DISCLAIMER: The Autobiography Of A Paedophile is a fictional story. Some of the incidents are inspired by real-life events. The core story and the characters are all fictional. I am giving this disclaimer at the beginning because ever since I shared the book's name and cover, most people have been asking me the following: "Is this your life's story?" and "What sort of name is this? Is this a cheap marketing strategy?" To them, I answered- "No, this isn't my life's story." And "This is a proper name, and this is not a cheap marketing strategy."
The year was 2021. The COVID-19-induced lockdown was almost over, and life was limping back to normalcy. After reading one of my short stories, The Gift, a friend asked me if I had written more short stories.
"Yes, I have. Why?" I asked him, and he said, "Share those with me. I want to read."
Then, a couple of days later, he called me and asked if I could write a few more—a total of 20 stories.
"Partha, would it be possible for you to pen down 20 stories? I enjoyed reading the ones you sent me. I know a publishing house. Let's bring out an anthology." These were the exact words my friend had told me.
After disconnecting the call, I also gave it a deep thought: should I bring out an anthology? However, the biggest question was, Who will read? To be exact, will anyone read it?
After overcoming my self-doubts, I finally decided to write. One, two, three... I completed three stories, and the time was now for the fourth one. As I struggled with the plot, a word randomly came to mind: paedophile!
So, for the next few days, I kept writing this story, and when I had written some 2300 words, I realised that this story needed more meat because it had several layers. I completed some chapters and sent them to a friend for feedback.
"Lovely," she said. "But where is the beginning? I mean, how are you going to begin it? How will you introduce your protagonist, and what will be the title of the book?" She asked immediately.
Yes, the story did not have a formal beginning when I started writing. And I had not thought of the title at all till then. All I was sure of was that the word "paedophile" would be there on the cover page.
The writing also continued, and my quest for a name went along with it. Then one day, while arranging my books, my eyes fell on a book that finally gave me the name Autobiography Of A Paedophile.
As I neared the end of Autobiography of a Paedophile, I began reworking the manuscript and changing the entire writing style.
The finalisation of the name brought clarity to mind and gave the story its direction. And after knowing the direction in which I needed to move, I completed the first draft, though the ending was delayed by three months.
And after some editing and re-editing, Autobiography Of A Paedophile is finally available on Amazon.
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.