Originally posted on 21 Jul 2010 :

It is not easy to ‘qualify’ for a major event like the Olympics or even the Commonwealth games. And then to win, it takes a lot of hard work. At Beijing in 2008, over 11,000 sports persons vied for 302 gold medals. You can well imagine how much commitment it must have taken to step on the top of the victory podium.

In an idle reverie, I decided to investigate into the purity of ‘gold’ in the medals which they won, and here is what I found:

The  ‘gold’ medal is made of .995 silver, with about six grams of gold plated on it!

My next discovery was even more awesome. The ‘gold’ which the organizers make while preparing for an event of this magnitude is .999 pure. And there is no limit to how much they can make. It depends on their ingenuity.

While going through my records, I found that the plight of those of us who write books is similar. We pore over tomes of material, and burn midnight oil. But when it comes to sharing the booty, the publishers help themselves to the lion’s share. I do not know who said it, but it is true.

“Writers build castles in the air . Readers live in them. And the publishers collect the rent!”

My friend, Vinay Malhotra has sent me a caricature, which is very topical. It  aptly sums up the  run up to the CWG due to be conducted in Delhi in October.

With special regards to my publishers. I hope they are listening!

  1. Aarti Pathak says:

    dear uncle

    that was brilliant!

    had such a laugh.. but then i realised that i too am a writer and then i cried !! hahaa!

    thank you for sharing :)

    • Surjit says:

      Dear Aarti,

      Early in life I realized that there is very little money in writing. When we were young, Guru Dutt made a movie, “Pyasa” which was based on the life of Sahir Ludhianvi. It showed how the poet was exploited by the world. In later life, I have seen that in India, there is no fair method of getting rich.

      Despite that, I spend long hours on the keyboard. And I have no regrets for that. Every once in a while, I get a mail or message that tells me that my effort has not gone waste.

      I am sanguine that Aarti will continue to be in the ‘world of words!’

      Surjit Uncle

      • Aarti Pathak says:

        Dear uncle,
        thank you for your mail :)

        sometimes ‘seedhi ungli se ghee nahi nikalta’

        maybe its time for a passionate writer to get a publishing house of her own.

        these things take time.. but maybe the dream is not entirely unachievable.

        but u r right about one thing.. money or no money.. i am here for the love of words and for the ‘high’ that i get when i complete my work.


        • Surjit says:

          You are right. They say, “If you can not beat them, join them!”

          Here is a suggestion. For the Chicken soup book which you have been asked to edit, choose the following topic

          “Chicken Soup for the Soul of Creative Artistes”
          And the ‘dreative arts may include poets, novelists, story writers, painters, sculptors, and even film makers. The pleasure and pain of creative arts has a common thread.

          Surjit Uncle

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