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Author Speaks: Random Ramblings by Vikram Karve

Post by: Vikram Karve

 

 

 

 

 

Vikram Karve, the writer of Cocktail - Short Stories about Relationships and Appetite for a Stroll has exclusively written the following article for BookChums. He says, "Relationships are like Cocktails." Read on.

 

Which was the happiest moment in your life? Do you remember?

 

I do. The happiest moment in my life when I saw my first story published in a magazine. I cannot describe the emotion I felt as I saw before me, in print, my first creative baby, a piece of short fiction, a love story titled RENDEZVOUS AT SUNRISE. This happened 35 years ago. And from the ecstatic emotions of inner triumph I experienced within me, a unique feeling of joy I had never felt before, I knew that I had discovered my true métier – creative writing.

 

I always loved reading literature. Of all genres of literature, I found short fiction most fascinating. You could read a short story in one sitting and the story left a beautiful aftertaste of a message, a moral, for rumination and contemplation. I have learnt more about the art of living from short fiction than from philosophy, religion or spirituality. This is especially true of Russian Literature where every short story imparts profound wisdom in a subtle way as is also the case with many stories from Indian Writing and from Western Authors. Brevity is the soul of wit and that is why the short story is the most satisfying and enlightening genre of creative writing. Soon I started writing short stories.

 

I had a very demanding job – 10 hours of work a day for 6 days in a week with only Sundays off. So during the week I wrote in my mind. On Sunday I put my story on paper. It is said that the happiest persons are those who think the interesting thoughts. Creative Writing made me happy, for at all times I was thinking interesting thoughts, observing people and events, thinking about them, making up stories in my mind – there was never a dull moment and I since I started writing I have forgotten the meaning of boredom. In all these years I must have written more than 300 short stories, maybe even more. I do not believe in keeping count of my writing. Till I write the story it belongs to me. Once I write the story it belongs to the world. Those days, in the 1980’s and1990’s, before the advent of the internet, writing was a laborious and painstaking activity. I wrote the story in longhand. Then my wife typed in double-space on our portable typewriter (if she was busy, then I had to undergo the agony of typing, draft after draft). Then I sent the story by post (with Self Addressed Envelope enclosed) to a suitable magazine which published short fiction. After that my creative work was at the mercy of editors and it was a frustrating wait. Some acknowledged receipt, while others did not. Some intimated acceptance. Or they sent the story back with a polite rejection slip. Many supercilious editors did not bother to communicate anything.

 

On one occasion I discovered that my story had been published after more than 6 months without any intimation or communication whatsoever. In case a story had been rejected I worked on it and resubmitted it or sent to another magazine. In case a story had been accepted I waited eagerly to see it in print. Internet changed things for the better. Now there were Literary E- Magazines and Websites where you could publish your work. One such portal was Sulekha where I published a large number of my stories. However, even here your work was subject to a bit of editorial scrutiny, though approval was almost universal and prompt, and all my work was published without delay. It was in 2004 that I discovered the world of Blogging. Blogging was the most fascinating thing that happened in my life. Now there was no barrier between the writer and the reader. I could post my creative writing instantly on my blog and showcase it to the whole world. I stopped submitting my short stories and stared posting them on my creative writing blog. I wrote on many topics like food, philosophy, self help, education and travel on my blog too. Soon things turned the other way round, and now some publishers were reading my blogs. This resulted in two books: Appetite  for a Stroll – a compilation of my food adventure blog posts and Cocktail – Short Stories aboutRelationships.

 

I had written stories on a variety of themes and plots, including thrillers, murder mysteries, espionage and detective stories, stories of children, teaching and inspirational stories, adventure, romance and love stories. We selected 27 short stories which explore fascinating facets of relationships for COCKTAIL. The title is apt, since, after all, every relationship is a unique labyrinthine mélange of emotions, shaken and stirred, like a cocktail.
 

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