I used to look forward to visiting Gumsar’s blog everyday. Every day lunch-time meant, getting something edible from the cafeteria and sitting in front of the PC, reading his latest story-post. Gumsar was the name he had given himself on this blog, and I chose to believe that it was inspired by the poet-lyricist Gulzar.

He did not write things about himself, his job, or any general “my-day-today” like posts. All his posts were fiction – short stories. He spun such beautiful tales. His stories never stuck to the same type. They transcended across various genres. Some of his stories were wonderfully spooky – they could scare the living daylights out of the reader. So much that the reader would keep all the Laxman Sylvania bulbs in his house burning from dusk to dawn, so that one does not wake up in the middle of the night & get scared. But the reader would always want more.

Then some of his other stories, were his funny trips down memory lane. These posts would have his readers laughing away to glory and until tears came down. There would be instances of some reader breaking out into loud peals of laughter, very much like the ones we see in those Close-up Toothpaste ads.
Some of Gumsar’s stories would transport you to a different world altogether. If one story of his had you travelling in a Mumbai B.E.S.T. bus, along with the two protagonists of the story, then another story would make you feel like you were actually present on the day when Manori-Bai went around searching for her lost cow Phulgo in the dusty lanes of Sotkargaon.

All this until one day in July, he put out a post, much to the sorrow of his 50 odd regular readers, saying that he was going on vacation to Kerala for 3-4 weeks and that the next post would be in a month or so.

Soon, it was August, and everyone was expecting Gumsar to start posting soon. I used to check his blog daily even though he had said that the next post would only be in August. And everyone of his readers was sure that with a lot of fresh material from his visit to his hometown, he will come up with many more magic filled posts.
August gave way to September, which was then pushed to make space for October. Then November, December & January marched past to the tunes of the Republic Day parade – but still no further post from Gumsar. My daily checking on his blog had long ago diminished to visiting the blog ‘once in a full moon’

And then came the pleasant shock. His post on February 19th read like this …

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Good News … & Thanks 

Friends, there will be no more Fiction posts on this blog. While I was posting on this blog, I was in parallel, trying to get in touch with various publishers. And finally all my efforts have paid off. A small setup, Triad House Publishers, have bought my book of short stories.
The book, name still undecided, will be out in August this year. And since I am now saving my material for this book & future possible books, I will have to prevent myself from putting these stories out on my blog here.
So, dear friends, thanks a lot for all your encouragement & feedback. If it were not for readers like you, this may not even have developed into something concrete.

All my regular readers, please send your postal address to my e-mail id and I will make sure to courier you a copy of the book when it comes out. After all, you are what has made it possible. Lets keep in touch through mails. I will keep posting updates about the book and other stuff on this blog.

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After reading that, I was happy for Gumsar – happy that he was fulfilling what seemed to have been his long-cherished dream.

And I was also sad – sad that I will now have to go & find some other ‘Gumsar’ for brightening up my day … & my lunch-time reading.

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