Friday, July 25, 2008

Thanking you verr muchly…

I don't know about all other bloggers, but I would assume there are many around who are closet crossers-of-fingers-waiting-for-book-deal varieties. I know I am. I have often whiled away many a pleasant hour thinking about how a publisher hopping through blogosphere will land on my page and will go screaming eureka down the cyber highway.

So your sensible blogger, who is a closet-crosser-of-fingers, will have a certain plan of action in anticipation for such an event.

There are the front bencher's types. The people who have the book written, wrapped and sealed, all ready for the printing press. Those who have done the homework, the hard work and are just waiting for the teacher to notice their upraised arms.

Then there are the networkers. The ones who might have a broad plot outline in their heads but will start the work of actually jotting the thoughts down ONLY after the deal is signed and the cheque has crossed hands. They utilize the time meaningfully and usefully by hopping and hobnobbing with influential sites and people.

And then there are others, like me, who don't really have a book ready, or even a firmed up plot per se. They just have good intentions. And of course, the acknowledgement page.

The acknowledgements page is the blogger's version of say the, Academy awards acceptance speech rehearsal (with the hand shower and bathroom mirror).

There is a great deal of thought and pain that goes into it, to make it just right. Sometimes even more effort is put into this as to actually writing the masterpiece.

There is always this uneasy thought lurking at the back of one's mind that this is IT. Quite possibly the ONLY chance you get to write the dratted thing. So it's important to get everyone in. (After roughly seventeen attempts which have not survived beyond chapter six, one is inclined to be quite conservative about future prospects.)

Unlike the "Dedication" page which is relatively uncomplicated, (in my case, it will be to my dad, who pretty told me that my "Cats" poem, written at age 6 1/2 was the hottest, more erudite, most insightful thing he had read in his life and planted of the closet crossers-of-fingers-waiting-for-book-deal varieties seed which was to blossom years later. The mother, who is quite indulgent about what she thinks, is a nice-enough-hobby-which-has-kept-me-away-from-drugs-and-scary-boys-in-my-teens. And the husband, who provides such a lot of inadvertent fodder for these posts, how can I not dedicate it to him. ); the acknowledgement page is a much more challenging task.

How does one involve everyone yet make it pithy and snappy and interesting?

The friends and family - of course, after all they are inflicted with the vagaries of my artistic temperament without actually expecting any artistic output.Who stoically tolerate mood swings, crankiness, and my space cadet meets bhatakti atma mode without batting their eyelids.

The rest of the acknowledgee's vary as per my mood, state of mind, and environment.

I use it as my own personal merit system. viz. If someone has been particularly nice to me, I bung him in, "ah the liftman, was really nice and sunshiny on this F****** Monday morning, why don't I put him in my acknowledgment page?"

Conversely it also is a very powerful weapon of demonstrating annoyance "Just you wait you #@*(#&*(@, I won't put your name in my acknowledgement page HA and nothing you can say will change it."
(As an aside, I have these whole series of absolutely ineffective mental protests such as "I--will-absolutely-wear-my-worst-possible-set-of-clothes-because-i-hate-you-so-much-and-you-are-unworthy-of-any-effort" The recipient of this mental vitriol of course, will be completely oblivious to the fact that I am wearing my worst set of clothes, and probably couldn't care less. Oh well.)

I scan through joke sites on the Internet collating sundry funny, charming and self effacing quips which of course I discard every other year as being jaded or not quite funny of not 'me' enough or not in sync with the tone of the plot which I happen to be mulling over in that particular year. .

There have been nights spent lying awake brooding on the consequences of missing some important person from the page and then playing out scenarios of dealing with devastated/offended people.

Then of course the very important question of placement. Should be right at the beginning of the book where everyone is sure to see it? Or should I place it at the end of the book, after I have established a relationship with the reader?

After having done this for ten years, ( with no book forthcoming in the intermediate time), I have reached a stage, where I have to write the dratted thing or burst. Besides, after so much honing and refining and polishing, it is really quite a gem of an page and would be such a waste not to publish it!

So dear readers, let me write an acknowledgement page for my blog.

I would like to thank everyone for reading this particular post and the random ones I have written over the last four years, my office for encouraging all these kind of jobless thoughts, the strays for keeping me up at all hours at night, the lift man for being sunshiny of this f**** Monday morning ….


Reluctant Warrior said...

This one time, a very close friend, I had helped a lot was delivering a thank you note in our passing out ceremony. I had expected her to pass a fleeting reference to me (and our group) like the seventeen others (who had been very specific with the names) before her.

However in her speech, when she had thanked god, all his creations, the liftman, the watchman, the newspaper man, superman, spiderman and even wonder-dog; she simply closed the speech with and a heartfelt thanks to all my friends, whom I do not need to name for they know who they are

By the end of that night
We-don't-your-name-Watchman - 10
We-thought-you-were-a-b*****-Canteen-lady - 7
I-mow-innocent-civilians-Bus driver - 2
Yours truly - 0

The world of acknowledgments and thank you notes is a sinister one. Tread cautiously.

Lekhni said...

Hilarious! Obviously, you have finished the most difficult part about writing the book :D

Mentioning friends is of course very tricky - whom do you mention first, what is the importance of the order of mentions, whom do you leave out? The liftman is much safer!

Arunima said...

ha ha! the last bit was the best!
lol@innocent warrior.

a million different people said...

I think I know deep down, that I can never write a book. Randomness is beautiful only in small quantities. It gets a little choke-y (choky?) after that.

I like this post.

So so, is a book coming out? :P

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Well, we know someone who has a book ;) Okay, a story in a book!

Haan, so I also love writing acknowledgements and all that. When I worked in Google, everyday I'd imagine myself leaving and try to think who I should thank and what I should say :P

Crazy no? But, true! I did it for 2.5 years before I quit. Finally, I think I sent out a funny email just saying : thanks to all of you :(

harry said...

I agree!

shub said...

hahaha! Loved this! :D Do we bloggers figure in your book acknowledgment page? :P

manuscrypts said...

phew, about time :p

sra said...

Start your list now, any random/fleeting connection with your book should put them in the list - and eliminate later. I'm keeping a list even now - final acknowledgees will depend on how things stand and how i feel when the book goes into print. I'd very much hate to offend, unwittingly.
Need I mention I'm very much a fellow crosser-of-fingers-waiting-for-book-deal looking for publisher-who-will-go-screaming- eureka-down-the-cyber-highway? :)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

reluctant warrior - yus thats EXACTLY what i am worried about. will have people baying for my blood. sigh price of fame i tell u.

Lekhini - ah that i have cracked. alphabetically it is! no one can fight that.

arunima - thankee

million diff people - the only way a book can come out is if its a book of acknowledgements

nandini - office thanks yous are scary. one has to thank boss and all even if one hates em na?best to be bland i say

Cynic in Wonderland said...

harry - feller crosser of fingers, you?

shub - depends ..where you nice and sunshiny this f***** monday morning?

manu - er uhm er uhm...

sra - i have multiple lists. i have so many lists i could write a telephone directory list.

Epiphany said...

:) BTW when your book IS finally published, someone will dig up this post and will be fodder for huge in anticipation posting this comment ;)

And if you wanna make your blog into a book try be useful...

BlueMist said...

totally enjoyed it :D

I am sure your book will be soon on the stalls as you have cracked the major part of it :P

btw not to forget the great Bill gates, internert service provider , the list goes endless :-)

AmitL said...

hehehe...Cyn,that's a nice's hoping your wish to write an epic comes true.:)

And,a big grin at the acknowledgement of your blog readers..*bows*

Trinaa said...

brilliant...n so true ;)

hv blogrolled u 4 updates..

Veens said...


thank u verrrrrrrr muchly for the smiles ;)

Roop Rai said...

lol hilarious! and so true. :D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

epiphay - hmmmm. aapke mooh me ghee shakkar and all that jazz.

bluemist - of course ISP etc etc. heck, what would i do without them? I have forgotten how to write even

thank you amit, trinaa, veens and rimzie

Never Mind!! said...

Hope I am not too late to the party. Is there any way you can squeeze my name into the acknowledgments? And any book offers yet,now that they know you are all set?

phatichar said...


(errr..that'd be laughing my guts out)

It's amazing how your name's still not on those bookshelves, considering we mostly get to see 'oh-another-chick-lit' kinds these days. I'm sure you'd give 'em all a run for their lip-sticked monies!!

Go for it! One reader's definitely waiting for that signed book. :)

Amey said...

Hey that's what favourite nephew, nieces are for. Put their name up and parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, everybody is happy :D