it was the year 2020

a real-time fragmentary novel* penned down by Purva Grover 

 

it captures the moments of the pandemic as stories, vignettes, poems, anecdotes... as we stay apart, yet together

set in the present, the chapters are released here, as written & edited** 

 

the complete novel can be read on this portal for free, without having to pay at any point

with no set beginning and end in sight, just as the pandemic, the novel can be read from any page, paragraph, or chapter

the project is a work-in-progress

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  • readers: see the pop-up alert? subscribe to receive the chapters in your inbox in real-time, here

  • artists/designers/more: want to create a visual for the chapter/s, send the artwork (JPEG/PNG) to the author at grover.purva@gmail.com; get featured here!

  • publisher/s: woohoo, would you like to help take these words to a larger audience? drop a line to the author at grover.purva@gmail.com

  • readers, who can't get enough of the author's writings: pick a copy of the author's debut novel, The Trees Told Me So

  • generous ones: woohoo, would you like to fund the project and assist the author in self=publishing the book? drop a line to the author at grover.purva@gmail.com

  • media: send in your requests for concept notes, excerpts, images, and more at grover.purva@gmail.com

  • social beings: say hello to the author 

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behind the scenes

"I gathered my emotions during the period of lockdown; the scenes outside the window, the feelings hiding deep within, the faith that we're holding on to, the days that were turning soon into nights and a lot more...read the 

author statement here

  • A part of the novel was written during November 2020, as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge, which the author has successfully completed three years in succession in 2014, 2015, 2016; and also in 2018 and 2019.

  • **A few parts of the novel have been published in newspapers, anthologies, magazines, and more, across the globe. 

  • 70,000 words and counting.

  • The starting date of the novel: a morning in April 2020.

start reading 

author statement 

We all react, differently. To love, and to fear too. We do the best we can, sometimes we end up making situations worse, at times, we calm many minds too. We're all reacting differently, at this moment as well. Look around, there’s a lot of talking, panicking, and wailing. There's spreading of fake news, selling of fake products. There is the forwarding of memes and blog posts links. There's the WhatsApp, refusing to stay mute. There are too many questions. There are a few answers. There's misinformation and there is information seeking to be heard. People are creating a shortage when there isn't one. A few industries are functioning 24 X 7 to keep us safe, to prevent economies from crashing. We're all ducking to save ourselves from a scathing attack. The hearts are beating; questioning- panicking-calming-wondering. The hearts are also learning how to fight, how to slow down, how to be careful. These aren't easy times for many of us. Whilst there are smiles and triumphs, there are sighs and tears as well. We are likely to witness pain, disappointment, struggle and failure closely: in the eyes of an acquaintance, in the hugs of a loved one. In the calls for help on social media, in the announcements made by authorities. People close to us will burn out. How will we heal? By looking after oneself, foremost, and then each other. We can heal together. Let's attempt to fill up the air with a little faith, a lot of precautions, and the right kind of educated optimism. Babies are being born, and new mums are getting discharged after having being declared healthy. For there is a little girl, who is waiting for a tooth fairy, and a little boy who has just learnt how to walk. For there are dew drops on flowers, for the stars are shining. For, there's still a lot of love, hope, and faith left in this world. For, men and women are still working to keep the machinery if lives running. For whilst this may seem like a dreary end, maybe it is a chance to hit re-start. To lose something, to gain something. For this crisis is not going to leave us as rapidly and maybe we will have to watch it take over our life, our existence. It’s like a bee buzzing, with its rapidly moving wings bringing us down, each moment. Covering up the ears doesn’t help, one can still hear and feel the vibration, sometimes physically, many times, emotionally. One can’t run away from it. We have to wait for it to pass. Waking up every single day, with news of lockdowns is tough. Telling ourselves that tomorrow will be better, takes courage. How does one go about? By accepting it as a part of us, for now, for this moment. By learning how to live with an ache, which has both the power to make us weak and strong. No, it won’t get easy. Don’t fool yourself. You have to face it until it decides it’s done with you and leaves. Step up. Be humane, and act with responsibility. Most importantly, refrain from overflooding one another with 'information' that may benefit less, but add to the situation. When all this is over we'll together, globally, tell our story of how we all overcame what we are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide. Until then, prioritise on staying safe and keeping others safe. Yes, just that. Let's create a safer world, shall we?

© 2018 by PURVA GROVER