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Preface

My name is Kasthuri Kumar and I am twenty-eight years old—or thereabouts anyway. For reasons that many Thirumalas, Tilotammas and Bisheshwaris will understand, I like to be addressed either by my surname or my self-shortened moniker, Katie.

Contrary to what my first name might suggest, my ancestry is north Indian. My parents were both sensible, middle-class bureaucrats, the choice of my name being their one rash act. When they were posted in Kerala, my mother had patronised a local eponymous artist and recklessly promised her that she would name her daughter after her. And she did.

I recently (voluntarily) resigned my commission from the Indian Police Service (IPS) following some (minor) medical problems. After my retirement I came to Bombay with a vague but strong desire to do something creative, exciting even. Not as in adrenaline pumping-dodging-Maoists’-bullets exciting, but something stimulating. And if it involved a bit of fame and glamour, well, so much the better.

In Bombay, I camped out with my best friend, Marie Banerjee, while I figured out what to do with my life. It was Marie who inadvertently got me started on my present career. While I was shacked up with her, one of her uncles had some procedural problems renewing his arms licence. I, having wielded a weapon all my professional life, and having routinely dealt with such issues, was able to help him out.

Which gave Marie the idea that that’s what I could do with my life—and incidentally put my experience in the police to good use—private detecting. Now, that’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it would have to do till I figured out what it was that I actually wanted to do.

Actually, I think I wanted to be a famous doctor, or a scientist. Although it is probably too late for either, I still have fantasies about receiving the Nobel Prize. I’m not sure what the breakthrough discovery is, other than the hazy notion that it might be in the field of astrophysics. Perhaps some advanced work on string theory? What I am pretty sure about, is that I’m wearing a shimmering red gown by Valentino with black Fendi peep toes.

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Kkrishnaa’s konfessions got a great review. Am over the moon…Check this out! For those who wish to read the whole article click here. You’ll have to scroll down to “Confessions of an ambitious mind.”

Here’s an excerpt:

“Move over Bridget Jones, We now have our own Kkrishnaa, writer of TV soaps, young, attractive, single, and living alone in the big bad city of Mumbai. Indian writing in English has discovered chic lit and Kkrishnaa’s Konfession by Smita Jain is just what the urban English-speaking professional young woman was waiting for.The style is clever, irreverent and witty.It is an action filled page turner. Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions is an unpretentious, rollicking romp through the lanes and by lanes of Mumbai. Considering the fact that there is a twist and turn in every page, the author Smita Jain has shown great skill in untying the knots, and giving the book a somewhat intriguing end.”
 
Deccan Chronicle 15 June 2008.
 
For those who wish to get a taste of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions, I’ve put up the entire first chapter on the Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions page.

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My hard disk crashed, taking a week’s quota of writing with it (You got it, I hadn’t made a back up). That’ll teach me to surf crack sites for free Bollywood songs! Still, I suppose it could have been worse. Instead of losing 5,000 words I could’ve lost 50,000. And then I discovered that my maid, in a fit of pique, had sold my handwritten notes to the local paper recycler!

Everything just made me so…well, I was too far gone to be angry, so I suppose bemused would be more it…. so I decided to Google just why it is that people write. Came up with some interesting quotes. Here are a few of them:

What a writer wants to do is not what he does.
Jorge Luis Borges

If you’re a freelance writer and aren’t used to being ignored, neglected, and generally given short shrift, you must not have been in the business very long.
Poppy Z. Brite

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman’s name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to a writer – and if so, why?
Bennett Cerf

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven’t been told a million times already – that writing is harder.  Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
Harlan Ellison

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
William Faulkner

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
Gustave Flaubert

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert A. Heinlein

The quality which makes man want to write and be read is essentially a desire for self-exposure and masochism. Like one of those guys who has a compulsion to take his thing out and show it on the street.
James Jones

It’s tougher than Himalayan yak jerky on january. But, as any creative person will tell you, there are days when there’s absolutely nothing sweeter than creating something from nothing.
Richard Krzemien

Writing is not a genteel profession. It’s quite nasty and tough and kind of dirty.
Rosemary Mahoney

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
George Orwell

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
Sidney Sheldon

People are certainly impressed by the aura of creative power which a writer may wear, but can easily demolish it with a few well-chosen questions. Bob Shaw has observed that the deadliest questions usually come as a pair: “Have you published anything?” – loosely translated as: I’ve never heard of you – and “What name do you write under?” – loosely translatable as: I’ve definitely never heard of you.
Brian Stableford

Writing is the flip side of sex – it’s good only when it’s over.
Hunter S. Thompson

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
Red Smith

Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.
Paul Valery

Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.
Jessamyn West

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.
William Zinsser

Easy reading is damned hard writing.
Anonymous

A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public eye with his pants down.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Well, my pants are down here. Do look and tell me what you think:)

For more such quotes on writing click here.

On a more positive note, after the early morning fiascos, the day got progressively better. I only had to shell out Rs. 60 when I went to receive a friend at Mumbai Airport, not because I had to park but because the airport is being renovated and in the meantime one has to drive through parking to reach arrivals; then my car car got towed away, but only from parking; and three, after I had paid the fine and retrieved my car from impound, I developed a flat tyre…Just another day in the life of a writer. Sometimes I feel God does these things only to give material for my writing.

 

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It’s official. Indians don’t write.

It’s true. I’m a member of Shelfari and have tried to encourage writing amongst Indians. No go. In spite of gentle and not so gentle reminders and encouragemnet, they just wont!

I try to tell them it’s a good thing to write. As you write more, you become more focused and articulate. You don’t need to write much, but you must write, and write often. Writing just fifteen minutes a day, every day, adds up to about book every year! So think about it. 

And if that wasn’t enough motivation, writing, it seems helps also helps you lose weight! Julia Cameron, in her new book, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size” talks about this at length. Artists and writers are familiar with Julia Cameron. For those who aren’t she is the creator of the morning pages concept.

So get cracking!

On a separate note, thank you all for reading the first chapter of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions and giving feedback. Thanks, it means a lot.

For new visitors, I’ve posted the first chapter of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions. You can read it here.

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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