I’ve shut myself out.
Real world seems like a distant and surreal place.
And I actually kinda like it.
Laavanya, Tridev, Inba, Ishdia, Jalal and Adityavarman are all that I think about now.
I think about them in class, while working on my final semester project and while randomly going through my Facebook news-feed.
I know they are just characters, but to me, they are real.
Very much real.
I know what they look like and how their voices sound.
I know the colour of their eyes and their deepest fears.
The entire process of writing a novel has changed me. It has changed me for good.
Bride of the Battalions isn’t the first novel that I ever wrote. It is the first novel I’ve managed to finish. That’s something, because right from when I remember having started a few pages of a new story and then all of a sudden I gave up on it.
I didn’t know I was capable of such intense discipline until I finished the first draft of Bride Of The Battalions. I wake up every day and spend at least two to three hours sitting in front of the computer, bleeding the words out. Since I still had college to deal with, I cut out everything else. I stopped watching Tv, I stopped spending time with my friends, I stopped doing everything else.
For the past three months, It has been just me and my book.
And right now, at 51,000 words, I feel like I’m going insane. I feel like twenty four hours in a day is just not enough and college cutting into most of that time if simply unfair. You know, the kind of insanity that is addictive, and makes you yearn for it.
But when I write, I am happy.
And I would trade anything for this feeling of insanity to stay with me forever.
So, I’m at that stage of life where the odds of me becoming a Rock Star is much, much higher than getting published before I graduate out of college.
And I’m not going to lie, that fact does make me a little depressed.
My parents are worried. I hardly meet my friends or smile. They say I’m obsessed with my novel much more that I really should be.
Of course, I can’t really blame them. They’re parents and they’re supposed to worry. They are by default, programmed to worry.
They know that the publishing industry is a highly competitive one. And they know that I’m a highly sensitive girl. Their ultimate fear is this: That I’d be heart broken and relapse into depression if the publishers don’t think the book is as awesome as my close friends think it is.
They have a point though.
I’m investing everything that I ever had into a 200-page long bundle of papers.
But that’s where they are wrong.
It’s not just a stack of papers and giving up on it, just because the journey is going to be tough, is irrational.
Daddy and Amma, would you have given up on me, if the entire world told you I was not worth it?
Would you have stopped loving me, if, God forbid, something had gone terribly wrong with me last summer?
Remember what you told me when we got back from the hospital and I was dreading over the semester results?
I was terrified above the last two exams I had written when I was absolutely ill, and I still had the IV implant on my wrist. I was scared I’d fail. Remember what you told me that night?
You told me that I was different and special.
You told me that you would love me, no matter what the exam results were. You told me that I was back home and nothing bad had happened.
You said that was what mattered first.
A few days later, my friends called me up and told me that I had made it through.
It’s the same with my novel.
No matter how many rejection letters I face or how many people criticize me or tell me that I’m wasting my life and time writing stories, I will continue writing.
Because writing is to me, what I am to you.
A Godsend baby that I ought to love unconditionally and nurture till the end of my life.