Monday, May 11, 2009

Post before the horse

Slam book question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Sure shot answer: A writer, assh#le!

(That was my headline yesterday till I deleted the post on purpose. I don’t know why I did that, but here’s the post, anyway, starting with a definition and an email. Context is everything!)


Fiction: A literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact
Fabrication: a deliberately false or improbable account


Have you ever thought of writing fiction? Do you write fiction?
I would definitely be interested in discussing any fiction ideas that you may have.
Looking forward to hearing from you.


I’d say my news of the week is that I met a book publisher.

(Also witnessed: little boys picking up goris at Khan Market but never mind that just now)

So, back to my big news – I met the publisher midweek, and it went well, thank you. I know I impressed her because she laughed at all my jokes (can't go wrong with self-deprecation). They’re interested, I’m excited, and it’s all good. I would love to give you details, but like a good Hindu, I don’t want to jinx a good thing -- nazar mat lagao and all that

I have to admit though, that it was quite a kick for them to approach me, and not the other way around. Sure, I would have one day gulped pride and eventually gone up to them with a possibly lame ass manuscript put together without a careful second read, but this way was so much better!

Sitting at the reception, though, in what I hoped was a ‘writerly-enough’ look, I was privileged to feel first hand, the challenge it is to look professional when brain functioning is at its foggiest but insides are shrieking woohoo!


But then having composed myself, (as is essentially for these things to go off smoothly), I sat there ogling at newly-released books on display and wondered whether I should take the shades off my head. It also struck me how very stupid I would look if I whipped out my mirror and started darkening the kajal in my eyes just as she would walk in. Anyhow, receptionist punctured thought bubble and told me to go right in.

We meet at the door, commissioning editor lady and I. She’s young too. And I flash my warmest, most sincere smile at her. (If I already like her, it’s because I’m grateful she thinks I am competent enough with words to arrange for a meeting with me to take this further. Honest.)

Having said our hi-hellos, she took me into a tiny room that overlooked the cramped parking lot where my poor car was being rolled about in neutral. Neither said a word for the first few seconds. Then she inhaled and shot me a sooo, tell me! And I soo, told her. We talked for nearly 45 minutes, along the way discovering some common acquaintances. That’s the thing with Delhi, I suppose – some of us end up in DU.

All this jabbering in spite of the fact that my father had called earlier to give me a little ‘chin up, kiddo’ pep talk, and had advised me let her do most of the talking. That didn’t happen. Rewind -- like I said, I was jabbering. Couldn’t help it; how often do publishers call asking if you’ve ever thought about writing fiction, anyway? And if I would have later told her that, listen, bhai, I’m really a reserved extrovert; she would have again thought ha ha, funny girl.

So anyway, I pushed towards her an A4 size print out of some last-minute crap I had typed while in office. It was supposed to be a synopsis of something or the other, but seemed more like eight paragraphs of faff. Evidently, I’m too hard on myself. She read it, liked it, and said it had a hook. I was relieved. She told me what I knew (grin), that I had that a wry touch, and that I should develop it further. I was nodding modestly now, giving out my most casual “yeaaa, I know…” vibe.

She asked me about ideas I had. I gave her three and tried hard to not to be self-conscious while pitching them. She had on that indulgent bolo bacche expression. I obviously wanted very badly for her to not be a bitchy math teacher incarnate and dismiss me with a three on ten and ‘Redo’. The universe conspired to be on my side. No redo, no number fail. She loved me. How could she not?

And so, here we are, blowing trumpets prematurely, when zero writing progress has been made since that fateful ego massage day midweek. But I guess it’s okay to be laid back for a little bit more. Soak in the heady goodness, I tell myself. That, and how I possible have my whole life to exaggerate the characters of people around and me and pass it off as a half-wild imagination. Fiction, she said... and the corridors resounded with demented laughter of an aspiring novelist!


Anonymous said...

i didnt get the last paragraph. are you actually publishing? or was the post fictional?

Mumbai Diva said...

this really happens? these publisher types actually write to one? AAAh, I live on in hope.....

Congratulations are in order :)

Perakath said...

Great news, Nimpip. Happy for you!

(So the stands don't look too empty.)

slowtumblinglife said...

have been a regular reader here for a while now, although mostly silent..

you write really well; and this is the MOST brilliant news. so let me just say -

Wow!! Congratulations!!!

And that I look forward to it.

Nimpipi said...

Anon: :))no, post wasn't fictional. i don't even wish it were!

M D: I know!! Imagine how stunned I was! =))

Thanks, Per! sweet of you to keep the stands occupied:)

Slow T: Hi. Thank you. Touched. And I love the yellow on your blog, by the way.

Brown Girls said...

Aaaaaaaaaa too much hee ho gaya! Congratulations and big, big hug :-D

chandni said...


*sends a hi 5*

I'll buy. Promise :)

Miss P said...

super! congratulations! much joy!

Nimpipi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nimpipi said...

Brown G: aaaaaaaaaa!! :D i knowwww!!! who'd'vethunk! i'm going to get a kick in my backside for all this premature shoo-shaa but hug returned and yaaaay1!!:DD

Chandu: high five wapas. these big chill cheesecake plans also need to materialise! :)

Miss P: Thank you, baby!

Anonymous said...

wow, congratulations.. u deserve it.
i was so going to add in the comment on ur last post that u should totally considering writing a book., and whoaa.. u are :)

Anonymous said...


Han said...

Well done! I look forward to your name on bestseller lists and the TLS and whatnot.

Nimpipi said...

Anon: Pretty cool, na? :)) Yep, totally considering it! (p. s: Leave your name/ some name agli baari? Anon = v impersonal..)

Han: Ha! Fingers crossed, yes. So far though, just lots of premature beaming! =)))

Indyeah said...

will buy too like Chandni I promise:D

Brown girls said...

~beams and grins and screams~ Yayyy!! So axciting! :D My friend, a published writer, oho, I am SO going to show you off! :D And premature or whatever, this is total cause for zoy :D

Serendipity said...

Fantastic :)

Ive read only this one post, but i like this blog already :) and maybe the book when it comes out!

good luck!

Schizo said...

I'm back on your blog! And what a happy post to welcome me back! :) My childhood fraaand - the newest author on the shelves - can't wait to say that to everyone i know.
*fingers crossed* Much love!

Nimpipi said...

Indy: ha ha :D thanks, babe!

Brown G: Wait till someone asks me to pimp recommend suggest put forward any ONE writer friend of mine! jo hamare college ka naam roshan hoga! :D (all this early shoo shaa is going to come bite me in the butt!)

Serendipity: Hey! Hii! Thank you. Clicking on your link as soon as I post this!:)

Schizo: Haan ji ladki, thank you. Your childhood fraaand shan't disappoint *million dollar smile!*

Mudit said...

1: Interesting blog/Good job
2: Congrats/All d best
3: -smile-

Meineken said...

you come back to the country and your friends are on their way to becoming published (future award winning) writers. :) whattay news. keep it up girl.

Nimpipi said...

Mudit: you must be kickass with excel!:P thanks though!

Meineken: Ai hai woman! you're back!! :D meet meet!! ( but yes thenkoo thenkoo, bit early but i'm loving this:D)

Inayat said...

That's faaaaaaaaaaaabulous, so THIS is what you were hinting at. Well done yo! I can NOT wait for this one, and by the way, I'm sure you're readers will be happy to help with writers block and suggestions on unconpleted stuff yada yada (wink wink nudge nudge)

seriously though, that's super, now full steam ahead. :D

Nimpipi said...

Yea, you know i was wondering where your shrieks of good luck were, lady! But thank you! =) Yes, full steam ahead it is!

Anonymous said...

heehee, I was holidaying re, and no internet: ( but since I found out my brains been ticking - you gotta include beauty parlours and may queen balls ok..and try to ease of on your thermocol love, you know that's very specific right? not all of us have such problems :D And please please PLEASE don't make your male protagonist a 'catch' if he has an MBA nah, kher, I'll be reading it..

Rajiv said...

walaaaaaaah,thts good.Congratulations nd best wali luck tooo:)