It was the penultimate session of Anita’s Attic and over the course of the last eleven weeks, my writers had met an assortment of literary people. I saw their morale rise and fall; I saw energies flag and then revive; I heard doubts they voiced, the doubts they didn’t. I tried to hold their hand as much as I could but eventually I thought they needed to hear from someone who after a career of meeting deadlines now chose to make her own and motivate herself with the passion she felt for words and joy that filled her when she wrote.
Many writers of my generation cut our publishing tooth on a page called YOUTHINK in the Indian Express. I am not sure if it was the new Indian Express then. But apart from Harry Miller whom I worshiped, the only other name I knew in the newspaper was Aditi De. Soon as the person one sent off one’s heart and soul out to every few weeks, she became someone who could determine what your state of mind was like. Euphoria if a piece was accepted. Anxiety if one didn’t hear from her. Anguish if a rejection slip came my way.
Over the years Aditi and I met, and perhaps one of my true moments of accomplishment was when she interviewed me after my first novel The Better Man was published.
Aditi came. Aditi saw. Aditi conquered.
At the end of the session, one of the writers described her as a rainbow. Thank you Rainbow De for putting a smile on my writers faces just before they went forth on their own.