The archive-list in the new template of my blog gives a year-wise breakup of the number of posts written. And I find that in 2008, the year I wrote Chai, Chai, I had only 15 posts. Fifteen posts in an entire year!
When you are working on a book, especially doing the writing part, it is difficult to keep updating a blog such as this on a regular basis. It takes me about three hours to write a post, and another hour of thinking and drinking before I start writing it. In those four hours I can add at least four hundred valuable words to my manuscript.
I feel sad for Ganga Mail: it is going to be subjected to neglect for the next few months. The blog has been my conscience-keeper, my only channel of communication with people who care for me and read me. But the book is more important: as long as I don't write a second one and then a third one, I can't call myself a writer. A writer, in my definition, is someone who has written at least three books and shows the promise of writing many more -- may be till the time when at least the state government acknowledges your skills and honours you with a minor, local award. Right now, I am only a journalist working for such-and-such paper, who is expected to polish other people's copies so that the paper reads better and who, in his free time, pursues his literary ambitions. What a pain -- to nurse such ambitions.
I get to work around 4.30 in the afternoon, 10 minutes plus or minus. I return home precisely at midnight. I pour myself a drink and start writing. And then I pour many more drinks. By the time I go to sleep, it is usually daybreak when the birds are chirping. I often wish I had woken up just then and gone for a walk in the neighbourhood park -- but such lifestyles are meant for saner, more sober people.
I wake up around noon and go through what I have written the night before. A lot of rewriting to be done, which takes a couple of hours. At around two in the afternoon, I head to the gym to exercise my heart. That's the time when Desperate Housewives are at the gym, wanting to look good, but they only exchange glances and not words. Suits me fine, because once I am at the gym, I am blind to the people until I have finished my quota of cardio -- a two-mile walk under 24 minutes. Lunch is at three -- that's the only time I watch TV -- and by four I am preparing to head to work.
That's my life these days. Ganga Mail should take consolation in the fact that my third book, which is yet to be written but which has been thought out, would be called by the same name. On The Ganga Mail.