Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Worries of an 'International Author'!

Worries of an 'International Author'!

This happened a few months back, when the 'physical' version of  'Curiosity Kills the KatHA'    came from the publisher for proof reading. Anjali, my 7 year old waltzed into the room, took one look at the book and asked a bit sarcastically ...
'Dad, is "Ashok Kallarakkal", the name of your book?'
'No'.... Anju, you know better than that' I said
'Dad, what is written in big letters is the name of the book...'
'Who said so?' I took an offensive position.
Without saying anything more, she walked to her cupboard and produced her third grade English Reader.
'See Dad.... the book name is written in big, big letters and the author's name is soooooooo small'...
'That is your school textbook...that is why' - I tried to trivialize her argument.
So she ran to my bookshelf and produced couple of Indian best sellers. Both unfortunately had the titles in larger fonts...
Without allowing her to drive it in, I started...
'Look Anju, Indian books typically have their titles in bigger letters and author names in small letters...but you see these books ...' I pulled out a number of American paper backs - from Chrichton to Grisham to Cook
'They all have Author names in big letters' I rested my argument pointing to all at once.
'But yours is an Indian book...' She did not give up...
'YES and NO...I have written it for the International Audience' I said with an extra stress on 'International'...
'But you are Indian...aren't you?'
'I am.... but my readers are all over the world...hence "International"' She did not miss my 'International' stress this time.
'You are not International ' She said with finality stressing the word 'International' as if it is a tool for verbal aggression.
'What do you mean by International?' I took my 'I know better than you' tone
'You stay in India' she said and as an afterthought added 'or in Singapore or Malaysia' referring to the other countries she knew I had visited atleast once...
'So you live in some country all the time...you are NOT international...'
'What do you mean?'
'You do not live between countries...like in an aeroplane or something'
I did not get the argument. I looked lost to her, I guess...
'Dad we had 'Inter class' sports last week. Inter Class means between class, you know....'
I did not hear what she continued to say....I had understood the argument...
I heard final statement though...
'If you want your name to be big, keep it....but don't say you are "International"'


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