Mohan Rakesh, His Diary: Two Letters

On June 26, 2013 by admin


6th August, 1967

 Kamleshwar’s Letter

Priya Rakesh,

Just received both your letters. I do not think much can be done as far as monetary compensations go. All your payments were kept pending in ‘Sarika’ since we thought that once things get worked out everything will be settled—but things are still very uncertain. Even Rai sahab seems to be in a strange kind of predicament. He is simply unable to take any decision and every process therefore is getting stalled. This is causing a lot of heartburn all around. I am myself not feeling very secure in such a circumstance. I am trying one more time—have given a sort of press on, but pyare, as of now you have to accept the old rate. What can be done!

Chowdhry’s letter has arrived. He is well aware of the situation.  Let us wait and watch.

Got to hear from Anita about all your latest mischievous acts. I also came to know that in the September issue of Kalpana, Shri Upendranath Ashk had written a letter as one Surendra Chaturvedi. Now, since Ashk always is fair with his own writers and supports them with some token monetary compensation at least, I too have reciprocated and have sent him a money order for the princely sum of Rs. 5/-.

My health is still failing me, my friend. But all these medical moments just bore me these days. Have decided to be oblivious to these daily procedures. Let them take their own course.

How far is it true that Amritrai has  bought Nayi-Kahaniya? When is Manohar Shyam Joshi gobbling up “Saptahik Hindustan,’any idea?

I await your arrival. If possible tag Chowdhry and Om ji along. Maza rehega.

Do update. Nemiji’s advice is really not sound; that kind of an advice is much more applicable to poets—who, like you, are prone to irritability at right earnest. Right, pyare?




Rakesh Replies:


Ah yes, ‘prone to irritation at right earnest’ indeed. Like me. But what about some resolution after the rage subsides? You will not believe how annoyed I am these days with journals and magazines, publications and cultural centres and with these new fangled universities too.  For such a long time I had the impression that the writers’ royalty and other earthly concerns depend on these folks. Aisi ki taisi inki!  It is better to give up writing than to await their verdict.

Of course such predicaments and dilemmas are bound to remain. May be the Company guys feel insecure but the kind of company you keep pyare, I mean old fogeys like me, are too secure in their smugness and arrogance. Such friends are not at all ready to accept the fact that old rates will still be applicable for writing such exalted stuff! Of course, that hardly means that there will be any hiatus in writing for you or Bharti. But such writings will only be for you two—without any recompense—bina parishramik. But I won’t be cajoled into Company’s terms and verdicts. Nope. Not anymore.  Such decision must be mutual, not one sided and arbitrary.  If writers have not asserted themselves through the ages, that was their problem. We shall not allow this kind of nonsense anymore.  The cheque that I have returned is not coming back to my bank account. That is for sure.  You have done well to have stopped all payment. Let that stay pending for the next ten years. Bennett-Coleman & Co. will either pay Rs. 250/- for every bit of my writing as recompense, or nothing.  If things happen let it be stormy—dhuandhaar! Will you exert bonds of friendship and upset such an arrangement? If you do so, how can you say, ‘prone to irritability at right earnest like you.’

Love and all that,



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