Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fwd: The Moaning Dog in the Neighbourhood Experience

After coming back from Kerala had a strange case of the moods. It's a passing stage is what I can say. A bit depressed but I am going about doing all my usual activities so as to beat depression. A death takes time to get over and coupled with my own afflictions it becomes a bit unbearable. But work on the novel should go one and I am off to the Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) in Sector 11. It's a nice place, not very crowded and plays the television in mute and has some other music playing on the audio system. So, there's a discord between visuals and audio, not that I mind. 

Working from home has its disadvantages I feel. There is a dog moaning in a neighbour's house all day. The neighbour and his wife are away at work and the dog being lonely does what lonely dogs do. It produces this pathetic moaning sound. Somehow I want to go and tell them to stay at home and take care of the dog or sell it or whatever. Do not inflict such torture on a dumb animal. It needs freedom to move, it needs to do its normal activities of a living being and being chained it can't do all these. How would you feel if you were tethered the whole day? I think this dog lover is being dog cruel. 

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Yesterday I used the word Jezebel to describe a god-woman (one with godly pretentions) in my novel, while editing it for clarity. I remotely knew the meaning, then, when I looked up wikipedia did it became clear:

Jezebel was a Phoenician princess, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Phoenician empire. She married King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom (i.e. Israel during the time when ancient Israel was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south). She helped convert Ahab from worship of the Jewish God to worship of the Phoenician god Baal. After she had many Jewish prophets killed, Elijah challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a competition (1 Kings 18), exposed the rival god as powerless, and had the prophets of Baal slaughtered (1 Kings 18:40). Jezebel becomes his enemy.[3]

Seems the description is apt enough for Tum Tum Mata, my character, who lives in a hovel and professes to be a Goddess. It is quite a coincidence as I am reading this particular section of the Bible now and vaguely remembered the name. (I read the old testament as a history of the Jewish people, the people chosen by God.) So its popping up in my vocabulary is no accident. In fact, a good and serendipitous accident, I must say.

Tum Tum Mata plays an important role in my novel. She is part prophetess, part rabble rouser. My idea is to show the multiplicity of beliefs in our country.

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Editing a Novel and Credit Card Payments

I know, I know I shouldn't hurry this thing, though health, blogging, credit card payments get in the way. I didn't know how my credit card outstanding ballooned and I am left facing a huge wall which will, somehow, be scaled. I am sure. Fingers crossed. Yeah!

No more credit cards for me. No more "credit" I hate the word. I will pay by debit card and a live a frugal monastic life. Those B****** are cheats and gold diggers. The interest they charge is obscene and with that the late fee and this and that. Goes on endlessly, the buggers. Why don't they get regulated? Is there no activist out to protest this highway robbery?

And insurance. Another fraud. I ran up bills of Rs 100,000 for a minor surgery and they reimbursed just Rs 20,000. Seems they get a special incentive for denying people like me our dues. And I have been an insurance paying customer for close to five years. Best thing is to do yoga and breathing exercises and not fall ill at all. Yeah, that sounds much simpler.

All this distracts from the main narrative of this blog. It's that I finished chapter nine and will be completing my editing soon. Those hours in CCD is giving good results as I can devote chunks of time without the credit card people disturbing me.

"Kya main John Matthew se baat kar sakti hoon." The voice is thin and strident.

"Han bol raha hoon." I say in my very best thick and manly voice. Maybe, I can floor her with my charm.

"My XYZ credit card company ki tharaf se bol rahi hoon. Aap ka credit card xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx outstanding ho gaya hai xxxxxx. Kab main bhej doon admi ko?"

"Bhej do, lekin payment nahi milega." My voice disintegrates to a croak and wheeze.

The call centre guys need a rap on their knuckles. Such a bad script, must have been written by one of those half-literate technical writers. Ah, well, I was one of them, in some godforsaken past. No more.

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.