Writing in to explore your opinion (and help) on a new project that I am hoping to create.
I call it Modern Love and its going to be a collection of personal stories, anecdotes, experiences, incidents and other such things that emerge out of a middle-aged, modern Indian's pursuit of love. Of course, love could mean different things to different people. For some, it could be the love for their pet, for some it could be the chase of someone that they can retire with, for others it could be finding meaning in their otherwise drab married lives, or could be as cool as the love for a certain activity, thing, say driving?
Plus when I say modern, it HAS to be set in modern India, in the contemporary times. And it has to be a real life story. Your story. Your friends'. Your neighbours. Or of the guy next door. A real person with real emotions. Real story. So imagine you are writing about your experiences with your spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, pets, colleagues, tinder dates, okCupid contacts, twitter crushes, train-friends, building buddies, instagram celebrities and so on and so forth. The common "thread" for this collection has to be modernity. And the impact of modernity on how we Indians love (or express it, or talk about it, or experience it, or indulge in it etc).
What do you think? Will you want to contribute a story? Will you want to read these stories? Will you have the time to edit this? Will you want to tweet about this?
If yes, here are the specifics.
Who can contribute?
Each of you is a writer (some of you are published, some believe you are amateurs, some do blogs and some want to be; Plus, I've interacted with you at some point in time) and thus this email. How about I invite you to write a piece on modern love and share with me? And then allow me to publish on a blog.
OutputI am thinking of a blog right now. Once we have a blog out, if we get traction, I can pester Grapevine, my publisher or Crossword (the bookstore) to publish an anthology. Honestly, not a big fan of anthologies but I never say never :)
Or we can gather all stories and do an ebook or something - free distribution over a blog / twitter etc. Nothing fancy.
And if all goes well, I would REALLY like to do a movie. Like Love Actually, Paris, Jetaime, NY, I Love You or even Metro from closer home. Yes, a super long shot but when they landed on moon, it was a long shot come true.
The thing is, the way Christmas binds the stories in Love Actually; Paris, NY and Mumbai bound the stories together in other three movies, I would want Love and Modern Love to bind our stories together. And no. It doesnt have to be hyperlink cinema.
Target AudienceI do NOT believe in writing for a specific audience. I write for writing. However if this helps you write, think that you are writing for a 30-something adult in India. Above average income, independent, "educated" and has been in and out of love for some time. Someone who is aware of the world around him. Someone who has an opinion. Someone who believes that his / her love story is unique. Someone like me.
Word LimitsNone. I am ok with a couplet. I am ok with an entire book. You are free to a Proust if you want to. You decide. How many words do you need to tell your story?
Selection CriteriaI don't know. I am not a great judge. I thinking that each submission will be made live on a blog. And then let the wisdom of crowds take over. Or I will ask some of you to volunteer and help us.
MoneyI am not even thinking on this. But, in case you are, whatever money we make, I will keep the numbers in public domain and all of it will be donated to Mensa India (or any other apt beneficiary we can think of). Please do NOT do this for money. Rather, do this for love!
End NotesAnd like all my projects, this remains open - in terms of details. And unlike other projects, I am very sure that I want to do this.
It would be such a heartwarming thing to read stories of other people like ourselves. No?
Also, you may want to read www.nytimes.com/column/modern-love for some fascinating reading. And I think Love Actually is the closest thing to what I have in my head for this project.
Please do revert to me with your thoughts and ideas. In case you are ok with the details I've shared, please do send me a confirmation of your participation by end the week?
Will take it from there.
Thanks for your patience.