Contributed by Gurdit Singh Sachdeva (PM&IR 2009-11)
A few months ago, I was hit by a crazy idea. “XLRI should have a Writers’ Club. I should create one.” But like all of my other great ideas (“I ought to take over and rule the world”, for example), the idea simmered in my head for a while, not knowing how to manifest itself into action.
Then, a close friend of mine who is a complete Looney Toon (I think this has become the criteria for becoming a close friend of mine) one day, completely out of the blue, without any provocation of any kind, says to me, “Dude, let’s start a blogging club!”
I sputtered and choked for a while (ok, not really), and I said to him, “Well, wow! I’ve been thinking of the same thing, kinda…been thinking about making a Writers’ Club”. And so, we started. Or rather, he started. I, being I, kept saying, “Hold it, take it easy, let’s think things over…let’s plan it out.” And he, being he, said, “Shut up, idiot, and let’s get it done. What name can you think of?”
And that’s how Writers Inkorporated (WINK) came to be—a name derived from an idea another close friend (who is definitely a Looney Toon, if ever there was one!) once had for his website. The first step was to get some credible people involved, because well…you know…we’re both cartoons. We needed people to take us seriously. So we went and spoke to a couple of professors.
They were really supportive. The first one said he’s been waiting for students to start such “hobby clubs” in XLRI for a long time. Both the profs promised to support us with publicity and contributions and for judging contests and the like. With their blessings, we sent a spreadsheet to gauge interest in the batch. Out of 120 students, more than 50 applied. We called a meeting to give a short presentation. A grand total of 20 (:P) students attended that one, but more people contributed later through email. So we decided to just limit ourselves to mails.
After some time, we had an idea—let’s get people to send us their creative writing and compile it in an e-zine and send it to everyone. And then, we indulged in some wishful thinking (“Dude, if it’s really good, we can get it published! We have quite a few XLers as published authors…they can definitely help us out!”). And thus, the seeds for the WINK Anthology were sowed. It took about a month to get contributions. We didn’t really shortlist the best, choosing instead to publish everything we got. But we did decide not to publish more than 2 entries per author.
And then started the horror known simply as Term IV and Term V. What we had expected to be considerably “light” terms were anything but. And even in these terms, a couple more entries trickled in and some older entries got updated and replaced. Finally, Term VI came around. I wiped my white board clean, made a new to-do list, and wrote “WINK” all over it, leaving no space for anything else on the whole board. And then, we completed it, formatted and all, by December 15.
You can get yourself a copy from Scribd, or just download it from my site..
Gratitude and Congratulations to Varun (Mangoman), Prof Madhukar Shukla and Prof Uday Damodaran. And also, of course, to every single person who contributed with his/her writing or in any other way to support WINK. Cheers. Here’s to a successful Vol 2!