*** Special Feature - June 2016 ***
How low will you stoop to fulfil your dreams? Jeet Roy, a college Casanova, has published a book by unfair means. All he wants is to earn loads of money and have hot girls chase after him wherever he goes! Rohit Sehdev, a one-book-old popular fiction writer is furious when he finds out that his publisher has cheated him out of his royalties. Karun Ahuja is a highly ambitious schoolboy who wants to win the heart his lady love by writing a novel about it and he doesn't mind playing dirty to get to the top.
Ruthlessly exploiting these ambitious young men is their unscrupulous publisher. Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, Paperback Dreams is the story of a new breed of young writers who will do anything to get famous, fast.
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Read an Excerpt from Paperback Dreams
Flying high in the sky, on his way back from Bangalore, he is living his dream life - Jeet
The airhostess looks beautiful and has the most beautiful voice too. I can’t take my eyes off her as she makes the announcement that the flight is ready for takeoff. I buckle-up my seatbelt and take a deep breath. Another city covered and another event done, only six more to go for this year now. It’s been over nineteen months since my debut novel was released and it feels like only yesterday that I signed the contract with my publisher. The plane is in the air now and is gaining altitude. I pull out the magazine section ofIndian Times from the sleeve below the foldable tray in front of me, where I had kept it. They have done a good job again – they have given full page coverage for my event at the Red Bookstore, Bangalore. They have a big picture of me with my killer smile and surprisingly not even a single negative thing about me this time. It’s the truth dude – paying the P.R. pays. And how could they have written anything bad about me? The event was a huge success. All the people working at the store acknowledged that it was the biggest crowd that any event had pulled in during the last three years. They didn’t even have enough chairs to accommodate the crowd. So many of themwere standing there, only to see me and to listen to what I had to say. God, it felt great. After reading the article once again from the beginning to the end, I fold the paper and put it back in the sleeve. All this is good but how long would it go on? How the hell am I gonna manage to get another novel out with my name as the author? How my first book happened and got this phenomenal success is actually a real life miracle. I may or may not deserve all this success and all this recognition but it is mine for now and I have to find a way to retain it, I have to find a way.
I look outside and I see the people, the roads, the houses and the trees; all shrinking in size as we climb higher. The whole world looks like a toy-game, easy to play with. Soon we reach the cloud level and the view is killed. I turn my head to see if there is any beautiful chick inside the plane. I spot a cute girl sitting on the aisle seat one row ahead of me on the opposite side, looking directly at me. I too respond by staring back at her and our eyes meet.
Okay man, this is no unintentional, casual look she is giving me. She is throwing in a clear line and I got to respond. I shoot my signature ‘what’s up?’ gesture nodding my head and pass my usual killer smile. She smiles back. Okay, life is set! I have had this fantasy since a long time now, the most common one – to have crazy, animal sex in the airplane lavatory and I have a very strong feeling that its gonna come true today. It’s a two and a half hour journey and I have enough time to just do it! This plane is gonna take off man! Fifteen minutes from now I am going to get up, walk to the toilet and ‘accidently’ brush her shoulder, apologize for the ‘unintended’ incident, strike up a conversation, throw in a few ‘fictional facts’ and that’s it! The rest would be history. Just fifteen minutes, during which I am going listen to music on my ipod and not look at her even once.
I am through one song (equals to 3.5 minutes) when I sense some movement around. This is amazing dude! The hot chick just got up and is coming towards me with her eyes fixed on me.
“Hi” she says standing by me in the aisle
“Hello,” I put in casually
“You look familiar”
“Is it?” I say as I flash a half smile.
“Are you Jeet Obiroi?”
“Yes” I say with my eyes fixed on her eyes.
“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!” she freaks out, “I am your biggest fan ever!”
“Thank you.” I smile
“Your book, ‘If I Would Not Have Met U …I Would Have Died’ is the best book ever! I read it in two days straight!”
I smile again. She is a reader – easy.
“Can I please have a picture with you? Please, please, please?”
“Sure” Why would I ever, on earth, say no?
She looks at the guy sitting next to me and says, “Sir, can I please sit on your seat for a while?”
He makes an awkward face.
“Please sir, please, please, please! Only for …ten seconds, please!”
He gets up without saying anything and shoots me an angry look.
“Thank you! You are my God from now on! You are the best!” She says to the man, comes and sits on the seat and the man stands in the aisle with a blank expression on his face.
“Can you please click a picture for me?” she says trying to handover her smart phone to the man. He stands there looking at her without giving any human expression.
“Please sir, you just have to click thisbutton.” She says touching a silver button on her phone.
He takes the phone without saying anything
“Thank you so much, you are my God!” she says and sets her hair with both her hands arranging them meticulously over her right shoulder – Rekha style, never fails.
One click and the picture is taken.
“Thank you so, so, so much!” she says as she takes her camera back from the man. “This is gonna go on facebook as soon as this plane lands!” she says excitedly as she turns and looks at me. “And I am gonna lie a little, I am gonna say you were my co-passenger for the journey.” She says as she gets up.
“So, any other favorite books of yours? Any other books that you like?” I’ve got to know her taste.
“Oh, yours is the only book that I have ever read and it’s so good!” she says rolling her eyes.
Just then a lady gets up from a seat in the front and looks at us irritated.
“God, my Mom won’t let me be even for a single minute! God only knows what her problem is.” She says as the woman keeps staring at her angrily.
“Coming, Mom.” She calls back with an evident hint of frustration in her voice.
“I got to go now,” she says turning back to me, “this is the best thing that has ever, ever,ever happened to me. You have no idea how thrilled I am right now.” She says as she extends her hand for a handshake.
I get up to shake hands with her with my other hand itching to do what it wants to do. Suddenly the plane hits an air pocket and I do what I wanted to. God is on my side – I hold her around her hip to support her so that she does not lose her balance.
“Jeet Obiroi!” she gasps, “that was so inappropriate! Why would you do that? Why would you squeeze my butt like that?” she says looking at me wide-eyed. She is clearly flabbergasted.
I look at her in the eyes and smile, “If I wouldn’t have done that, then my card with my personal phone number would not have been in your back pocket right now.”
When you love someone, what's there to prove? Everything! It looks like life is teaching Rohit a lesson. His publishing deals, his relationships, even his job - nothing seems to be working out. To make matters worse, Karan is still trying his best to ruin him as a writer. But when Nisha leaves him, it's the ultimate blow. To win her back Rohit must prove he loves her enough to do things that matter to her: like helping Tara find a publisher. As Rohit takes control of his life, he begins to find things slowly changing for the better for him too. But will Nisha be happy with that? Will she come back to him? Just for You is an adorable, bittersweet story about love and its responsibilities.
The central character – Rohit, an author, rebels against his inner self and struggles to settle with his unbalanced life while Karun, another (very) young author leaves no stone unturned to ruin his reputation as a writer because of his revelry and jealousy towards him. Rohit suffers the ultimate blow when is his girlfriend, Nisha leaves him. In order to gather the ripped shreds of his life, Rohit tries to win Nisha back by doing the things that would matter to her the most, in turn bringing his life back on track (or not)! Meanwhile, Karun keeps trying his best to ruin his career anyway!
Read an Excerpt from Just for You
Some people reach their late twenties and have never had a sex chat in their life . . . until now—Rohit
We live in a funny age. It’s so tough to get any work at all done that it’s not even funny! There are so, so, so many distractions! For the past three days I have only managed to write a sorry eight hundred words—that is just like two and a half pages—when I should have finished at least two chapters. I stare at the Word doc on my computer screen and am totally blank. All I want to do is go to IMDB.com and check which new movie trailers are out and see what everyone’s up to on Facebook. I think the generations before us were so lucky from this point of view. The number of things you could do in life were limited back then, no doubt about it; but man, there were hardly any distractions! It must have been so easy to focus! Look at my state right now: it is so pathetic. I have been in bed the whole morning forcing myself to write but all I have done is check my Facebook notifications after every ten minutes and like and post lame comments on others’ pictures like ‘Hey! Nice pic dude. Didn’t know you went to Kerala’ and see how many likes I got on the picture of my last visit to McLeod Ganj that I uploaded yesterday. My best picture ever on Facebook got a record number of likes: 348. All I am wondering now is if this one will cross that figure and touch the Godly total of 500 likes? It is definitely not a good day for me to work. I think I should take the day off (like I have been doing for the past week now).
I close the document I am working on and my eyes hypnotically go to the ‘turn on chat’ button at the right bottom of the Facebook page. I do not go online to chat generally. I used to at one time but then I stopped. I have so many readers on my page and sometimes they ask the weirdest personal questions. It generally starts with very simple, innocent ones like how many brothers or sisters I have or and which city I live in or if I am a full-time writer now or have another job? But after that the awkward part starts: Are you single or committed? How many girlfriends do you have? Are you seeing anyone, and, many times, how often do you have sex with her? But for some reason, I want to go online today. And maybe I want to be asked personal questions right now—I think that might make me think a bit about what my personal life is like right now and help me reflect about it.
Facebook chat shows 428 of my friends online but none of them are my real friends. Maybe I’ll just wait for someone to ping me, I decide, staring on my laptop screen as I drum my fingers on the panel. After a few awkward seconds, a chat window pops up.
I peer at the tiny display picture in the window—she looks pretty.
Saima: What’s up?
Rohit: Nothing. Was just working. Thought of taking a break.
Saima: Cool! How has your day been so far?
Rohit: Good. How was yours?
This is going good, I think, basic chat.
Saima: Mine was really HOT and SEXY!
Rohit: Oh, you mean like you had a great day.
Saima: LOL! No. I mean hot and sexy like HOT and SEXY.
Saima: Yeah, just had sex with my boyfriend.
What?! What am I supposed to say to that?
Rohit: Good, that is very . . . good.
Saima: You bet it was! You know I am so good in bed that my boyfriend calls me THE GIRL FULL OF SEX.
Rohit: Okay . . .that’s nice to know.
Oh my God! What is wrong with this girl! Why is she talking like this?
Saima: LOL! You sound shocked. Am I shocking you?
Rohit: No, not at all. Not at all, why would you say that?
Saima: Oh come on! It is so obvious. You are taking such long pauses.
Rohit: No no. That’s not so.
Saima: LOL! Okay. You know something? This picture that you see, it’s not my real picture.
Rohit: Oh. OK.
That’s totally normal. People use other people’s pictures as their display pictures all the time.
Saima: You want to see my real picture?
Within seconds a picture of a set of female breasts appear on my laptop screen!
Saima: Do you like the real me?
Oh my God this is a sex chat! She is sex chatting with me!!! I have never done this in my entire life before!
Rohit: Yeah it’s nice.
What am I supposed to say???!!!! How does one sex chat???
Saima: Only nice?
What do I say? WHAT DO I SAY?
Saima: You don’t like me L
Rohit: No, no. you are nice.
Saima: No. You don’t like the real me.
Rohit: No, no. I do . . . I really like the real you.
This is really awkward for me. I have never sex chatted before . . . and I truly believe that everyone should experience such things at least once in life. And you know, for me this is more like research. What if I have to write a sex chat in one of my books sometime? How will I know what to write then? How will I know what a sex chat is like? This is my chance to learn!
Still, I can’t help wonder that who the hell this girl is and how I could have added her to my friends’ list. I don’t accept all the friend requests I get. Those who send me a friend request should either have a substantial number of friends in common with me or a genuine interest in my writing.
Saima: Then say something about the real me J
Just think and type, just think and type something nice about her breasts.
Rohit: The real you is very beautiful. The real you has skin that looks smooth and beautiful and dusky. The real you is beautifully round and supple and one can’t help but feel the desire to touch and hold the beautiful real you.’
Saima: LOL! You are so funny. You are so nerdy. But I like the nerdy you. I like you. LOL!
Rohit: Thank you J
It is kind of flattering what she is saying.
Saima: Do you want to see more of real me?
Oh my God she is a nymphomaniac! A sex addict!!!
I am struggling to think of what I should say when the doorbell rings.
Rohit: Hey, gtg! Someone’s here.
Saima: LOL! You going to wank, aren’t you? You horny little nerdy beast!
Rohit: No, no. someone’s here. Honestly!
Saima: OK J I believe my horny little nerdy beast.
Rohit: Thank you’
Thank you? Seriously? Thank you???
Saima: OK. You go now. And next time we chat, I will send you more pictures of the real me. ;)
Rohit: Sure. That will be nice. Thanks. Gtg. Bye.
I go offline. Man! She’s one crazy girl! I put my laptop aside and walk out of my room with thoughts about Saima whirling in my mind and the image of her gorgeous round boobs flashing in front of my eyes over and over again. Maybe she’s not as crazy as I think she is. Maybe she was just being philosophical. Breasts are the essence of womanhood, some may think—they support life and nourish the infant. Maybe that is why she sent me a picture of her breasts. Maybe I am just fantasizing about the whole thing. Maybe I am the sex-driven, dirty pervert here.
I open the door and find Nisha standing in front of me.
‘Hey! How was your day?’ I ask as she comes and dumps her bag on the side table lazily and crashes on the sofa.
‘It was okay. The same as every day. What could be new?’ she sighs. ‘How was yours?’
There is no way I’m telling her that I had a little sex chat with one of my Facebook friends!
‘It was okay.’ I shrug, sit next to her on the sofa and put my arm around her shoulder. She looks exhausted right now, tired after a whole day’s work but the fragrance of her watermelon lip balm is really tempting. Watermelon is my favourite fruit. I hold her and kiss her and want to keep kissing her forever. We share a long passionate kiss and then she pulls back and smiles at me, ‘God! What’s gotten into you today?’
‘Love, only love.’ I say in a deep husky voice, sounding like a cheesy hero in some old romantic movie.
She laughs, rolling her eyes and pushes me away. ‘Did you get any work done today? How is your writing going?’
‘That is . . . not a very good question.’ I fake a little cough.
‘I was thinking,’ she says as she gets up and walks towards our room, ‘if you are facing so much trouble with your writing, why don’t you take help from an editor? Hire an editorial service. That might solve your problem.’
‘Hey, that’s a good idea actually,’ I say as I churn the idea in my mind. This might actually solve my problem. ‘Yeah, I should hire one. I’ll try finding one on the Internet.’
She nods. ‘Do that. Where is Pranav? Isn’t it late for him to be out?’
‘He is at his friend’s place. Will be staying there for the night. Had some group assignment to finish he said. We could do our own thing . . .’ I say hinting at something more than a kiss as Nisha walks into our room.
She doesn’t respond.
About the Author:
Rahul Saini is the bestselling author of five hugely popular books – Those small Lil’ Things, Just like in the Movies, The Orange Hangover and most recently Paperback Dreams and Just For You, which created a lot of buzz and raised many questions about the current scenario of the publishing industry in India. The collective sale figure of his books is more than 5 lac copies. All his books have featured in various bestselling lists across the nation. His books have strong comic tones and present the up-beat stories that portray the fun loving, free spirited and the outgoing character of today’s youth. Apart from being light entertainers, his books carry relevant social messages. His first book has also been translated into Hindi which won the award for the best translation by the Federation of Indian Printers and Publishers. Trained as an architect from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon, apart from being a novelist, he is a keen photographer and an artist and has had successful art shows. He is into film making and script writing as well. Currently he is working as a visiting faculty member for an art and design program at a prestigious university in India.
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- 3 Copies of Paperback Dreams
- 3 Copies of Just for You