It turns out that my previous post, on the moon, was the 400th on Ganga Mail. A nice way to touch the four-century mark, considering that I quite like the moon post. It could have been better -- but that's always the case.
By now, after four and a half years and four hundred posts, I realise there is enough on Ganga Mail to make for a voluminous, autobiographical book. Alas, publishers don't touch blogs, unless you are a 'name'. About two years ago, during one of those moments of high when I felt Ganga Mail could be a book, I wrote to a publisher. The reply, surprisingly, was prompt: "Unfortunately we do not publish blogs. Please get in touch with us when you have written a novel."
Well, you can't really publish a blog. A blog is something already published. How can you publish the published? But there are people who are either allergic to or ignorant about the internet, and people who derive the pleasure of reading only from printed pages and not with the help of the scroll-down key. When you hold a book in your hands, the author belongs to you, at least for the moment; but when you read him on the internet, he is just one of the many people out there: if you don't like a particular piece, you hop over into the arms of others who are eagerly waiting for your attention.
So yes, it would be nice to see Ganga Mail in the form of a book, especially because it encapsulates the journey of a man who was still a boy even at 35 -- at times petulant, at times lonely, at times adventurous -- and who is now trying to grow up as he nears 40. And strangely, for me, it was during these five years that life-changing moments chose to visit me, one after the other, after having ignored me for three and a half decades: I got a wife, I lost my mother, I had a book published.
Ganga Mail effectively captures -- or so I think -- the various rollercoaster rides that I've had in recent years. It is, basically, an account of my life. It would be extremely gratifying to see readers carrying the account, in the form of a book, in their hands. Not because of vanity, but because my story is their story too -- only the circumstances and the timings might be different. Nothing can be more satisfying for a writer than finding readers discovering themselves in the sentences written by him. Someday, someday soon -- when many of the posts I've written are altered and expanded to be accommodated in a new book!
But irrespective of that, Ganga Mail continues to be the evidence of my existence. It is the most authentic bio-data that I can ever boast of, provided you take the trouble of wading through the archives. What I may appear to you in person might just be make-believe, but what I am in Ganga Mail is real, very real. Ganga Mail is my secret diary which I have left open for all to see.