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Chapter 2 - March 2015

27 March 2023

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Dear Mr. Pandey,

Thank you for submitting your proposal titled, "You are the Best Wife" to Pushpa Publications!

We thank you for your submission, but unfortunately your book doesn't fit into our publishing programme at the moment. Therefore, we will not be able to accept it for publication.

Many thanks again for considering us for this work.

Best wishes, Editorial Board.

This was the first message I read, on reaching the office. There were hundreds of official emails awaiting my attention, but for me, Gmail was more important. It was the tenth rejection mail for my book. I let out a sigh of disappointment.

I have written a book in memory of my wife. It is the story of my life, our life. How we met the first time, our struggle to get married. Our married life together and yes, the toughest part, how she left me, forever. This manuscript was on my laptop and whenever I could, I forwarded it to publisher after publisher. It has been a year since I had begun submitting the book, but the snail-paced publishing industry was taking its time to respond. Only a few of them had the courtesy to reply with formal rejection emails. Most of them did not even care to reply. With every passing day, publishing my book was beginning to look like

an impossible dream. Let me make it clear - I had never thought, even in my wildest dreams, that I could write a book. It was a selfish attempt on my part, to make her memories everlasting.

'Did you see that email? How depressing!' Sanju remarked. Sanju was a colleague who was also a good friend. 'Yes, really depressing,' I replied, almost in reflex.

My face changed from being sad to confused. My curiosity aroused, I wondered how he had come to know about the rejection email. I stared at him. 'How much increment did you get?'

'Increment...' I tried to frame an answer, unsure of what the discussion was about. But Sanju progressed on his own train of thoughts, 'Even a

bank gives higher interest rates than the increment I got.'

I faked a sad face in empathy. I looked at the faces of my other team members. Everyone was showing their own levels of despair, depending on the levels of increment they had received. I saw a few smiling faces as well, which told me, that some of us had indeed got good raises. Or maybe, they had learnt the art of being happy to mock the others who had greater expectations. I was the alien in office. I had very different concerns.

My questions were, is there life after death? How does one deal with depression?

For others, the favourite topics of discussion were leave, holidays, promotions, escalations, shift-rotation, training, certification, job profile and onsite. For others, their favourite occupation was browsing websites like Naukri.com, Linkedin.com, Facebook and Nasscom. Mine were Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Isha Blog and Vivekananda.

I had lost interest in my job. My only reason to go to work was that I should have enough money to keep me from dying of hunger.

'You are coming for the meeting, right?' Sanju queried. 'Meeting?' I had no idea about a meeting. I was yet to tackle the unread correspondence in my mailbox. I had not even read the subject lines of a few.

Sanju misjudged my preoccupation, 'Don't get worked up about the increment. Perhaps we will have better luck next time. Boss has called for all of us.' He was absorbed in the world of increments and salaries.

We assembled in the conference room. The ambience was one of depression. There were murmurs and whispers. For many moments, I thought that people were hurt beyond repair. I heard a few familiar sentences.

More Books by Srishti Publishers

2
Articles
You are the Best Friend
5.0
Ever felt the need to have a friend who could just sit with you and talk for hours? Do you think friendship can bring you out of emotional pain and depression? Read this emotional rollercoaster from the pen of bestselling author Ajay K Pandey, which explores friendship like never before, and is sure to re-affirm your faith in life. You might come across love many times in life; but the one that you experience with your best friend is etched for eternity. Ajay is fighting demons in his mind after losing his wife Bhavna. Ten years of togetherness, and a harsh twist of fate have thrown him into the pit of depression. With medication and therapy helping him fight his immense grief, there is only one ray of hope for him – he wants to immortalize his wife. Anisha lives life queen size. Making the most of each moment, she loves everything that she is blessed with. She is shocked when she meets Ajay. How can someone hate God so much? More than anything, what will that hatred do to him? Even as her mind makes a harsh judgment about Ajay, her heart notices his simple and caring gesture that changes her perception completely. So begins the journey of two people who are poles apart. A journey which will change their outlook towards life.