Simran: Second Book, First Novel :)

Simran

Genre: Fiction
Author: Nikhil Kumar
Publisher: Waters Publishing House, New Delhi
Price: $18.90 (special rate for MirrorCracked downloads: $10.00)

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Okay, it’s about time I come out of my hibernation and reveal what I’ve been up to. No, I’m not dead. I’ve been holed up finishing my second book (my first novel), after being repeatedly hit over the head with a hockey stick by everyone I know and forcing me to complete the book. There it is – my novel is done! Phew!

No one knew what I was working on. A very few people guessed it, but most others thought I had gone into hiding after publicly humiliating myself in Delhi. Unfortunately, all those rumors are untrue (except perhaps the humiliation bit).

So, what’s the book all about, you ask? Well, I’m kind of proud of it myself. The book’s called ‘Simran’, and I’ve been told by my editors and reviewers that it appeals to almost every age group. It’s a book about love, strength, betrayal and the power of memories. It’s a book about miracles and how easy it is for us to overlook them. It’s a book that doesn’t tell you a moral, for the moral lies hidden within each of us. It’s a story that was worth telling. I’m glad I did. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

SimranCover

The book will be available for download on the 20th of July, that’s 11 days from now. Now, here’s the exciting part – you guys have stuck with me for this past one year through all my rants and misfortunes and laughed with/at me and my misadventures. To show my gratitude and appreciation, my publishers and I have agreed to make the book available for download right here, on MirrorCracked, at an unbelievable price, for a limited period.

The book is stated to be priced at $18.90, being available on Amazon. But if the book is downloaded on MirrorCracked, it’s available at $10.00, for the first two months. The book is also scheduled to be printed in December  by Waters Publishing House in New Delhi, and will be available in bookstores in India, US, UK and Canada early January.

I am quite excited to have come this far. When my first book was published, I was over the moon and never quite thought I’d experience it again.

I’d really appreciate it if you could spread the word about ‘Simran’. Over the next few days leading up to the launch, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book, exclusive background research material and of course, my latest Delhi Disaster posts. Yay!!


Pokie

“There is a deeper,
Darker side of me that no one knows
And no one shall ever know.
It will perish with me…”

– Pokie, age 6, 1999

The knife looked so good – so strong, so brilliant in its glitter. He held it in his hands and turned it around, savoring its every curve, its every niche, and its every edge with a gleam in his eye. He licked his dry lips. Locked in his room, he could still hear the screams and shouts of pain, anger and agony from his parents’ room. He felt a knot tighten in his chest – tears forced through his closed eyes. He clutched the knife tightly and held it close against his heart. Why? he asked. Why me? Why now? But the knife – Oh, it looked so good. He smiled through his mental pain, through his agony. As the voices grew louder and louder in the other room, he knew that any moment now his father would burst through his room and repeat what he’d done to his mother. He would start with the belt whipping followed by some slapping around and finally…and finally…it…it was…it was too painful and too disgusting to think about. He cried softly, afraid to make a noise lest his father heard him. “Don’t hurt her,” he whispered through his tears. “I’m sorry, mama. But I can’t protect you. I can’t protect you…I can’t…I can’t…” He rocked back and forth, crying, hugging the knife dearly, and crouching in the corner of his dark room. Pokie was six years old when he cut his own wrists.

“There is a deeper, darker side of me that no one knows. It will perish with me,” said Pokie lying on the white sheets in the white hospital. It was white all around. His mother was sitting beside the bed, in her chair, sobbing quietly. Her tear-streaked face did not hide the red scars of that night. Her right eye was swollen and was turning black. She was bleeding through the ears, but did not complain. She looked down at the tiny, frail figure on the bed.

“Oh Pokie,” she whispered. “Why did you do it, honey?”

Pokie could not hear her. He was on a life support system, battling for his life. The doctor who had looked in hadn’t shown hope in survival. “A great loss of blood,” he had said. “And his blood group’s not too common. It may take a while to acquire it. I’m sorry.” She had cried that she was his mother and he could have every drop her blood if he wanted to. But the doctor had calmly refused saying that there was a mismatch. Please, she had cried. I am his mother! We have the same blood. Not quite, said the doctor.

Now, as she sat and cried, she heard the first rambling words of her six-year-old son, and was immediately out of the chair and by his side, leaning in through the plastic hood of the life support and egging him to speak.

Pokie was six years old when the power failed in the hospital and the life support, which did not have a battery back up, failed with it. Pokie was six years old when he died. He wasn’t the only one. His mother picked up hypodermic syringe lying on the table, filled it with air and thrust it into her veins. Pokie was exactly six years old. It was his birthday.

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“Pokie” was one of my earliest short stories, which has just been accepted into the New York Times’ creative young authors’ section. Passing the final reviews, it would be published in the online edition of NYT. ~ Yay ~ 😀
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