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Posts Tagged ‘ramblings’

Yesterday, this friend of mine and I decided to do lunch. And not our usual Guru da Dhaba lunch, but buffet lunch with booze and soup and salad and hors d’oeuvres and entrees and desserts.

Since it is the middle of the month, naturally we are broke. Enter Ubuntu. Some of you may have seen it. It’s opposite YRF studios, in the lane off Babalji Telefilms, exiting onto the Link Road. It has intrigued me since the day it opened. I’ve always imagined it to be like a Carnivore-eat-all-you-can-turn-the-flag-upside-down-when-done type of place.

But apparently, it was only me that the restaurant intrigued because it failed to take off. In order to boost traffic they have recently started advertising a lunch buffet of Rs 299 including a free alcoholic beverage and taxes.

So it was decided that we’d meet at Ubuntu. The challenge was to get there and sidle in quickly because neither one wanted to be seen at the loser eaterie. And, of course neither of us wanted to be seen there alone.  So we made a pact.

Since we are both more or less equi-distant from the place, we’d call each other the moment we hopped into an auto so that both would be spared the ignominy of arriving there early.

Accordingly, my friend called in at ten to one to say that she’d got a rickshaw. I figured I’d give it another five minutes and hail one down myself. After all she would have to traverse the tricky Link road where there’s no accounting for traffic. 

I had almost flagged down an auto when it occurred to me that a section of the Link Road is being dug up. So I hastily snatched back my arm, called my friend that I was two minutes away and started walking. Any minute, I expected my friend to make a pissed off call demanding to know where I was. So, when I was at Balaji, and the call still didn’t come, I decided to do the honours. 

“Where the fuck are you?” I began crossly. “I’ve been here ages!”

“Um, I got stuck in traffic,” she said. “I’m almost there.”

I disconnected and turned into the Ubuntu lane and who should I see? My friend strolling in from Fun Republic! We both grinned at each other sheepishly and walked up to the maitre d’ and guess what? Somewhere down the line, the loser eaterie had become a happening one and they were full up! *Sigh* It was back to Guru the dhaba and good old fashioned home cooked Punjabi fare.

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You know how us Indians, almost all of us universally, have been brought up on the funda that life is a constant grind? And that all we can do is struggle and hope for the best? And as a corollary, the oft repeated verse from the Gita – Karmanyevadhikaraste Maphaleshu Kadachan is quoted? (Methinks it’s the only thing people have read in the Gita. Certainly, it’s the only one I’ve read. I tried to read the whole book, though. Honestly I did. Many times. I gave it up every time. Almost all Hindu texts, to me, appear to be misogynistic rants.)

It’s a whole load of crap. Let me tell you where I’m coming from:

Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions: When I first started writing, I just wrote because I had a story that excited me. And I knew I was writing it well. That’s it. I just wanted it published. I knew it was good enough to be published. More importantly, I believed it was going to get published. And lo! Within three days of submitting the MS I got a contract. The second one followed. And now there, are expectations that I’ll churn out a third one before the year is out. My life is harder now than when I first began writing! Which brings me to an unrelated but important observation – getting success is easy, maintaining it is hard.

Blog: I started blogging because I write a journal-like entry every morning anyway. So I figured, why not put it on the Net? And let’s face it, it gives me a platform to voice my opinions, pontificate and popularize my book (soon to be books). As an added advantage, it allows me to put up favorable reviews and edit bad ones. Other than that, I’m the laziest blogger in the whole world.

Therefore, it came as pleasant surprise when I did a search for my blog and found it tops in many directories! I don’t know how and when that happened (Certainly, my blog doesn’t inform me when someone links me). It’s not that I consciously cultivate readership. I don’t go that many other blogs. Or comment on them. I just don’t have the time. When I’m not writing my novel, I’m writing for TV. And when I’m not doing that, I’m writing film screenplays. Then there are newspapers and magazines who want my ‘expert’ opinion on something.

Sales of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions: I’ve never harangued my publishers for better publicity and promotion for the book, knowing their efforts are inadequate and lots more could be done. I don’t do that because I believe the product is good enough to do well without it. And it is in the bestsellers list every time. More importantly, it’s not dead stock. Every book store I ask tells me the book is a ‘fast moving item.’

There was this one books store in Powai which didn’t have the book in its display. When I asked a salesman about it, he helpfully got up and tried to locate it for me. While he was searching, I asked him why it wasn’t on prominent display. He stopped, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. “It wasn’t a moving.” My heart sank. Anyway, after a few minutes of fruitless searching, he went back to his desk and checked in the computer. And looked up, dazed. “We had fifteen copies. It’s sold out! We’ve placed an order for more.”

Which brings me to another unrelated important observation – in things like books, movies and almost anything to do with popular culture, it is word of mouth publicity that counts. Sure, splashy campaigns in traditional media help in generating visibility, but they don’t always translate into sales. I read many reviews and author interviews in newspapers but I don’t rush out to buy their books. I wait for an opinion from a friend I trust before I fork out the money.

Anyway, to come back to point of this rambling and long winded post, new age stuff with its emphasis on ‘abundance’ and ‘getting what you want is easy’ really works! All you have to do is believe.

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