousand such submissions. By now most of literary agents and literary establishments know about me and my novel, and maybe having a good laugh. But I keep making submissions as I made to this agent. Who knows someone somewhere may snap it up.

Saw Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan on television (In case you don't know, she is the cute and petite author of "You Are Here"), on Just Books to be exact, presented by Sunil Sethi with his Oxford accent, or is it Doon School? I don’t know. All I know is it is a funny accent. She seemed confident and I am happy to think that she got noticed because of her blog. That’s another published author, and I amn’t yet published. All the very best Meenakshi, hope to see you shine in the firmament of authors, you have the spunk, the verve, the guts needed to tell a story and not hide it where nobody can see it. Yes, writing a story requires guts, courage and the willingness to take scorn, fear, insult, discontent, and deep guilt.

Maybe that’s why the forebodings. But I have strengthened myself through faith, what keeps me going is a few minutes of devotion in the morning and night, the exclusive time I devote to thought of God and my saviour Jesus. Yes, I am a strong believer, and have benefited from my faith, so, no shame in saying it.

I wonder what successful people feel once they have started on their journeys to what they are committed to, what they have a missionary-like zeal for. What do they feel after floating a new party, taking a new and important position? I am all apprehension and loss, but I have to be strong, I know, I am getting there. Writers have always struggled with thoughts of impending doom.

Poet Menka Shivdasani was in the office today. She said most people can’t distinguish what is a mistake any more, and make an effort to correct or learn from it. Being the sensitive poet she is; I know she is right. An advertising agency owner, desperately looking for someone with passable English said trainees said something like this: “young writer whom I have employed said language didn’t matter as long as the ideas and the gist were conveyed. Software programs will correct mistakes.” No, software programs can’t discern a grammatical or syntax error. To illustrate: does the following sentence make sense to you?

Your collecting garbage because you just can’t see it lying their.

The entire sentence is wrong, but my software program just let it pass because it can’t make fine distinctions that a human mind can. If we are so dependent on machines to show us logic then we are in for big trouble. Just one miscommunicated word can trigger a catastrophic misunderstanding. But who cares? Writers like me put in hours of work which a reader casts aside in seconds, after a glance. Writers like me write novels and agents, editors and publishers just tucks it away into their slush pile without a second look at it. The world works thusly, and we can’t do a damn about it. The world is too money minded, crazy after money, with no patience for those who make them lose money – the losers.

Meeankshi I am proud of you, may you be successful in this competitive world of writing. May you beget many more novels and books.

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