Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anjali - I Will Publish It

I was rummaging through my old papers and discovered a file full of rejection slips from publishers and agents for my early works of literature - 'The Misfit' followed by 'The Men Within' and then 'The Tryst' and a collection of short stories. It was a nice file, full of various comments on why the proposal was not good enough - 'not enough narrative energy' said one, 'too many cliches' said another, 'falls into young adult fiction' said another - and on and on. I found two or three names of sub editors and editors on rejection slips - the same people were moving about from one publishing house to another - but what they did consistently was reject my proposals. Of course my proposals themselves were fun to read, amateurish, full of myself, all over the place. But honest, and full of hope.

It was interesting to see the file - and for a moment thought I would throw it away. What was the point of keeping these rejection slips? Then I decided to keep it to remind me of  my journey.

Anjali came by and I showed her the first manuscript of 'The Misfit' my first ever attempt at fiction and the file full of rejection slips.

'Wow!' she said, looking at the old manuscript. 'Don't throw it away.'
I had been junking much of the old stuff so she must have thought I would junk this one too.
'I am not,' I said. 'But what do you want to do with it?'

She came around and gave me a hug.
'I will publish it,' she said in all seriousness.

Somehow she sensed, despite my matter-of-fact demeanour, that much work had gone in. And for an eight year old who has no real idea what it means to publish a book, it was a very nice thing to say to her old man. We joked that we might end up publishing it and being the only two people to read it, but it was a moment that left its mark on me for the sheer spontaneity. Somehow, after this, it will not matter to me if it does not get published ever by anyone else.

Anjali went a step further.

Yesterday, she showed me her cricket bat and told me - 'The next publisher who will reject 'The Misfit' will get one from me like this.' And she proceeded to give the sofa one meaty blow.

I must remember to keep that file of rejection slips away from Anjali in the interests of the publishers. But secretly, I always craved to have support like this.


Rajendra said...

You could actually publish a new one based on rejections real and imaginary..A short story?

Harimohan said...

Hmmm Raja...that's an interesting line of thought. I should think of one such. Short story is a good size too. Rejectons also can bring us the comparison between publishers and the opposite sex - does the rejection mean you are rejecting yourself? Deep stuff. But if I bring in the rejections by the opposite sex it could pretty much become a novel!

Unknown said...

All the best for this work Sir.
Anjali is a thought generator!!!!!!!!