Dear readers and writers,
It’s not easy to say goodbye, thank you and sorry within a single message. Yet, here it is.
As I step out of my role as editor of Kitaab, what is foremost on my mind is gratitude:
Gratitude for the readers who have continued to support the magazine…
Gratitude for the small group of writer friends who stepped up every time I approached them with books for reviews…
Gratitude for those who shared their work – fiction, reviews, poetry, essays – filling the inbox and our pages…
‘… to write is human, to edit is divine.’ Thus quipped Stephen King in his third foreword to On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. That puts the editor in quite some category, bestowing divinity, which, however tempting and triumphal, is not devoid of ego, putting the editor at an inaccessible distance. The writer-editor relationship is a continuum, a constructive collaboration. For those who share their work with their editors, it is a slice of their own life out there, put under the magnifying glass. The editor’s ego seems quite immaterial in the context. She might as well read, share feedback, edit and get on with the work. As a writer and editor, I have learnt this – humility and accessibility are prerequisites of the work.
The writer-editor relationship is also not devoid of angst and, often, argument. The writer dares to write; the editor dares to interfere with the writing. For those whose work we published, I hope the editorial intervention did justice to your writing and brought a smile to your day.
I have tried to respond to each one of you who shared your stories, reviews, poems and essays. My apologies to all those whom I must have failed by not responding or by not giving enough attention to the stories you took such pains to write. Please know that it wasn’t because your story did not merit attention or because of lack of interest on my part. Time was often a challenge, never enough. Though it is the worst excuse to give, it is, nonetheless, true.
Since the world of words is as elliptical as the earth we are trying to destroy, let me sign off by saying, till we meet again.
3rd April, 2019