Today I am an author.My maiden book 'Reverse Gear' was released last month. How did this happen! How at the age of 76 I conceived and produced a book!! How could I complete this voluminous task!! After all, I was just raw and had never ever in my dreams thought that one day I too will be a part of the band wagon of writers. Once you get into it, there is no stopping you.It becomes a craze, a passion and a fad. This mania of developing and producing something is so overwhelming that one cannot wriggle out of it.
Soon after retiring from active service one gets a feeling of becoming useless, good for nothing .A waste, which has been discarded after years of slogging, and labouring hard. I also had my share of such emotions engulfing me for sometime.But soon such thoughts were driven away.Every one young or old, my friends, ex colleagues and family prompted me to write. 'You are an educationist' and 'you must write' was the 'advice' given by one and all. These words were merely words for me. They refused to make any imprint on my mind. Years rolled by and with the passage of time all this was forgotten and erased from memory.
It was the month of May 2011. The children were away during their vacations. Time was literally hanging.The bubbling and effervescence of the gay laughter of the kids was missing.My son,who was home convalescing after a brief illness suddenly repeated the long forgotten advice and said,"Mom why don't you write something?"These words struck a chord in me! Within five minutes I spontaneously started writing. This is what I wrote then and there."Today when I am in evening of my life past memories are flashing on the screen of mind like video clippings.Something within me is prompting me to write something about myself, my near and dear ones, my friends and my colleagues."Thus the foundation was laid for me to pen my thoughts. Then there was no stopping me. Letters, words and sentences started pouring out on the 'real' screen of my computer. Incidents, events and happenings which I never thought about, gushed forth effortlessly. The problem was not in marshaling the facts but in putting them in their proper slots and perspective. When this was surmounted, another dilemma cropped up, What to be junked and what to be taken on board.Writing became a passion. My mind was always engrossed in my manuscript. Sometimes in the middle of the night a thought would surface and I was unable to resist the urge to pen it down immediately.Within a period of three months I had jotted down more than fifty thousand words; words which were concealed and lying dormant within the folds of my subconscious mind,became a reality and appeared in black and white in front of my eyes.
Whatever came to my mind was reflected in page after page.It was now time to edit the manuscript. By this time every member of the family was involved in this project.All the paragraphs were arranged and categorised under appropriate headings. Editing is a very important task ,which requires the eyes of a hawk ,to be able to detect all aspects of the script.Checking fullstops, commas and semi colons seem to be simple task initially but as I proceeded it was a gigantic task.Whenever I read the text, some omission was noticed. Quite often I read the text loudly so that mistakes could be pin pointed .Each word, each sentence, each paragraph, and each section was minutely checked.I fell in love with the'book'and nurtured it like a baby. The irony is that inspite of all this scrutiny the end product could not escape a few glaring mistakes! I consoled myself that being a novice I had not acquired nuances of writing and editing. Moreover, I had not written the book for sale or profits. All this took more than a month.
Now I had reached a stage, when a title had to be conferred on the book. Every one suggested a title, but no unanimity could be reached. 'My Memoirs', 'Twilight Remembrances' 'Fusion of the South and North' and many more titles were considered and rejected.My husband suggested 'Reverse Gear'. Instantly and unanimanously it appealed to one and all. It was the most appropriate title for a book authored by a seventy six year old! Delving into the past with an unmatched alacrity and briskness seemed to be like driving smoothly and effortlessly in reverse gear.. Now came the question of designing the cover. My daughter-in-law came forward to get the cover designed.The co-operation and involvment of the whole family was over whelming.My grand children came forward with a foreword for Reverse Gear. I had reached the last and the most important stage of getting the book printed. It was a hazardous but rewarding task.Finally the task was accomplished and saw the birth of Reverse Gear.