Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Writer

I am a writer. I write commercial fiction. Till a month ago, I led a very normal, mostly anonymous life. I used to spend hours in a parallel universe where I played the role of the creator. But nothing remains the same now. 

 When I landed in Bangalore last month, my husband was waiting for me along with a jeep full of policemen, who he said, was there for my protection.

A single tweet had turned my whole world upside down. One of my readers had posted the snapshot of a page from my latest book, where my heroine, a journalist, talked about the skeletons in the closet of a film star.

“I think I know who this is. Isn’t this about actor S?” the reader had tweeted and then tagged actor S. The tweet had gone viral. Unluckily for me, there had been a scandal concerning the star similar to what I had described in the passage. In my defence, I was not even aware of the scandal when I wrote the book. I had thought that I had made it up.  

To compound the worries, Mr S had just entered politics and was projected by his party as the next chief ministerial candidate.  His political enemies used it to defame him. His fans and party people began a hate campaign on my twitter timeline. I wasn’t very active on Twitter or on any social media. Once in a month is my habit. When the fans of Mr S were demanding my blood, I was busy finishing my new novel at my ancestral home in the hills completely isolated from the digital world.

 “Surely Mr S would be busy with movies and politics. Would he care about such trivia?” I had asked my husband.

“Care? That idiot tweeted that this is a vitriolic attack by his enemies. And that you are a part of it. Our phone hasn’t stopped ringing since and mostly they are threats.”

When we reached our house, there was a huge crowd waiting. Journalists shouted questions and microphones were shoved at me when I got out of the car. The police created a human wall around me and I scampered towards the safety of my house. Just as I was about to enter the house, something hit me hard on my right shoulder. A rotten egg.
Later, to understand what was happening, I opened my laptop. My inbox was filled with hate mail. I opened one and found the picture of an acid attack victim. The text on it read, ‘This is your fate if you dare to pick your pen again.’

My twitter feed was equally vile and obnoxious. Threats amounting to rape, acid attack, and death floated towards me from cyberspace. Fear paralyzed me.
I decided to seek refuge in my writing and sat down at my table. I took my pen and opened a new page. A strange fear overwhelmed me and my mind went blank. I felt nauseated and closed the book. After taking a few deep breaths and drinking a glass of water, I tried again. My hands trembled. 

 I called my agent, who is also a very good friend, to talk about it. She was nonchalant.
“Hey, don’t worry. It is working in your favour. All is well. Negative publicity is also publicity. Your books are selling like hot cakes. And guess what, I got an offer for your new book. The signing amount is going to be in six digits. So chill,” she said. She then went on describing how she and her team were going to use it for my benefit.

“Just stay at home and finish your book. The commissioner of police has assured that you will be given round the clock protection.”I had put the phone down then with relief. 

A month has passed, my fear still remains strong. I have not written a single word. What is this fear? Does it have a name? How can I cure myself?  Can you help me?

P.S: This story was written for Anita's Attic Graduation ceremony. You can see me read it HERE

NOTE: This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.


  1. Nice to read the excerpt from your book. I too completed my first novel n published it last year. Its called Introspection. N it is available on ecommerce website.

    Pls read my week10 post for #superbloggerchallenge2018 #instacuppa

    1. Hi, this is not an excerpt from my book but a short flash fiction.
      Will read your post.

  2. The background is very much current what fire band journalists face on Twitter from haters and the story is engaging. One thing that struck me how you take a simple premise that unfurls in a super fast manner.

  3. This was so good.For a moment I was worried that you are in danger.Then understood.Loved this .Thank you for writing with us for #SuperBloggerChallenge2010

  4. Hi Preethi edit it to 2018😯

  5. Well written! :)
    Showcasing the truth (sometimes in the garb of fiction) is a writer's job. How close we allow ourselves to prod into the reality of others can, however, be a dangerous task.
    Your story nicely captures the fine balance between the perks and perils of a writer's life...the risk of usurping that balance comes with the territory!

  6. I'm so glad to have stumbled onto this post.
    The fear of voicing your thoughts, opinions can be twisted and used to defame anyone.
    Loved this post.

  7. Wow for a moment I forgot I was reading fiction. This was gripping.