One of the mistakes of my life?

July 23, 2008 at 6:58 am 84 comments

Whenever I tell people I’m a research analyst in an equity research firm, they always react the same way: “Oh boy! That sounds really complicated, and tremendously boring!” And I tell them they’re right. It is all of that, except I prefer to describe it the way I do on my resume – challenging. On a typical office day, I’m sitting at my desk, in my cubicle, staring intently at my monitor and trying to solve important problems, such as: “Is that really the current worth of my portfolio? #$%@!” and “How the hell can I beat Australia in this stick cricket game?”

This is immensely challenging work, and I feel I’m grossly underpaid for doing it. Plus, with the Indian stock market behaving the way it has been this year, I really could use a little extra money. So I’ve decided to write a best-selling novel.

I’ve wanted to write a book ever since I was eleven, when I read Nancy Friday’s soul-stirring ‘Women on Top’. However, I haven’t seriously considered it until now, mainly because, deep down, I’ve always known that I’d never be as good a writer as any of those women. But recently, after reading about how Chetan Bhagat’s books sell 10 gazillion copies every minute, I’ve realized that a chronic inability to write well, make sense and positively impact the emotions of your readers is no longer a road block to becoming a successful novelist.

My book will be targeted at the youth of India, because the old can’t read any more and the little ones prefer Nickelodeon. It’s titled ‘One Night @ The Staff Quarters, Who Not To Do at IIM’, and it’s guaranteed to sell at least 44 billion copies, because I’m hoping all the IIM alumni, current students and aspirants buy it. I never went to an IIM myself, but I don’t see how that makes a difference to anything. Tolkien never battled any Orcs.

I also realize that the key to the success of my novel is word-of-mouth publicity. I don’t know what that word is yet, but I’m desperately hoping to figure it out by the time I’m done. Here’s what I have so far:

Chapter One

Hi, my name is Karan Malhotra. I’m an average guy. Not mean, but average. I have no outstanding qualities whatsoever. I’m neither a complete loser like my best friend Jimmy Cliff nor an uber-cool stud with an attitude problem like my other best friend Jalaluddin Akbar. In short, I am average. The three of us are the best of friends and, by some weird coincidence, named after the lead male characters in the last three Bollywood movies our author saw. All three of us are students at the greatest b-school in the world.

Now, the three of us will have some typical Indian Youth-y conversation.

Chapter Two

“Hi! Are you students here?” said the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was extremely pretty, and all three of us could immediately sense that she would be the lead female character in this novel.

“My name is Sophia,” she said.

I was in love. It felt like destiny that we should meet. I know I don’t know her all that well yet, but time is of the essence. There are only so many pages that can be printed for Rs. 95.

“Get inside the class! I’m your Management Accounting teacher,” she said, “and you have a surprise test right now.”

“Holy Cow!!” Akbar exclaimed, looking at me. “This is going to be a very big problem when you two have sex in Chapter 15!”

Chapter Seven

“This is incredible!!” exclaimed Jimmy. “I just cannot believe it! Just cannot!” he added, because most of India’s youth don’t know the meaning of ‘incredible’.

“What’s incredible?” asked Sophia. “The fact that in spite of being your teacher and possessing ravishing beauty, I still choose to always hang out with you idiots?”

“That’s a good point, but not what Jimmy was referring to,” said Akbar, because being best friends, the three of us always knew exactly what each other meant to say. It’s like an unspoken bond that goes unsaid.

“What is it, then?” asked Sophia, her beautiful face contorted with excitement and curiosity, which made her cuter in my hopelessly lovelorn eyes.

“The fact that after six inane chapters, people are still reading this piece of shit,” I completed.

Chapter Fifteen

“IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!” I yelled, “The part we’ve all been waiting for!! WOO HOO!!”

“You mean the part YOU have been waiting for?” said Jimmy, frowning at me with hatred, “We’re going to be stuck in our rooms, mugging for tomorrow’s mid-term.”

“Yeah, what do we have to gain from this chapter??” added Akbar, “we hardly even figure in it. It’s always only about you, Karan, isn’t it?”

“Guys,” I paused for dramatic effect. “Is this the part in the story where tension drives us apart for a while?”

“My God, this book is lame…” said Jimmy.

Just then, the earthquake struck.

Chapter Sixteen

“That was too close for comfort!” remarked Sophia. “Fortunately, the quake didn’t prevent us from having sex.’”

“Yeah, and the Academic Block got destroyed too. So I won’t have my mid-terms tomorrow! This quake was a God send!!”

To my surprise, Sophia looked surprised, “Yeah, but what about Akbar? He was injured in the quake, wasn’t he? Aren’t you worried about him?”

“Not until the next chapter,” I replied.

Chapter Eighteen

Now that the intercourse was over, I missed my two best friends. And when I found out, from other people, that Akbar still hadn’t been discharged from the hospital, I started getting worried.

That’s all I have so far. I’m itching to finish it, but with no publishing advance in sight yet, I can only work part-time for the time being. And there is plenty of challenging work to be done in the office. The market may be up today, but Australia is not going to beat itself, you know.

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Entry filed under: Humour, Opinion, Spoof. Tags: , , , , , .

Who will watch the watchmen? France ’98, Chewing Gum and DB10

84 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Manasi Subramaniam  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:06 am

    I volunteer to be your publicist if you promise to give me the lead role when we sell the movie rights. As part of the deal, you have to give me the rights to make the play at no royalty.

    Reply
  • 2. Aadisht  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Such a god, and so young.

    Reply
  • 3. Karthik Narayan  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Lead actors, anyone? for that matter, lets have a poll for who can play Sophia…

    Nice read vindy, as always…

    Reply
  • 4. bobo  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:22 am

    half expected a note at chapter 15 saying ‘this chapter is currently serving as the private entertainment of the author. shall be returned shortly, with stains removed.’

    manasi should be director/producer.

    Reply
  • 5. Gaurav  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:25 am

    super da.. cant wait for one night@derek’s quiz or something..

    Reply
  • 6. hari  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Respect.

    Reply
  • 7. Aishwarya  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

    *applause*

    Reply
  • 8. Venkatesh  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

    IT company la time pass panna help panra raasa …..nee nooru varshum vaazhga…..naraya blog yezhuda……

    Matti

    Reply
  • 9. Sathiyan  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Nice time pass 🙂 keep up the charity work !!

    Reply
  • 10. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Manasi, you can make the play but the movie rights go only to whoever agrees to cast me as Karan and Jennifer Aniston as Sophia. That’s why I wrote in the age difference. 🙂

    Reply
  • 11. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Aadisht,

    Hope you were not referring to Bhagat. What’s up with your blog btw? Am getting some bandwidth error msg.

    Reply
  • 12. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Karthik,

    No poll. Jennifer Aniston only choice. And thanks!

    Reply
  • 13. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    bobo,

    hehehe.. ya that was yesterday.. sigh.. good times..

    Reply
  • 14. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Gaurav,

    Thanks man, and ‘One Night @ Derek’s Quiz’?? interesting concept.. the world’s first ever horror/comedy?

    Reply
  • 15. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    hari/Aishwarya

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 16. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Venkatesh,

    Enakkum adhu dhaan aasai.. but enthu tends to go missing! 🙂

    Reply
  • 17. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Sahthiyan,

    Thanks.. will try! 🙂

    Reply
  • 18. Future Bestseller Alert at Blogbharti  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    […] Tired of being underpaid in his challenging regular job, Vinod has decided to write a bestselling novel. […]

    Reply
  • 19. Dinesh Babu  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Funny read dude!

    Reply
  • 20. Vinod  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Dinesh Babu,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 21. Shyam  |  July 24, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Range!

    Reply
  • 22. meetu  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:39 am

    >> “The fact that after six inane chapters, people are still reading this piece of shit,” I completed.

    Thanks for the compliment!!

    Hilarious, it was…

    Reply
  • 23. Writing a Bestseller | DesiPundit  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    […] is planning on quitting his research analyst job and writing a best-selling novel [hat tip: Ojas]. He already has brief excerpts from his chapters done so far for your […]

    Reply
  • 24. Himank  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Nice.. grt read!!! gg!! 🙂

    Reply
  • 25. sunshine  |  July 24, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    This is fantastic!!!

    How about if one of your friends becomes a ghost… horror is the only thing missing in this story 😀

    Reply
  • 26. RukmaniRam  |  July 25, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Excellent! MY favorite line though was “Not mean, but average”
    Continue with the kalakkals!

    Reply
  • 27. hantan  |  July 25, 2008 at 3:43 am

    that was a kick in the ass for all Chetan’s fans.. Rollicking read

    Reply
  • 28. aandthirtyeights  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:16 am

    There should be a chapter where the three of them get high on LSD and see the starts forming themselves into constellations in the shape of Pamela’s Andersons…

    Reply
  • 29. Nikhil Narayanan  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:35 am

    This would not deter more of such genre hitting the stores.
    Nice read.
    -Nikhil

    Reply
  • 30. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Shyam,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 31. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Meetu,

    What was the compliment part all about? And thanks!

    Reply
  • 32. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Himank,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 33. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:42 am

    sunshine,

    hmmm.. good idea, horror can be included in the last couple of chapters! 🙂

    Reply
  • 34. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:42 am

    RukmaniRam,

    Hehehe… GMAT prep influence!!

    Reply
  • 35. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:42 am

    hantan,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 36. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:43 am

    aandthirtyeights,

    Sure!

    Reply
  • 37. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Nikhil Narayanan,

    That’s the sad truth, unfortunately. But thanks!

    Reply
  • 38. aditya  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:54 am

    you’ve really hit the spot! i’ll launch you’r novel in the next movie that I direct.

    Reply
  • 39. tenalirama  |  July 25, 2008 at 5:34 am

    🙂
    I am planning to write a book too now.

    Reply
  • 40. asuph  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:07 am

    rotflmao. sadly while we’re rotfloing in our cramped cubicles, mr. bhagat is doing the same on the way to his bank in a limo.

    cheers,
    asuph

    Reply
  • 41. Overated Outcast  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Research Analyst who plays stick cricket and watched his portfolio and wants to write a book?????

    YOU’RE ME!!!

    Reply
  • 42. RajaSen  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:48 am

    brill-iant.
    this post totally made my morning.
    cheers.

    Reply
  • 43. Sameer  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Yeah, it was all building up towards the one night alright, and ended right after that 🙂

    Good stuff. So-badly-need-a-spoof.

    Reply
  • 44. Girish  |  July 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

    That was excellent da 🙂 Good to have you back .

    Reply
  • 45. Retrosexual  |  July 25, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Ohhhhh fabulous…
    When a movie is made of this book, you would surely like to play yourself, no? What’s the fun otherwise?

    Or would that be in the next chapter?

    Reply
  • 46. Unpredictable  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Which Vinod is this? Bhaskaran a?

    Reply
  • 47. harry  |  July 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    *clap* *clap*

    Reply
  • 48. Darkstar  |  July 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    One critical comment – the writing’s devoid of any IIM/IIT lingo. Every verbatim should be ended with words like “Bugger”, “Hajaar”, “Pack” and other such cool lingo. And there should be some mention of Pink Floyd and grass somewhere in the book. Else the book might not have an IIM campus feel and would risk losing its most targeted readership.

    Otherwise an excellent read and I’m in the queue for an autographed copy.

    Reply
  • 49. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Aditya,

    Sweet! Just don’t cut Chapter 15 to appease the censors! 😀

    Reply
  • 50. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    tenalirama,

    hehe.. good luck!

    Reply
  • 51. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    asuph,

    Yes, sad but true.

    Reply
  • 52. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Overrated Outcast,

    Hahahaha.. good to hear that ours is a thriving species!

    Reply
  • 53. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    RajaSen, Sameer,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 54. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Girish,

    Thanks! It’s good to be back!

    Reply
  • 55. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Retrosexual,

    But of course!

    Reply
  • 56. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Unpredictable,

    Uh.. the url says ganesh!

    Reply
  • 57. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    harry,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 58. Vinod  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Darkstar,

    I CANNOT believe I missed that, considering I wrote this over three years back..

    very very valid point.. but what the heck.. will put all the usages in one chapter and insert it at the beginning.. wouldn’t (or rather couldn’t) reduce its quality from current levels anyway.. 🙂

    Reply
  • 59. philip  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Awesome read. Just incredible fantastic 🙂

    Reply
  • 60. Tanmay  |  July 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Dude, you are very funny.

    Lame or not, I’ll buy a copy.

    Reply
  • 61. Ujjwal  |  July 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Nice sense of humor.

    Reply
  • 62. Gokul  |  July 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Nancy Friday, eh? I always thought there’s more to you than meets the eye.

    Reply
  • 63. Vinod  |  July 26, 2008 at 8:24 am

    philip,

    hehehe thanks!

    Reply
  • 64. Vinod  |  July 26, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Tanmay, Ujjwal,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 65. Vinod  |  July 26, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Gokul,

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    Reply
  • 66. Sharanya Venkataraman  |  July 26, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Just write twenty three more chapters titled ‘My past dates with Sonia’ and you’ve got yourself that bestseller 🙂

    But hey , what would we do without writers like Bhagat ? * shudders at the thought *

    I like the blog 🙂

    Reply
  • 67. Vinod  |  July 26, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Sharanya,

    hehehe.. thanks!

    Reply
  • 68. Sripps  |  July 26, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    *Wow*

    Reply
  • 69. meetu  |  July 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    the compliment – reminding us, the readers, that we are still reading this piece of shit after 6 inane chapters 🙂

    Reply
  • 70. ORB  |  July 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    hahaha! rofl

    Reply
  • 71. mythalez  |  July 28, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    rofl !! awesome! perfectly potrayed my sentiments abt the writings of Mr. Bhagat 😀

    Reply
  • 72. Vinod  |  July 29, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Sripps, ORB, mythalez,

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 73. Vinod  |  July 29, 2008 at 8:41 am

    meetu,

    that was within the novel! 🙂

    Reply
  • 74. WSW  |  August 7, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I used to read your blog religiously in college…then you just stopped writing 😦

    But this was a comeback with a bang!! Loved it.Reminded me of the unpublished Harry Potter piece you had written.

    Hopefully you will continue to write. Regularly. 🙂

    Reply
  • 75. Vinod  |  August 13, 2008 at 9:40 am

    WSW,

    Thanks! I hope to be regular too!

    Reply
  • 76. sameera  |  August 15, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    thank you for this Vinod!
    i completely identify with this and wondering why i bought the novel and even bothered to complete it..

    but then the answer is rs 95..if u price urs at rs 90, i promise to buy! 🙂

    good one, as always..!

    Reply
  • 77. subs  |  September 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    It’s too late a reply but couldnt stop myself appreciating.I laughed and cried (^_^).

    Reply
  • 78. links for 2008-09-29 « Unjustly  |  September 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    […] One of the mistakes of my life? « Mostly Thoughtless …recently, after reading about how Chetan Bhagat’s books sell 10 gazillion copies every minute, I’ve realized that a chronic inability to write well, make sense and positively impact the emotions of your readers is no longer a road block to becoming a successful novelist. My book will be targeted at the youth of India, because the old can’t read any more and the little ones prefer Nickelodeon. It’s titled ‘One Night @ The Staff Quarters, Who Not To Do at IIM’, and it’s guaranteed to sell at least 44 billion copies, because I’m hoping all the IIM alumni, current students and aspirants buy it. I never went to an IIM myself, but I don’t see how that makes a difference to anything. Tolkien never battled any Orcs. I also realize that the key to the success of my novel is word-of-mouth publicity. I don’t know what that word is yet, but I’m desperately hoping to figure it out by the time I’m done. (tags: novel humor writing) […]

    Reply
  • 79. How to write an Indian Novel « The NITK Numbskulls Page  |  October 18, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    […] come to mind. The first one is the Chetan Bhagat way, which has been illustrated quite succinctly here. But then, I don’t want all that that comes with a Chetan Bhagat reputation, especially not […]

    Reply
  • 80. dushy  |  October 23, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Whoa!

    One great post I stumbled upon.And where is the office (desk) you are writing from?

    Reply
  • 81. rajnisays  |  November 8, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    😀 Dude what you did to Chetan Bhagat’s best seller…anyways i had a great time reading it…

    Reply
  • 82. Manav  |  January 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Bloody Brilliant!

    Reply
  • 83. lilian  |  November 4, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Chetan Bhagat’s all books are the same …… there is a protagonist , 1 / 2 sidekicks, one girl supposed to be all repressed and shy on the outside but wild cat from inside, and finally pre-marital sex which is described in the same way in all the books …….. waste of time reading 4 books……

    Reply
  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ABVan and Nandita Iyer, Vinod Ganesh. Vinod Ganesh said: @ABVan http://vinodganesh.com/2008/07/23/one-of-the-mistakes-of-my-life/ […]

    Reply

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This blog was previously published at http://vinodg.blogspot.com.

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