Just over a year ago, exhausted from non stop painting and 13 back to back solo and group art exhibitions I decided to take a break. Chill. Recharge my batteries and my creative reserves, wondering if i would ever have a single new idea again.
Insecurity is a great motivator-‘I dont know’ sometimes the most important and powerful words we can tell ourselves.
So i decided to do nothing for a few months, except read gossip magazines (anything more serious seemed too daunting) exercise, have massages at the spa blah blah. I was thrilled. For somebody as high energy as me the plan to do nothing was a serious plan.
A week into my ‘plan to do nothing plan’ i started to get restless. Bored. Hyper. Mental. Attended a candle making class. Took a course on mediitation. Reiki even. Still restless, wondered about learning a foreign language-theres a spanish class near my place…Cleaned out every nook and crevice in my home and studio again and again. Scrubbing rubbing and polishing. I still stayed away from my easel and brushes waiting for inspiration for my new theme of paintings to strike like a bolt of lightning from the sky.
On one such” I dont know what next and so I’m ‘cleaning out my closet yet again day” i found a thin file of papers at the bottom of a box in my storage cupboard- stuff i had written ages ago (in my ‘I’m a bored London housewife’ phase) and forgotten all about.
It was a synopsis. A story of a young girl Chitrangana Varma desperately looking for her father. Set in a co-operative housing society in downtown Mumbai called Swapnalok Co-operative housing Society.
I decided to revisit the story and started to write. Flesh out people from my own past, some real some imagined. I still didnt know what exactly i was doing but then something took over and i found myself being plunged into this magical make beleive world inside my head called Swapnalok Society.With all the chaos ,the scizophrenia, the love, the eccentricities , the highs and lows of the people that lived there. I couldnt stop. I worked into the nights sleeping an average of two to three hours. The charactors started talking to me, telling me their secrets, their stories, their loves ,their longings. I tapped into the rich reservoir of my own growing up years and soon the line between the real and the fiction started to blend.
6 weeks later i had a book-or rather the first draft of a book. I dashed it off to a friend of a friend who was the commisioning editor at Penguin books India. She emailed me back saying she loved it and would i be interested in developing it into a series. Was she kidding? I said yes. And thats how it happened.
My first novel. The first book in the Swapnalok Society series is called “The Summer of Cool’ Its being officially launched on the 31st of janurary 2009 at the Crossword Book Store in Kemps Corner.
Wish me luck guys. Am i nervous? You bet! More than i’ve ever been for anything else in my life & i’ve done a LOT of things and have maintained a fair degree of detachment from it all
But now suddenly, I’m oscillating between euphoria (the Oh my God i cant belive i have a book coming out kind of excitement)
and despair (the Oh my god! will they even understand what I’m trying to say,and the oh my god will they laugh at me kind of anxiety)
I’m so spaced i’ve shifted into a gear beyond thought… have i lost it? or have i finally found it? Why has all my confidence suddenly flown out of the window? Why cant i treat this like many of the other things i have done? Hmnnn…its that phrase again. I dont know…