Having a Not So Pleasant Journey

OK, take a deep breath and think about this.
  • If a book is about nature, is the author a tree?
  • If the book is about health, is the author obese?
  • If the book is about fantasy, is the author a goblin?

If you have answered "Yes" to any of the above, then your mental faculties are at their imaginative zenith and you need to go someplace else and stop trespassing on this publicly available real estate.

But, in case by some quirk of nature you have answered "No" to all of the above, then why the fuck would someone categorize an author as a pervert or a sex maniac is he/she has written a book about child abuse and the like?

Yes, it kind of baffles me as well. I pity Vadimir Nobakov who wrote Lolita and wonder if he had to go through the same character profiling. So what is the context here?

Well, not so long ago (2010 actually), I had written my first book "Have a Pleasant Journey", the subject of which was child abuse and the subsequent repercussions. It was supposed to be a sensitive story with the abuse serving as the backdrop. Agreed there were some references to copulation (for all the conservative types) and voyeurism. But does that make me a characterless asshole?

How can anyone relate and judge the character of an author by the subject of his/her book? The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. The correct answer might be , "It depends". Depends on what, you'll ask. Well, it depends on whether you pretend to personally know the author or not. When I mean "know", I mean, you "think" that you know the author because you work with him/her in the same office for example.

I've noticed that if we don't know the author personally, then all is well. The author can write about someone's mother and get away with it. In my case, the reaction has been the same. People who don't know me but have read the book either liked it or did not like it. Plain and simple. But never have I got any feedback from any one of them questioning my character.

But its not the same for some people who "believe" that they know me "personally" just because I've talked to them in office or during some event. These kind of people are the most dangerous ones. They have nothing else to do; just out of curiosity, they read the book and then issue me a hard copy (in triplicate) of my character certificate. MY character certificate! Thank you but NO, Thanks!

I know what kind of character I have and the people around me who matter know that as well. So you, the random stranger with a spare rubber stamp need not worry about the extend of pervertness I am capable of.

All I can say to these obnoxiously challenged folks that please stay faithful to Chetan Bhagat and remain confined to your perfect world. Literarily, that's the highest you can go, so be happy!

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