Saturday, 1 January 2011

My Take

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

It was four years ago I started this blog with a blank mind with one objective to engage readers with almost everything which comes in the bracket of Bishnupriya Manipuri topics. Let me accept when I began I didn’t know – who is Geetiswamy? One can imagine the seriousness of the disease that I was suffering from – like many of you I had been diagnosed with acute scarcity of Bishnupriya Manipuri vitamins and minerals in my body. With the passage of time, I have been recuperated and am healthy now. However, I had another objective – to come up with error-free articles. It was a necessity, dire necessity to gain respect from the readers, so that readers give respect to the writers; in the whole process churning out persons who have a good command over the English language.

How has been my experience working as a self-proclaimed ‘Editor’ (though I refrain from using this word) in between the writers and the readers? I have an enchanting experience, a privilege reading the first-drafted articles from all the Bishnupriya Manipuri writers before it went public here. I still remember reading BN Sinha’s first article. Somewhere in my mind it is deeply etched, later Henryy Sinha’s article hitting my inbox and of those who have written here. What was my reaction reading their first articles? I will come to this point later.

A few readers know that I work as a ‘policeman’. ‘Policing’ (polishing) the books of five New Delhi-based publishers is one of my job profiles from among many roles that I do for a living. I copyedit books. I work as a last and the final editorial filter to the publishing process of books.

Here are three of my instances that I would like to share with you in the context of writings of authors and writers here.

1. Few months back one of my publisher gave me a book ‘How to be Happy?’ written by a Bengali person to edit it. I didn’t know that the book (manuscript) was going to make me unhappy and remorseful to the core of my heart, for complete two months! I was tortured page after page, chapter after chapter. The author was translating ‘everything’ Bengali into English. You and me know how a Bengali person converse and how do they view happiness. I was completely awestruck how the book was accepted for publication that is from a reputed publisher with strict editorial policy. While submitting the book, I narrated my two-month near-death ordeal to the publisher. He consoled me, and gave a cheque with a remark: The author is his friend-of-friend’s friend!

2. Here is another face-to-face experience with one more book on ‘Leadership’. The book was not from the same publisher. This publisher caters book to the researchers and academicians of Indian universities. This time the author was very smart. Though his command over English was not good, he was using the language adroitly. When I revealed this fact to the publisher, he smilingly said ‘Yes’.

3. Of course some books come to me which required no heavy editing. They are done with usual editing. Of this type, there was a book on ‘Using Scientific Laws to Life’. The author has three books under his belt and all are best-selling. This time, the publisher was demanding mountain of mistakes to be found out in the book. ‘If not found, no money, dear’, he instructed me. First editing, few mistakes were found. Feeling the danger that no money will be paid, I had to re-edit the whole book again. Yes, I found ‘mountain of mistakes’.

Coming to BN Sinha’s first article, my reaction was, ‘Yes, this is a Bishnupriya Manipuri article from an unknown reader’. The article broke my wait for which I was waiting. The sad part of my happiness was that I found he is suffering from ‘ellipsis syndrome’ in his writing. What is Ellipsis syndrome? It is the consistent overuse of ellipsis in each sentence, simply the double, triple use of three dots (ellipsis) like this … … …After ‘normal’ editing it was published. I found that he has got good command over vocabulary, and he knows how to use it appropriately. If BN remember, he will agree that after his first article was edited; he was cured to the Ellipsis syndrome. I take him as a writer whom I encountered in my third experience – mistakes not found, no money.

Henryy Sinha brought tsunami in this blog with his writings. Readers were completely swayed by his 12 power-packed articles. Like them I was. I was more, since I read first. His choice of topics were brilliant, near to everybody’s heart and mind. His razor-sharped precision of words with creative use of metaphors and similes sparkle his writings. I must agree such type of writing didn’t come to me yet for editing. If his type of writing comes for editing – I will triple my charge. Reason being – I don’t know how to handle this phrase ‘Seere Seere Shinglei, Kacha Rokot Sitadei’ in English.

Prabal Atreya writes well. I haven’t done even normal editing on his writings. The reason is that his writing comes enmeshed with lot of fats. I love fats. I keep him between Experience 2 and Experience 3.

Pratibha Sinha jumbles up everything in one piece. While reading the articles of Rebati Mohan Sinha, I become a student of Bishnupriya Manipuri General Knowledge rather than of writing.

The article has stretched too long. No diplomatic judgment: I didn’t find anyone whose writing is related to my Experience 1 – I was tortured page after page, chapter after chapter. Definitely I will come up with another article on those writers who didn’t appear in this write-up.

Whatever mistakes are there in this blog, I accept it is due to me. I remember one reader commented on writing mistakes that appear here. 
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