It’s the IWSG day and what a time I had answering this month’s question. But before I move on to the answer, here is all about the IWSG.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.
The Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
The next posting day is September 2nd.
Sign up here.
Now for this month’s question. If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?
Well, for me it would be none other than Ruskin Bond.Of all the things that draw me to the hills, it is the simplicity of life in a hill town that is most endearing. When I watched the series ‘Ek tha Rusty’ several years ago, I knew Ruskin Bond only as an odd writer who appeared in my English book, ‘The Gulmohar Reader’ once in a while. The simple charm of ‘Ek tha Rusty’ was enough to make me keen to read more from him. However, it wasn’t ‘Rusty’ but ‘The Room on the Roof’, the story of a seventeen-year-old boy (Rusty again) who makes his home in a tiny room on the roof of a house, that first made its way into my personal library. Finding Bond wasn’t that easy back then. You couldn’t order books at random. There was no Amazon, you see! I still managed to read some of his work. ‘The Night Train at Deoli’ hooked me to him like never before. Even some of his macabre ghost stories were as good as fairy tales for me, having grown up in Shimla where every single corner of a dilapidated house had a hundred strange tales to tell. ‘The Blue Umbrella’ made me see how an ordinary happening in life can turn into an extraordinary story- all you need is the right emotion to carry it forward.
Some of Ruskin Bond’s stories even spoke of my own little town. He was an alumnus of one of the schools there. But was it only this bond with Mr Bond that drew me to his stories? Yes, the familiarisation did play its role, but I think it was an instant connect with his simple, everyday stories that made me want to read him more. His characters have always been real. And so have been their struggles. Whether Hassan or Ram Bharose, I am sure I can meet them just about anywhere. They are like me or the people I know and see each day who talk to me!
I haven’t consciously tried to emulate Ruskin Bond in my writing but I would say he is there, very much there! I have been inspired by every bit of his writing and he would definitely be my choice for a beta partner. And here is a little secret of mine… I did think of the author once and even wrote a story of my failed attempt to visit him along with my children (great fans again) and a half-finished manuscript! Yes, I dared. If you would like to know what happened, read the story by clicking on the link below.
As I type this piece, ‘A Book of Simple Living’ stares at me from the bedside. Do you think all this is enough to woo him to be the beta partner for my WIP? Who is that one writer you would choose? Let me know in the comments section right below!