Bombay, Bombay, India
December 31
Icy Highs is the writerly alter ego of Tharun James Jimani, author of 90s pop culture novel, 'Cough Syrup Surrealism' (Fingerprint! Publishing, 2013). He has lived in Chennai, Glasgow, Dusseldorf, London and Singapore over the last twelve years, and is- in Animal Planet parlance- a 'serial immigrant', and averse to nesting. He writes to keep the moss from gathering.


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FEBRUARY 3, 2013 11:14PM

An Absurd Romance

Rate: 11 Flag



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) 




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'well and truly fucked.."


There is hope....
""............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.""

Wonderful! What more can a man ask than that he got on whatever looks to him like the biggest bronc in the corral and rode it to the best of his ability for...... well, for as long as he did!

That takes cojones and I congratulate you sir!


Haha. Indeed, Steve.

Hey Sky, as my grandmom -somewhat disturbingly- used to say, "we're nothing, if not out cojones." Thanks for reading. :)
we're nothing if not *our* cojones, i mean. sheesh.
Yeah, don't out your cojones, think that might be illegal everywhere!! :D

Tinkertink, I don't think anybody's given me better advice! :)
Ah, the self doubt of success. Get off that horse and celebrate. And write and write and write. Congratulations.
Hey JL! I know right. It's what the kids are calling (so I'm told) a 'humble-brag'. Thanks, I'm loving living the dream. :)
Oh Icy!!!! Oh wow!!! I am so happy, happy for you!!! Congratulations! I think you were one of the very first people I read when I joined Open last May, and I have adored your writing from the beginning.

I am so happy about all these turns of events in your life. Bombay is a terrific place!

And your comments about fear, and not-good-enough, and going on anyway, well, they resonate hugely with me. I am so glad I read this on a Monday morning.

Will you message me where I can locate this story of yours to read?

Bravo! Rated OF COURSE
Hi Emily, that's super kind of you, thank you! I think the ebooks only become availabe in a couple of days- will be sure to inbox you the link. :)
So today it "it" day? Yay!!!! So glad when someone follows their dream!

(Now, if I could just quit using the wrong there/their, my life would improve.)
well i, of course, would be hard-pressed to be more excited. dont inbox the link to the e-books - just post it! or inbox me, and i will post it!
Wonderful. Just the reference every kid wants burned in his/her mind: Dad and a circle-jerk.

Congratulations. If your story exudes the spirit you put into your posts, you'll do well.
I've been there... the waiting. I know exactly how you feel. Congratulations and good luck.
Hey you guys, thanks for reading and encouraging. Much appreciated! :)
gosh no wonder u are published , with yr damn command of the English language: "'ive 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. "

summer of twenty 12. i spent it mostly on new england beaches gawking at chicks. shit. you are an inspiration, sir!
Haha thanks James, but you know us writers- I may have made the summer of '12 sound way more fun than it actually was.
For those who are interested, I've now linked the book title to Scholastic's page where the book is available to buy online:


It's got some great stories from 10 other writers, if you're into YA. Happy reading!
Congrats! Isn't success grand? R
Thanks Marilyn. Not quite success but sure hope I'm on my way. :)