On my birthday, on 23rd August, via facebook, my author page, and instagram posts, I illustrated my gratitude for the blessings in my life, from acclaimed people of this world, also my parents and god. It’s copied below.
But let me share with you now, the profound truth about these varied support and blessings, lest you think that I’m attributing everything I’ve received – to blessings and divine support only.
Perseverance is the key to receiving the blessings of god that you attribute to destiny or good luck.
Each time I handed over a copy of my book to every one these people, they interviewed me long – close to an hour or more, before agreeing to read it. They had enough books they might read. In the meetings they did not ask me about the book, but details about my past two decades of work experiences including my inspirations, motivation behind my writing and the book.
It was only after reading the book that they called me back for another visit at least, to quiz me on various aspects of the book before they lent their support. As each of the concerned people were lending me their lifetimes reputation. I did not have the canopy of big branded publications to support myself but all that I now stand for in person from my life’s experiences.
I have even been personally interviewed by several resident/city editors on my work experiences, before they agreed to give me publicity/coverage for my book and kindly so in their main pages, even page 3 if difficult to squeeze into others.
The most memorable one of these meetings was an hour’s interview with the ex resident editor of Kolkata TOI in his office, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago, who told me, “I won’t have the time to read your book before the launch event. But I will have it covered for sure, just SMS me at 1 pm on the day…I’ll send a reporter over.”
They then covered my launch in their news page…as the topic fit in well. But now can I attribute it only to my good luck and blessings!
Lt. Gen. Raghavan insisted on meeting me at the Gymkhana Club, Chennai – inspite of Mr Muthaiah’s strong reference and Barun Chanda met me twice at his residence, inspite of Victor Banerjee’s powerful recommendation.
Now also let me share why I did not give up after my exasperating experiences with numerous publishers with regards to my books. The books were read in part or full, and after several communications between us, rejected by editors who were around 25-30 years or younger. So either they looked at the viability of my book only from the bandwidth of their youthful perspectives or didn’t have the ability to convince their marketing departments. I did not meet anyone personally to be able to convince them.
With each book except the poetry, I sent my manuscripts to the top executives in all the top listed publishing houses, but as is their protocol, they sent it to those at the base of the chain to decide the fate of a debut writer. 🤔
The responses and messages I received from people at the top were always extremely polite but the ones who had the onus to decide – as in the young brigade, were often rather brash and humiliating, depicting ignorance.
But I learned so much from these experiences about the strength or target audiences of my books! And honestly why would I want to convince non thinking, immature readers about years of my thoughts invested in my writing.
So well, blessings and gratitude are a very important part of where you’re in life. But what’s key is hard work, with barrels of self conviction and an unbreakable belief in yourself more than in god and luck!
😌😎 You can change the ‘man’ in the quote below to woman…this is with reference to my last posts on my books:
“Simple people write simple things. The thing is, I am not a simple man. I have an interesting mind, a very analytical mind. And what I say tends to be interesting. And also very true. That’s all that I can do about it. I can’t lie. I can’t serve a cause. A cause always corrupts.”
— V.S Naipaul
Counting my blessings, in adding to my previous video post: It’s still my birthday week, so reminiscing the immense blessings of god and my father, that resulted in the support, motivation and strength I received from so many veterans in my journey as an author.
I mean, the love and immense support from all these acclaimed people here in the photos, also the media, for a debut author who faced years of resistance, and still does from commercial publishers. All this was not possible if not for the powerful blessings of god and my father…he’s got to be around! 😌
There was Mr SB Saikia my publisher who took on the book at absolutely no cost to me even for events; ex 1971 Bangladesh liberation war veteran Brig BK Ponwar who’s presenting in the previous video post; then reputed actor Victor Banerjee who introduced me to another veteran Barun Chanda; Ashim Dasgupta the ex WB finance Minister; also Nemai Ghosh who was Satyajit Ray’s official photographer and said he loved my book.
Then in Chennai, Mr S Muthaiah who is like the father of Chennai with all his books/columns/writings on the city, introduced me to Lt Gen. Raghavan; also the ex chief secretary of Tripura – Mr Raghavan.
And of course veteran journalist Sushila Ravindranath who has been a pillar of support and strength, not only for this book but each one, as I first showed her the manuscript of every book.
Just to clarify, I have never paid anyone to support my books…in case you’re cynical! Though my Delhi and Chennai release events were sponsored.
The last set of photos is a traditional Bengali birthday celebration that my mother always performed every year till a few years back. She’s 80 now and not well, so this year I treated her to payesh/kheer instead. And though not allowed to, she had a lot of cake too! 🥰
Since my earliest childhood memories, then since class 1, my parents always brought the cake and candles with chocolates to my boarding school, to celebrate with my friends in the refectory at the high tea birthday party. But the traditional way of doing things with payesh/rice kheer, and blessings with pradip, chandan, dhaan & dubbo, all on silverware was always and primarily carried out as in the photos of few years ago, however else we wanted to celebrate. Ma would always shower and put on a typical Gorod sari commonly used for puja and there was no getting around to not doing things her way! 😄
Now you must understand and believe that all of Bengali culture that I depicted vividly in my novel Across Borders was instilled by my parents, even though my second language in school was Hindi and so I did not read as much Bengali literature as I ought to have.
Sharing a reading from my novel Across Borders, that stands tall on women’s empowerment, along with veteran actor Barun Chanda… for the occasion of Woman’s Equality Day, 26th August…details of this day are in the link: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/womens-equality-day-2020-history-significance-quotes-know-why-it-is-celebrated-2285358?amp=1&akamai-rum=off
To watch the first part of this reading click the 4th video link here and rest of the event is in the previous links…
The Calcutta Launch of Across Borders – on Youtube:
The Face Book Page photo Link: