Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The final nomination

The last nomination is another story declared a blockbuster long before it was over. And once again, DJ was collaborating with a blogger. No points for guessing which story this is. So lets hear, errr read it from the editor, Priyangini Mehta.

When after The Independence Day, Deepak's first thriller but the last long story for he year, when he wrote a morose post about not being able to write and wanting to take a break, I was genuinely sad because I missed his writing. I think when almost everyone was understanding and sensitive I was downright unsympathetic and angry. I waited for some time and slowly when he did not write for about a month, I started my nagging. I nagged him on the blog, on YM, on the phone until I think he started to avoid me.

Then to improve his bad mood, I gave him a plot, a comic one because he had not attempted the genre. The plot did not seem to inspire him so one day when I thought of a plot which was about human emotions and relationships I knew it was bang on. I sent it to him and started my nagging again, I nudged him and pushed him to write. He did not budge so I shut up, not wanting to make him hate me. Then came the bloggeratti, I knew that if Meera won, he would write, so I waited. I was going to restart the nagging if Meera won and he still did not write but I did not have to. A couple of days after the Bloggeratti event, he called me and asked me to check my email, rediff was as usual screwing up so I had not received it. I asked him what it was about and he said he had started to write on my plot. After almost two hours of continuous logging into rediffmail I got the email, my first reaction was, "Wow. I would have never thought of partition as the backdrop." I called back and said I liked it. I also sent him an email. I was really thrilled that he was writing again. In fact when I read the first episode, it was so drastically different from anything I had expected or imagined, I instantly realised that this is going to be a DJ story through and through.

In the next mail, Deepak offered me the position of the editor, I readily accepted. Then began the wait every morning for a new episode. I did not edit it episode wise but waited for it all to come. it was a great feeling, the waiting and then getting the word file eager to know what the writer had imagined for the story. His descriptions were brilliant but a few things a bit too filmy so were changed. After he wrote the whole story, it took me two-three days to edit it. I had gone through it with a fine toothcomb but the problem was that every time i read it there was something or the other that I wanted to change, sometimes it was the placement of a scene, sometimes a word and sometimes the grammar. It was the day before the release that we had a 2 hours session on YM about the various changes. We argued a bit here and there and I once had to reprimand him for changing the topic. After that he took over, made changes from his end. It had taken almost two weeks for the story to be ready. I missed the release as it was on a Sunday but on Monday, my heart missed a couple of beats as the page opened. After the release we had telecons almost everyday, rejoicing the great response. It was really exciting but sometimes I felt that it was being released much to fast. Deepak felt bad for not being able to participate online and reply to comments as the when they came but I tried to do a bit of that for him. On the last episode, I felt empty but there was so much I learnt, I need to thank Deepak for it. I have moved on from WTHMTE now but it will remain a great memory for me. Deepak is an exceptional writer, everyone in blogjagat knows that but my wish for him is that some day the world also acknowledges it and when he wins the Booker, I want my name in his acceptance speech: D"

Well, she asked me to edit out what I wanted to, but how could I edit the editor? This time, its actually funny to see that Pri has written so much and DJ so little...

I will always remember this for Priyangini's one-liners she kept adding after editing every episode. After doing one final editing, she used to do every episode and mail it across to me. Each one would hv something or the other. Some funny ones were - 'what is this obsession with heroine's hair' (if u notice, Mamta's hair keeps coming lose at every other instance;-) ) And then inadvertently i wud make Mamta wear a 'red shawl' - Priyangini's comment ' koi aur shawl nahi hai isske paas kya?' There are many more such instances, difficult to write them here, but the one-liners were really interesting, funny and amusing to read. There were lot of silly mistakes that she caught on - eg satyawan was conceived after Mamta-Sudhanshu's closeness, hence he had to be born 'premature', but originally i missed that ... also, Sudhanshu's reason of death was forgotten by me... then, the years had to be worked on, to match with history.

And then he added...

Just a vain pompous thought - I was reading my own story WTHMTE today morning - as ever cant believe I wrote all that! While writing it seems i m in some sort of drugged state where the words simply flow and only jab nasha utarta hai i realise ke itna kuchh likh diya :-)

To ab jaldi se ja kar padho ise yahan pe, for voting starts soon!