Monday, July 30, 2012

The man who connected with me

I screamed, yelled, ran round, sipped from a bottle and choked. Was I frightened?

Excitedly afraid that I was living one of my dreams.
Dreams come true at the least expected moments! And so when my mentor rang me up, I reacted like a maniac.

Geoff Thompson - Bafta award winner and author of more than 40 books - was the first person to read my book.
I had wanted it no other way!

That reminds me, how I was adamant that I 'EARN' my first salary. While I was interning with a financial magazine in 1995 and my first stipend of Rs1,000 was due, I yearned that I received 'MY Worth' first. I was determined to ENCASH MY WORDS first!
So the day I was to receive the stipend cheque, I delayed going to the workplace and waited for the postman to tinkle his cycle bell. And yes, he did arrive late-noon around 3pm with 'My self-earned' cheque - Rs50 from Akashvani Radio for reciting poems.

Years later, when I wrote my book. I was determined the person I admire the most be the first to read it.
I sent across a copy addressed to him, expecting an email response a few months later.

I had spoken to the UK-based Geoff Thompson innumerable times through his pages. Each time I read, chewed, digested and ruminated his each word.
Every night before I hit the bed I read a couple of his lines [the book case on my bedside table has a permanent place for one his works]. Such obsession will see my desire to pass. I had no inkling of a doubt.

So on the afternoon of April 2, when my mobile rang and I droopily said 'hello' into it and heard a Brit-accent ask 'Is this Neeeshuh?', I already knew who it was.
'Hi. I'm Geoff." And it was extreme euphoria that swelled to maniac proportions in a fraction of a second. I howled, screamed and gasped. His words of review... such as "honest", I choked. "Your profound insight into human emotions is very moving..." and tears pinched my eyes. "Every page was a feast..." and I felt humbled. "It made me cry twice..." he said and I couldn't stop my tears.

I've distributed more than 50 copies of the book to my acquaintances over the last five months, and I received a few reviews.
Mention of the protagonist's relationships with her family was termed frivolous by one reader. Another said she identifies with Anamica's plight; yet a few said typical characters. A few took instances mentioned to heart, while a couple of others said it is verse-heavy. Some said well-written without explaining why they think so. A few could not understand (that's something I'm yet to crack). One of them, who claimed to have read half-way through - advised me to write simple language.

While I accept every word of feedback with gratitude, it hurts to say just one person got to the crux. Only Geoff Thompson got it bang on. Emotions it is. Human emotions. How you control it determines how you shape your destiny. How you weigh it determines how you identify your purpose in life. In other words let not anything stand in your heart's way. Only that will lead you to joy!
It's all about connections, I'm convinced.