Kids, the summer of 2012 was a very special time. The world was still an apocalyptic wasteland, and I was convinced life as we knew it was really just one big Zuckerberg simulation. While all of humanity clamoured for Mayan interventions and the Silicon Valley supply line appeared to have finally run out of minimalist Messiahs, your father was one of the few men to look reality in the eye and accept things as they were: we were all well and truly fucked. Like I say, it was a magical time.
Your father was in his prime, still compulsively spewing vitriol like any self-respecting writer should, still rocking his Chuck Taylors on weekends. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2012, your father wasn't a self-respecting writer. Not even a self-loathing one, which is the commoner kind. He was a professional, a clean shirt. Your father still harboured dreams of getting back into the literary game of course; back because he had already written his first novel, six years ago- it was a crusty old thing, languishing unread, amputated and hidden away in pieces in godforsaken corners of his inbox.
There were 3 Chucks in your father's life: Norris, and the Taylor twins.
Your father was biding his time, hoping- and believing- that his flirtation with corporate life was an infatuation, that he would roll up his sleeves and bin the flashy suits and ditch the rat race for the solemn static of uninspired graphite touching paper, for the desperate longing of lonely symphonies typed out on disinterested keyboards. And then one excessively inebriated night at Clarke Quay in Singapore, he snapped. Ever the Grand Gesture merchant, he threw his smartphone over the serendipitously named Read Bridge, left his boss a voicemail of questionable propriety and embraced the Dream.
Much as this little note sounds like a big ol' circle-jerk, I do have actual news to deliver, unlike the douchebag from the sitcom I'm parodying for whatever reason. A lot has happened since that stormy night on Clarke Quay. I've spent the last few months bumming around India, not because I wanted to find myself but because the Motherland is the one place that does not place immigration restrictions on my brown ass. I made new friends, got into fights, found a publisher for my novel, blogged and tweeted and facebooked like a crazy person, moved to Bombay, fell in love.
But tonight, I am racked with all sorts of anxiety because tomorrow I finally join the ranks of 'published writers'. One of my short stories 'An Absurd Romance' has been published by the good folks at Scholastic India in their anthology 'Music of the Stars and Other Love Stories' which releases tomorrow at the annual New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 in New Delhi. Starting tomorrow, I can no longer hide in the shade of euphemisms; my work will be available to all to read and judge and love or loathe.
It's liberating and intimidating in equal measure, and the future being so unpredictable, I'm now slowly making my peace with the dawning realization that it's okay to be scared when you're going after something you love. I hope I don't, in the process, leave you a legacy of failure and not-good-enough; I hope tomorrow heralds the start of something magical, something special, like the Summer of 2012. But if that doesn't happen, if the wannabe-writer shtick blows up in my face, I'd like for you to know that it's been one hell of a ride.
'Music of the Stars and other Love Stories', Scholastic India (2013)