Friday, 28 September 2012

That writing schmiting stuff

So, there's this fiction magazine. Of short stories and poems, by Indian writers and writers from other parts of the world too, like Ireland and the UK. You submit your stuff and if the staff votes for it, it gets in the next issue. I think my poetry is bad. So I had to write a short story.

I did. And I sent it in. And then I saw all the epic stuff all these epic writers had sent in and thought, nah I don't stand a chance. But hey at least it made me sit down and write for five hours and churn out nine pages of a complete story: something I've never had the focus to do before.

Anyway.
I get this email.
And it's the Editor and he says I'm getting published.

It's an international e-magazine that'll be available on Amazon among other places, and they're attempting to get it sold physically too. I'm not gonna say anymore, I don't wanna jinx it! Maybe I sound silly. But it's a really big deal to me. It's not like seeing my work in newspapers or ordinary magazines, it's an actual compilation of stories distributed to the public, like the real thing. It's one of those things that makes fools like me hold on to that pipe dream of turning into a successful novelist some day.

Here are some extracts from my short story. It's called Finding Peace.

Nala wasn’t like the other girls in her village. While at the age of thirteen, they started wearing long skirts and tied their hair up in long braids and learnt to smile demurely like a proper young girl should – Nala cut her hair like a boy and wore elephant-pants and sneakers and laughed as loud as she wanted. Once the na├»ve farmer’s son Yudish pointed at Nala’s head and laughed - ‘well look at her hair, it’s like a boy’s!’ he exclaimed – Nala simply responded with a ‘so what!’, her defiant dark eyes flaring out at him, before she gave him a hard clouting on the shoulder. ‘What a strange girl that Nala is,’ would be the often-heard remark made at the village square – a remark tinged by that distinct tone of disapproval closely associated with the elderly among us – in a conversation between old women who had gathered to discuss the day’s affairs. ‘Don’t know how her poor mother is going to find her a husband!’ -someone else would throw into the gossip, before the women would burst into good-natured laughter. [...] 

Nala grew up with an avid appetite for stories, poetry and all kinds of things from books [...] – and she was very clever – too clever than is proper for a proper young girl, some might add. [...] 

The older Nala got, the deeper her fears and doubts seemed to provoke her, and it was in her eighteenth year that she found herself seated pensively below the avocado tree next to the window – listening to her mother and aunt inside, talking about her marriage. ‘He is a very nice boy, from a good family – very well to do! He has a farm on the North side of the village, a large paddy farm, it has been in his good family’s name for almost a hundred years now – just imagine!’ her aunt was saying. ‘He is also a good age for Nala – he is 32, so mature and serious and grounded, I think he will know just how to control those wild childish ways that she has not yet grown out of…’ Nala’s mother did not say much as her sister went on, except to offer a murmur of agreement every now and then, as she sipped her tea quietly. ‘It is a perfect match! I have talked to your husband already,’ Nala’s aunt continued. Nala’s father had, indeed, been spoken to about this proposal made to the daughter he doted upon – and since then, he had begun to make himself scarce at home, meeting Nala’s enthusiastic ramblings and occasional queries with an air of awkwardness where previously he had responded with equal zeal, as though he were now ashamed of something – and he would then rush out of the room to ‘attend to some work’. [...]

He gave his daughter a wide smile, and kissed her on the forehead. ‘You will be happy,’ he said, before looking at her one last time and leaving the room – whether he said these words to assure his daughter of the nature of her future, or in fact, to assure himself of it, one cannot be certain.
Nala stood in the middle of the study, looking at the shelves of bound books rising around her. How she wished, she prayed, that the ground would open up its jaws right now and swallow her whole, like the Earth had swallowed Sita. She heard the trumpets sounding from outside – the band for the wedding was practicing for the pleasure of the crowd. There were cheers, and drums and a loud, joyful, upbeat tune – sounds that now encircled Nala in her solitude, as though to say to her triumphantly, ‘Ha ha! You are sad? It doesn’t matter, the show will go on!’ [...]

She lifted her heavy choli, and climbed over the gate in her backyard – the one that led to the private road behind her house. She had to make sure nobody saw her. The road was empty – everyone was at her house, celebrating the change that her life had been decreed to take. Everyone is happy about the wedding, but the bride herself - she thought, smirking at the irony. She lifted the choli and made a run for it. She was not sure where she was going – all she knew was, she had to get away from it all. No, they would not - could not - take her, not without a fight. [...]

AND SO IT GOES. Cool no? It's my first short story. Philip Sidney once said being a writer is like "being with child", labour pains, the pressure, oh the agony. But it's so worth it when the thing finally comes out, all fresh and new-born. 


6 comments:

  1. I wanna read this....!!!!! ohhhhhh!!! how much I wish I could go on reading.....thumbs up for your work..:)

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    1. Thank you so much! :D 'I wanna read this!' is the best compliment a wannabe writer can get. I shall link yall to the magazine issue once it comes up.

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  2. OOOOOOH! Congratulations, dude. :D Love the story arc too. Hopefully will get to read the whole thing soon. :)

    Someday when you're a famous big-shot writer I'm gonna go around telling everyone that you're my homie (as if I don't do that already). ;)

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    1. Awww thanks, mister! <3 I just found out they're publishing another story of mine too called 'The Mysterious Visitors', I've posted it on Facebook before (back when I wasn't too hipster for Facebook :P). And when I get back let's go up to random people and be like HELLO. THIS IS MY HOMIE.

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  3. Congratulations!!! great news this is :D

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