Sunday, January 17, 2010

The story behind Gaylaxy

Finally. I got some time!! The dud year 2009 ended on such a high note. I never expected the year to end in such a fashion, especially since the year has been a bit harsh on me. After a series of mishaps I had on the day of the interview, I knew what the result would be. After all, nothing good could be expected to happen in 2009, not at the last stage. Moreover, given the way life has been for me, I always go thorugh Oh! I got! I lost it and after a series of such Ohs! only do I get something. But seems lady luck finally shone...and I found my name on the list of selected candidates (or should I rather say my friends found out...I was fast asleep at that moment.)

Didn't feel much at that time. It took a day for the feeling to sink in that I have got placed, and the realization dawned only after all the calls started coming in. But I probably and thankfully didnt go through much of the placement jitters because I was already busy with my magazine by then. BTW, it has an interesting story. I had been trying to search over the net to apply to some LGBT that I could contribute too. But Bombay Dost had just taken out an issue after almost 7 years, and there wasnt any word about the next one...and Pink Pages wasnt regular either. Moreover, it was possibly based in Bangalore. The only monthly magazine was The Queer Chronicle which started out form September. But it was only a Pune- centric one. They had hosted it on a free site.

Suddenly during the semester exams, just before the Optical Networks paper, a thought struck my mind. I know Corel Draw (some of it atleast)...I can write articles..then why not start my own Magazine. I just did a google search once again to see whether any such magazine is published in India. Damn it! I always get ideas when I am supposed to be working on something else. Convinced that it there are no such publications, I decided as soon as the exams end, I would begin my work. Told my roomie about it, but dont know whether he thought it as another of my "rebellious idea" or took me seriously then. But once the exams ended, I started working on it. Told a few of my net friends, but I experienced that unless I bring out 1 issue, it would be hard for others to understand.

Now, the first jitters were experienced by me when I began writng the first article which ws to be the cover story. Took me a whole day to figure out how to go about it and just start the article. Once I had written two articles, I needed some kind of affirmation that they weren't crap from someoneI could trust, some kind of support. Sid, DD werent here. So, I asked Sukanya if she cud just go through them and check for any mistake...the way we did it in MD. I had set myself a deadline of 20th Dec, since after that I would have gone to my home, and work wouldnt go on at that pace.
So, asked Pawan to design the cover page, and the template for other pages. At home, my holidays were mainly spent trying to do the layout, since I never had such a fine knowledge or experience of designing a page. Had done that only once during the Srijan issue when we had no one left to design the last page...and came out with the worst designed page of that issue.
And here I was to do the layout of 18 pages! And the fact that Corel Draw keeps doing its own processing for minutes, just adds to the frustrtation of it all.

At times, I felt so tired, I felt like quitting. After all, what was I to gain from it apart from some personal satisfaction? But, somehow I held on. Completed the work once I came back to the college, and the issue was ready by 10th. My roomie clicked the mouse button to upload it. The stupid little inauguration as he puts it. Started promoting by sending private messages to everyone on PR, and over Orkut communities. Never quite thought that would be sharing it with people here at ISM apart from the few friends. AFter all, they hardly liked what we brought out for them...and this was for an entirely differnt readership, with entirely differnt issues and perspective. So, once I uploaded it, MD memebers were the only one's I shared the link with. But probably networking did its trick, and to my astonishing surprise, it spread to many more then I even know, and yes, they appreciated it!

As for the appreciation from the gay community, I knew there would be, but never expected that it would be at such a level. Of course, I did my bit to promote it through the various pm's and replying back personally to those who sent any feedback. But never quite exected that within a few days, I would receive mails from as far as Mumbai, Gemrany and even USA! Mr. Sridhar from Mumbai is director of movies Gulaabi Aina and Yours emotionally, a leading gay activist too. Some one even offered to help financially, while others have come ahead to design and write for Gaylaxy. SOme ask me which NGO or organization I am with?

What scares me now is that what would happen when people come to know that I am just an inexperienced guy in his early twenties! The only thing that flashes to my mind is the scene from Deathnote, when Kira finally revealed himself, and people found it hard to digest. Yes, its kinda funny when people so senior of you address you as sir in the mails, and kind of scary too. The only thing that worries me now is, how am I gonna manage now? I might be able to manage the sem when, thanx to the friends, but what do I do when I join Aricent? Would I be able to ride on two boats? I dont know... for now, I am just focussing on the feb issue. Hope things will work out by themselves.

Thank you everyone who helped and supported me. Thanx a lot! For others, the

(Oh God! I have again come up with such a big post!)

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