If you have a penchant for writing, then the idea of writing a book can captivate you in strange ways. The other night I fell for it, but the fact that I was unable to think of a compelling story, put me to sleep. Moreover, some of my friends are running after publishers only to find their manuscript in some rusty dustbin.
Let’s be honest here. When it is impossible to get five hundred words printed, who will publish an entire book? I also doubt if anyone will read my book, other than poor husband. If he wants two square meals, he has no choice.
As I watch Chetan Bhagat and Anuja Chauhan being catapulted from hobby writers to opinion makers, I see a ray of hope. Maybe.Someday. However intriguing the thought, the first step towards writing a book is finding a story.
‘How to’ and ‘How not to’ books have been done to death. For conjuring fiction one has to be a gifted raconteur to take the reader through highs and lows, through a fascinating journey, all the while keeping him glued to the pages.
I am not a Agatha Christie fan, so a razor sharp thriller is not on my mind. I am a straightforward emotional person who cries at the drop of a hat. Yes, even while watching the news and advertsiements. Only yesterday I cried while watching Aruna Shanbaug’s plight as her lawyer pleaded for euthanasia. Certainly, I do not wish to sob through penning a tear jerker with a box of tissues. Finally, at the end of the day, the book has to sell. My personal life is not exciting enough to be chronicled in ink.
So what can I write? In today’s time and age what sells is reality. As I was mulling over the thought, I came across an interesting article. It was a moment of inner deliverance – a profound moment.
A sharp tongued, Polish cleaning lady has made a splash in Germany by her tell-all humorous memoir revealing the seamy underbelly of German’s penchant for cleanliness and order. Justyana Polanska’s book, ‘Under German Beds’ is on Amazon’s best-seller list. She has exposed the pettiness and lechery of the Germans who had employed her as a cleaning lady. Her employers have dropped their trousers in front of her, then failed to pay her in full and falsely implicated her of stealing. Among the grisly items she has discovered under German beds are freshly extracted wisdom teeth, half roast chicken, bloody tampons, a dead hamster and an entire toenail. Since the Berlin Wall fell, this lady is one of the 50,000 Polish women who have crossed borders in search of a better life. Beneath the clichés, lies the promise of a poignant tale laced with humor.
I am taken by this wonderful idea with a million possibilities. Catch a high profile maid employed for cleaning the powerhouses of the country. And then fish for details. Chronicle them in an amusing style and you have a bestselling mordantly comic caper.
Considering our hypocrisy about morals and voyeuristic inclinations, the cleaning ladies can reveal several secrets. Spicy details concerning the politician-corporate nexus from Antilla, secrets regarding the Gandhi-Quattrochi underbelly from 10 Janpath and Saas-bahu tiffs between Jaya-Ash from Prateeksha will surely find readers. Juicy details about Karan Johar’s sexuality, Amitabh’s hair piece or the truth behind grabbing important posts via washing utensils at 10 Janpath can all be exposed. The book will whet the appetite of the thinker and quench the thirst of the voyeur.
Move over Snowden and Assagne, Kantabai is the new whistleblower!
I am willing to share the royalty. I promise, the cleaning lady will attend all the book launches and literary fests.
I excitedly share the brilliant idea with the husband.
“What rubbish,” is all I get.
With my only faithful reader refusing to read my book, even before the first word has been penned, the entire exercise seems futile. Back to day dreaming!