Friday, November 30, 2012

Chasing my tail for a title . . . !



“What are setbacks in life but really God’s way of guiding us through life, preventing wrong decisions, until we see the light at the end of the tunnel?”

-         Anurupa Cinar


Hi, Everyone! I can’t really say that any part of writing my novel was easy. But finding the title reached nightmare proportions! I was chasing my tail for a title for ever.

It all seemed so easy to begin with. Even before I started writing, I felt the name I Love my India was perfect for my novel.

Wasn’t the novel all about love for India, after all? Didn’t I just love the song I Love my India from Subhash Ghai’s Pardes?

So it was settled. It was as I started mentioning the title to people around me, that I noticed that there were no “yea, way to go!” coming my way re the title. And some even outright suggested I change it.

Never! I thought to myself. I pinned my ears back and dug my heels in and became as stubborn as the proverbial mule.

But when my publishing consultant threw up her hands in despair and made protesting noises re the title, I was forced to reconsider.

I was leaning toward O Freedom . . . ! To me that title expressed a deep yearning like Savarkar’s. I should mention that by this time, the novel was written and the cover design was fixed in my mind for months. So there was not a lot of flexibility.

There was a book Freedom written the year before, so I scrapped this title and after much cogitating came up with The Burning Soul. I checked online and—yoo-hoo . . . !—it was there for the taking.

There, I told myself, it wasn’t too-o-o-o bad. I could live with that title. And so a few months went by happily as I prepared the final draft—or rather what I so naively believed was the final draft! I actually changed it so many, many times later on.

Then I got a very rude shock! John Connolly came out with a bestseller: The Burning Soul . . . !! It was a ghastly moment. I have already written so much about my attachment to names, so you can sympathize with me. I sunk my head in my hands in utter despair.

But there was no choice. I had to change the name of my dream—again! This time I came up with several names. Here are some of them:

I Will Not Be Silenced….

Who Dare Vanquish Me?

Inviolate Am I

Not Doomed to Hell!

Savarkar: To Hell and Back

Back From Hell, Everytime!

Surviving Hell---and back

Ground to Dust

Immolated

The Burning Beacon

The Beacon

Honor to My Motherland

Is this Freedom?

Beyond Freedom

O, Freedom, Death is to live without you!

Justice Must Prevail!

Truth Shall Not Be Hidden

Truth Unveiled

Freedom, Our Birthright

Then I sent the whole lot to everyone I could think of for an opinion poll. From there I was back to O Freedom . . . ! as my novel’s title!

What can I say? La-la land is a wonderful place to be in while it lasts!!

I dwelt in mine until I received my manuscript back from the publisher, with my title changed . . . ! To “Something Mother India”!!

I threw not one but twenty fits, I can tell you. That title just wouldn’t do. I was really at the end of my rope here.

What was I going to do?

The situation was now beyond head-clutching. I just sat on the couch and gazed at the above names (in distaste, I may add) and then . . .

Like a bolt from the blue, the name Burning for Freedom struck my consciousness. I grasped at it with eager hands. Was it really going to be this simple, after all? Quickly I went to the amazon website and checked if anyone had staked their claim to this title already. No. Oh what joy . . . !

That’s it! Burning for Freedom it was going to be. It seemed so perfect in every way—from the cover, double play on the word burning, from the content—from every conceivable way.

Why had I not come up with it all this while? I really couldn’t say. But such things have happened before.

What are setbacks in life but really God’s way of guiding me—in my fumbling, bumbling way—through life, preventing me from wrong decisions, until I see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Anurupa

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