August 14, 2013

A Contract and a Promise

Dear M,

With this line, I break my promise to myself.

What are promises if they keep us from doing what we want, doing what we should, doing what we love, to do? What are promises if they bind us to something we have no reason for being bound to?

For, I had promised myself that I will start these letters when (and if) I get myself a publishing contract with a very good publisher. After a while, I leniently lowered my expectations to a fairly good publisher. Later, it became any publisher. The day I sign the contract, I said, these letters would go live.

I waited for a year. A year is not even a blip in the publishing timeline. I do know it, but for me, today, a year is just as long as a year. The thought that I may have to wait another year... is not quite enticing. By then I may have grown out of today's preferences. And the thoughts I have been accumulating would be lost to me. And to you.

Promises made with a certain optimism and energy that fade after a while, promises that hold us back rather than encourage or inspire us, such promises are intended to be broken. Such is their existence!

Breaking this today was very well thought-out. I would not regret it, even if it were an impulsive action. It is always better to let ourselves out rather than be caged in meaninglessness. I have so much to say. So much to share. What use is my learning if it is confined to my thoughts?

I still believe, the contract is coming. It is on its way, except that the people who should despatch it do not know it yet. They have probably not even seen my Manuscript yet. But the machinery has started creaking and groaning and coughing to a start. Why is this contract so important, you ask. Frankly, I have no idea. I write because I am compelled to. When I started writing, I did not dream of my own book. I just wrote. The idea was planted by someone. Then it became a dream, a wish, a frenzy, a fever. Then came the frustration. The dream never left.

And after the contract, what next? Who can tell.


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