Who Owns It?

“Hey… That is your name!”

“Yes it is…” she said while turning to a particular page on the magazine. It breathed her work, her mind, her thoughts and her beliefs. But for this time, for the first time it was not going to be known as her work. She hated it deep inside, and yet stayed helpless; but not now. Not now when she knows it’s printed and it has her identity inscribed. Inscribed so deep enough that everyone could see, and yet no one could see it. Inscribed in a way that it was there, and it was still not there. She knows her work and she knows it well. She knows that everyone can claim what she has, and yet no one can take what she has.  She has lost but she is victorious. In a way that not all know! In a way that no one will ever fathom…

****************

“Sir, now since Tejas has left, we need to get the Editorial written for the upcoming issue”

“Hmmm… What do you suggest?” he said, looking at her for an answer.

“Well, it’s your name that would go henceforth. So if you…”

“Hmm… yes” he interrupted, “I will write it” “Ok sir.” She turned to leave his cabin

“You write it for me” she turned, “Me sir? For you? As in?”

“As in be my ghost!” he smiled…

She knew what he meant. She knew she couldn’t say anything further. That smile closed the loop. It was her baby. She doesn’t abandon it. She won’t let anyone play with it. It was her pride. It was her love. She knew what she had to do, “Right Sir. I will do it. Thank you.”

She left the room and came storming back to her cubicle. Was she happy? Yes she was. She would write the Editorial; yet another dream coming true. Was she sad? Yes she was. She wouldn’t own it. It won’t be hers; or rather, would not be called hers. She was a ghost; a ghost writer.

But she was optimist, if that’s what one would call. She knew what had to be done. She would write. She will never say no to writing. It was her passion, it was her life. She loved it whatever it was, however it was, as long as she got an opportunity to pour herself and her thoughts in words, she won’t miss it. Writing defined her and her writing meant the world to her.

Headphones on laptop with eyeglasses

She plugged in to her favourite song… Repeat mode on… Volume loud enough to shut other voices and especially of that one manager in the other row who kept shouting unnecessarily on phone…

Taskbar…Word document…Open new… wrote the standard title…Ctrl+S… named the file. She was too precise to be called perfect. Every detail in the name of the file, answered every question without even opening the file.

And the story began…

She kept tapping the keys. 5 min… 10 min… 15 min… She paused and looked at the time… It was now a 150 words write up, it had to become a 350 word write up. Nothing more than 1 hour is her target for completion. She had to pour all that she felt, and the theme of that issue in 350 words. It was the first write up of the magazine. It was something that would decide the fate of the magazine in hands of a reader. It would decide whether the reader would go to the next page or close the magazine. It also had to accomplish a motive; a motive to become a special issue for her. Something she ain’t ever forgetting. Something that will bring a different smile on her face!

More 15 min… another 15 min… She places the last full stop. It’s done. Review time. Let’s scribble… She goes through the document… deleting words, adding sentences, reading… backspace… select… cut and paste… The second round of review… It’s better… She looks at the document and smiles.

Pawns well placed; soon it will be checkmate! She mails the document to her boss and takes a print, places it in a file so he can edit/approve it. She smiles looking at the document. “Edit ha ha ha.. When have you edited anything Mr. Editor?” she said to herself while moving towards his cabin and waited there for him to signal her to come inside. He finally nodded…

“Yes” as she entered, he juggled pushing off his laptop with one hand, while finding a pen with another. She neatly walked in and kept the file open in front of him.

“Sir, here’s the Editorial, I have mailed you a copy, just in case if you wish to edit it on your laptop.” He looked at her while she spoke. “Ya enough of staring, look at the file!” she thought. He looked at the write up, and then back at her. She was waiting for him to speak. “You finished it?” he said finally. “Yes sir” she said in a surprised tone. It was not something new to her; and he knew that she can finish a write-up in no time. Then why was this question even being asked? “Shall I leave the file here?” she waited for him to answer that question. She hated to ask that question. She knew if he asked her to leave it there, she will have to come at least twice in next 7 hours or may be even tomorrow again, to do a follow up on the file and ask him to give inputs and/or approve it. She hated to come there in the first half and then after lunch and then again late evenings to remind him to approve a file. A file which she knew he never reads. A file like those many other files, which were intentionally left unattended, only to make everyone feel that he is a busy man!

He was looking at the document; it seemed as if he was reading it. “I know you aren’t reading it! Just sign it and give!” she said to herself. She waited for him to finish his ‘reading’. “It’s good” he said while placing his initials at the bottom of the page.  “Thank you Sir. I will forward it to the designer.” She closed the file and turned to leave; and he called from behind, “What else is pending for this issue?” She turned, “Nothing sir.” “Yet another unnecessary question” she thought to herself. He was updated at the end of the day about the entire magazine’s progress, and yet he asked her this question.

“I will get the internal dummy for your approval by tomorrow first half.”

“Good”

“Thank you sir” she left his cabin and went to share the document with the designers.

She came back storming to a cubicle, “Anita, I am mailing you the editorial, place it in the template and send me the PDF. Meanwhile, I will print the remainder of the dummy” she had a good team mate. They both knew how to finish their work on time.

She smoothly got the dummy ready proofread and submitted to her boss the next day. Approvals done… Modifications and changes incorporated. The issue for the month is ready to be published. Now the wait begins.

She had a smile… always… something that was making her happy… something that no one knew. What was it? Anita asked her, “Did he actually write the editorial so soon?”

“You think so he did?” “Nah…”Anita paused. “You wrote it, didn’t you?” she just smiled. “But how could he do this to you? After all, he could have allowed mentioning your name. He is such a…” “No worries, I have my name in it”

“Ya… But that’s not what I’m talking about. Your name is in the editorial board, but you just wrote the editorial. It’s your first editorial. Ain’t you upset? Angry?” Anita sounded a lot furious at the fact then she was… She calmly answered… “No I’m not! I have my name in it. In fact, before his” “Before his? Where?” she smiled at Anita and started working on her tasks in hand.

3 days passed… It was the day when the published magazine would arrive at her desk. Anita was still upset with the entire ghost writer concept. The magazine arrived. She gave the magazine to all her team mates at their table. “Anita, here’s your copy.” “Hmm” “What happen?” “Nothing.” Anita said.  “I can’t believe you are so happy, with that editorial. It is yours, and it has his name.” Anita plainly looked at her. She was calm and still smiling. Finally she answered her, “Dear, chill! I have my name in it. In the editorial itself, and it is write in front of you and very much before his name.”

“Yes I know” said Anita “In the editorial column. Not here!”

“It is dear, you just need to see.”

See what to see? Anita looked at the page on which the editorial was printed. Anita kept searching for something… But no clue. At last she saw it! Anita found the name. Exactly the way she had said. Right in front of her eyes, before his name. Every first alphabet of the paragraph came together to form her name. She owned it! She owned it all! No one could erase it now. It was hers forever…

“Hey… That is your name!”

She turned at Anita and smiled… “Yes it is…”

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