Saturday, 24 July 2010

A novel in progress

My son Vishnu, on reading the first few pages of my first novel, asked me: "Accha, have you read Paulo Coelho's 'The Zahir'?"

When I said no, he went to his bookshelf and brought out the book.

I read four or five pages and realised what I had in mind might be the same as what Coelho had. From the way it begins, I understood 'The Zahir' is about a husband finding one fine morning his wife had vanished without leaving a trace. My novel in progress begins with a character finding his lover missing a few days before they are to get married.

I must admit it was bit of a shock. I felt the same way I had felt when an apple fell on my head some time back prompting me to expound the laws of gravity. But the patenting officer looked up the records and said: "Tough luck, buddy. Another chap has done it already."

"Don't lose heart," my son told me, seeing the expression on my face. "The thing to do is to finish what you have begun. Then read 'The Zahir', if you have't already".

He also advised me not to put my novel on the blog. He said it might as well win the Nobel. And Nobel winning books are not usually posted on the blog due to the new Cyber Laws. He is more into current trends; he knows better.

So, I am closing the blog where I had started posting 'Whirlpool', my novel in progress. The rest of the novel I propose to write in the seclusion of my room here and my son shall not enter this room and touch my computer.



Charu said...

I wud love to read ur novel... As I can't wait till u finish writing it, I have started following u on whirlpool too... Sir, I guess u misspelt bloke as block... sorry... a desk hand can't help but c mistakes... hope u wud forgive me

P. Venugopal said...

I have corrected it. This is the difference between the journo in the field and the journo at the desk!!! Thanks, Charu.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

Not fair sir. was looking forward to the forthcoming posts:(

reg the similiarity with coehlo, dont worry. u've hard it said that from time immemorial, across the world, there is only one story, told in different ways.

do consider reopening whirlpool.

P. Venugopal said...

I shall reopen it ma'am. It cannot be the same. My story is something I had gone through intensely. The person missing (since 1993) is a close friend. I had gone in search...being able to get no clue at all, I came close to cracking then...Then I pulled down the shutters and returned to my life. But the thing keeps haunting me...My plan here is to mix this experience with questions about Existence itself, why conflicts where it should be Sachithananda, calm bliss all the way. If you look at it closely, all conflicts come from ego, the illusion of being separate. I have a very vast canvass in my mind. I can already see its overall structure too. The challenge is to execute it.

kalpana said...

Does that mean that we would hardly get to read stuff on your blog? :-)

Well even I agree with your son... none of the noble prize winning stuff is uploaded on the blog. :-) So its good that you are not uploading it anymore.

P. Venugopal said...

Kalpana, I was only making fun of myself. We are friends, my son and myself.
One has to have tremendous perseverance to write a good novel, shut out all distractions and go into the agony and ecstacy of it all alone. It is a very lonely affair.
That I look for reassurance from friends at the beginnning itself exposes my fears--do I have the strength of character to do it? And there are distractions aplenty. Journalism is not a 10 to 5 job. You carry the load in your brain all the time...Let us see.

kalpana said...

Yes I completely agree Venuji, one has to have perseverance. i would really love to read your novel. All the very best

P. Venugopal said...

Thanks, Kalpana. I am working on it silently. And also doing some heavy reading--sort of giving tangible form to certain things I know only vaguely...learning. It is going to be a good book.