Serendipity and After/53

a novel about publishing of a novel

This early morning police experience was so relieving and delightful that I wanted to share it immediately with Swarup. He was an early-riser and just had woken up from bed.

“Police! That seven-footer who just left?” Swarup said, “He came to me just after you left the hostel for Kalyani that morning. I suspected him, but he introduced himself as a relative of yours, so I asked him to come after one week. Oh, he has made a fool of me!”

“But he behaved with me pretty well — not really in a police way. He seemed even empathetic too.”

I described our conversation verbatim.

“So they know everything about you. I suspect they know everything about me and other active members of our MCDSA too. Actually our students’ union is a challenge to the Left Front government. We defeated their student outfit SFI.”

As soon as I returned to my room and sat at my table with Pharmacology notes, Subhas rushed in. He looked excited. “Did the police come to you just now?”

“Yes. How could Moni-da fail? But how do you know about it?”

“I saw the seven footer at Eden Hospital entrance. He went to our office too. He talked with Moni-da and the press people and asked things about you.”

“Didn’t he talk to you?”

“He knows me as Blitz correspondent. May be he knows me as your friend as well.”

“So how is Mr Newar now?”

“You wouldn’t believe he has changed. He’s not ordering us any more.”

“It’s not change,” I said to him, “How can a man like him change? It’s just that the thrashing effect is still on.”

“Right. He has this fear that you can attack him again.”

I laughed.

“Mrinal, I’ve come to you with a news. Buddhadeb Bhattachrya, our information minister, has given me an appointment. He’ll listen to our story.”

“What’s the point?”

“I can’t accept it that you’ll not work for Caldust. You just protested against a crass editorial decision. You can’t be removed on this ground. I’ve talked to our journalists’ union also. If they fired you, they have to reinstate you. Our party will fight for you.”

“But I’ll not work there.”

“But why? I’ve talked to my party leaders. They want you to be in charge of the magazine and convert it into an outstanding political weekly.”

“It’s impractical, Subhas. Newspaers’ edtorial policy is always dictated by their owners, not by a journalist on their pay role. You should ask Moni-da about it.”

“But Mrinal, you’ve to go to meet Buddha-da. I would like to show you a real gentleman.”

“So he’s a gentleman, not a Marxist? I’m not interested in a gentleman.”

“Oh, I didn’t paraphrase it right. I mean he’s a gentleman- Marxist.”

“You’re wrong again. How can a Marxist be qualified that way?”

Subhas folded his hands. “I’m no match for your high intellect. But you’ve to go for my sake. I know you love new experiences.”

I agreed at last.


Arin Basu, Tessa, mark-john clifford, SF Ali Do you know of any writer who has ever published/is publishing a serialized novel on the web on a daily basis like I’m doing here? Tao Lin comes to mind. He started a serialized novel in one of his blogs, but I’m not sure he published it on a daily basis. Did he complete it? I’ll appreciate any feedback from you. Thanks.