Saturday, March 5, 2011

UNDER INDIAN BEDS

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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 clich├ęs, 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!  

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69 comments:

  1. hey! nice post..all the best for writing a book!

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  2. There's another faithful reader here. I say go ahead and write!!

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  3. @AS...Thanks.


    @Harish...Will you buy the book?



    @Goutam....Muaah!
    That goes without saying...only I will have to buy the book for you!

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  4. Nice post...i hope u realise this dream someday. :)

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  5. i think you would do well in presenting your blog posts as juicy morsels that will tickle the readers sense of humour and help loosen the purse strings :)
    kantabai is cliched already

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  6. No, by the time you finish the book and publish it, I will be able to buy it with my own money. :)

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  7. You Go Girl!!!......do not stop...best wishes dear friend....

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  8. Very good post. Funny and review of a book.

    I do believe you can write a book:))) and people will read it. But in general with internet people are reading less and less these days.

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  9. Comeon...they are not going to let u go free when u turn a whistle blower...thought abt that?

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  10. Kantabai chronicles is a brill idea!

    Go for it Alka!!

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  11. @Goutam.... The day you start earning will be immensely satisfying...much much more than publishing hundreds of bestsellers. Nothing can come within a kissing distance of that proud moment. Enjoy spending till then...another year to go...love!

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  12. @Ria...me too.


    @magiceye...We can change the name...


    @A...thanks..Someday.


    @Shalini....It is the result of that yummy salad I had yesterday.

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  13. @jon...Yes, I did but then with friends like you can they ever catch me?



    @Vicious...:)

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  14. @Purba... I was counting on your support.

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  15. I was expecting a free copy. i can even let you autograph it, if you like :-)

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  16. I will buy ten of them....

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  17. I have worked for a leading mattress company known as KURL-ON any inputs required to finish your book Lolz

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  18. Great idea Alka, and well put! It's about time someone came up with Kantabai Chronicles!

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  19. Great idea Alka, and well put! It's about time someone came up with Kantabai Chronicles!

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  20. You seem charged and determined.You will get through with your book.
    I will read it

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  21. Congrats on your decision to write a book and best wishes for a grand success of it.

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  22. @Harish...ha, ha..now that is an attractive offer which I cannot refuse. Keep dreaming Alka...


    @Deguide...Thanks, for some hands-on input I will revert back....:)You must be having some interesting stories to share.


    @Giribala...Thats a great title.

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  23. @Prateek...Thanks. :)


    @BKC..Thats great encouragement coming from someone has already penned one.Would love to share your experience.

    @Ravi...Thank you Ravi.

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  24. I was nearly done chiselling the epitaph of my muse in the afternoon when I looked up and saw him. He was standing five point some feet away, from where I was hunched in grief, with a beatific smile on his face that seemed to span across the three mistakes of his life.
    And then he was gone.
    I looked back at my unfinished work with mixed feelings, wiping the sweat off my brows, careful not to squeeze the contact lenses out of the eyes. Then it struck me like a bolt of lightning!
    I shattered the slab with a swift stroke and flung the hammer in the direction he had stood and started walking back fiercely. A whirlwind of words was waiting to blow the cursed cursor out of the screen tonight @....

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  25. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I am a professional writer, and many people with good intentions tell me that I must write a book. And, I seriously have the same thoughts as you have given in the book about the topic of the book. What would be interesting enough to sell, and I am sure that my husband would chicken out just like yours did :). A whistle blower's story -- if you find a good one then it would certainly be material for a humorous tale.

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  26. GO FOR IT is what i will say and YES i will buy the book.. and that too an autographed one.. PLEASE :)

    Bikram's

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  27. Well, like a needy-clingy part-time blogger that i am, i too have thought about that name tag on a printed edition. However, its hard isnt it, to find that novel, unique idea. Gosh u found one! Great.

    Do share the details, all d very best! :)

    Gr8 write up! :)

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  28. Alka,

    What a fantastic idea! Why not? Who knows you may even get Bookers award or be hounded like Julian Assagne which will also make you famous. All this is the result of having had such a good laugh. On serious note, you may consider writing a book of short stories with lot of humour.

    Take care

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  29. Great Post and yep go head and write the book :-D

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  30. Its a great Idea. Writing a book would be cool.

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  31. Stephen oh Stephen
    This ,your therapist will get a chuckle out of all I copied ,ha ha

    You Keep on pushing that mind of yours
    one day sweetie ,you will be rich and famous ,you will be remembered !!

    just think sweetie ,you be able to afford ,your new love ,without mommy ,supporting you both ,
    Or just maybe ,your mommy could high your new love as her new maid ,and she will fit right in with all that are care takers of her yard

    you little devil you ,this fame in creation is so rewarding and touching ,How you spend wasting Time to create such Rewarding Fame for me ,Wow!! you are amazing man ,now writing a novel ,how do you find the time

    have a nice life aaron,anwii,awniii40,Rob,calkid,oh silly me ,I forget ,you have many user names and male or female ,just so convincing ,you make all look like pretty little Idiots

    isn't life perfect ,I think so

    today is great ,you look so stupid aaron ,as you just don't hold the facts about nothing smiling

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  32. Idea's great but apparently its not yours fellow writer! The polish lady took away that credential. Novelty lost. Guess you still have to be on the look out!!

    You'd give the Chetan Bhagat a run for his money any day.

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  33. @USP...Wow...honestly, some of it went over my head....but awesome prose.Materstroke.


    @Rachna....Coming from a professional writer, I am elated. Thanks.

    @Bikram....I was counting on you. UK sales mein ek novel to bik jayegi...

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  34. @Psyche Bubbles....Hmm..so we have similar dreams. How about co authoring one?


    Pratibha...:)


    @Jack..Thank you. I have a set of short stories but none has been published. I have tried but no one is willing to read them. Lets see some day....

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  35. @Asma...thanks

    @Talha...:)


    @Cinderella..The idea might be old but new stories will emerge from under Indian beds..ha, ha...its all in jest.

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  36. Hey! as I have said it many times You are a gifted writer...who makes readers smile by your writeup and thought provoking too...SO start writing that book...am ready to grab it!
    :)

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  37. Hey Alka, awesome readability n humour...definitely think u shud write a book ..great read :)

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  38. @Beyond Horizon....Poonam, you are a sweetheart. Thanks. The post was in jest. I doubt if I will ever write a book.


    @RAJ...Thanks...maybe. Someday.

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  39. Who says you can't write 50,000 words? I bet publishers would give their eye-tooth for such a saleable story idea! That was one LOL funny post.

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  40. ROFL :D Kantabai's are already whistleblowers :P
    good luck for the book

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  41. Go ahead and write a book. You have got so many readers here. Your book will definitely be read. I will write one too and would force all my friends to read it. :D

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  42. Its always a good idea for beginners to write a book just for the love of penning thoughts or a sharing a story. None of the other objectives hold strong till finishing the final chapter of the first draft. Give it a thought..

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  43. @Zephyr..I have a collection of short stories...but they have been rejected twice...Penning 50,000 words is not difficult, it will take a few years, but if it lands in a dust bin then it hurts.

    @Rajlakshmi...True..lol.

    @Ajay... To get these blog comments, I comment on countless blogs...its quid pro quo.or else, no one cares. And thats the truth. However, I will buy yours..

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  44. @rahulme...I have a collection of short stories...but they have been rejected twice...Penning 50,000 words is not difficult, it will take a few years, but if it lands in a dust bin then it is such a waste of time and effort

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  45. Came across your blog... think your writing is quite interesting actually! You should write! :)

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  46. very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!

    Surgical Towel

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  47. if anyone should write a book alka...it should be you n just you..go for it...u are a natural with thoughts that come out so beautifully...i am always engrossed in what u write and u manage to make me smile n read n read...

    so i know as cliched as it sounds...please do seriously think of writing...u'd do better than any maid coz u were made to write..

    n count me in along with ur hubby as a devoted reader:-)

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  48. @Neha, chhipa...Welcome here. Thanks.


    @Suruchi.. Yours was the first blog I read and admired when I started blogging in August 2010.

    Writing is hard work and pays zilch. Its the appreciation which keeps us going...Thanks.

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  49. Hi, thanks for ur visit..But right now, I am here through a link posted by Harish..

    hey..u have so many innovative ideas and I think u keep ur ears and eyes open to everything which is sensational.

    ur style of writing makes me another of ur followers..

    Thank u..

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  50. I came here from Harish's post too. But I could definitely identify with this one.Sometime back, I too had this idea in my head that I can write a book. I even created a folder on my desktop with the name "Masterpiece". I created a Word file "Chapter one" in it. This was more than a year ago. I haven't opened that folder since then! I hear its the starting point that takes time. Since there aren't many Kantabai's around here, I shall wait for newer ideas for stories from you, and then steal it. :D So I am following.

    Extremely well written. With just this one post, I am already a fan.

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  51. hehe...I ll motivate you for writing a book afterwards but first and foremost - how do u manage to get such nice ideas? another extremely well written post :)
    indeed writing a book seems to be a very daunting task and moreover it all gets struck on the point when everything seems to be already printed :S


    sarah

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  52. @Tomz, jyothi and Sarah..Thanks a lot.Writing is laborious and pays zilch. Its only the appreciation which motivates.


    Appreciate your spending time.

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  53. You have a good taste for sarcasm. Havent come across a blog with so much of satire. Keep up!

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  54. good idea!
    Kanta bai will be the desi wikileaks!!

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  55. Bai God ! Cool idea ... And I stake my claim for the first author-signed copy when it comes out :)

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  56. I think you have every right to go for a book, do go for it.

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  57. Hey Alka,
    Please do write. I surely can promise that i will buy your book. You have the flair.

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  58. @Insignia....Thanks.

    @Shazia...thanks for reading.

    @A great Liar....Sincerely
    appreciate.


    @Sudhir...Thanks.

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  59. Bring on the Chronicles of Kantabai.

    Once the book is successful (I am sure it will be), you will have Bollywood producers lined up for the movie rights. Then comes the super hit Bollywood movie "Lage Raho Kantabai" written and scripted by Alka

    Come on Alka, bring on the book!

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  60. @Lakshmi Rajan....lol..Lage raho Kantabai..produced by Red Chillies Entertainment...Script writer Alka Gurha being serenaded by none other than Shah Rukh....sure sounds motivating.I am on my roller coaster....

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  61. Alka - I am eagerly waiting for the memoirs of Kantabai

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  62. Kantabai tales are sure to sell..Its a brilliant idea..:-) And you husband who says 'What Rubbish?" knows not about the millions he is dumping down the drain..

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  63. Alka, I came here through Raji's blog. I read couple of your posts and like it all..

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  64. really great post man... i want you to write books...

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