Stumbling up on a piece of memory

I was cleaning up my shelf today morning and I stumbled up on a piece of memory from my graduation days. This is a book titled 'Aadyaksharangal' meaning 'The first letters', a compilation of 10 poems in Malayalam by one of my class mates, Manu and three short stories in English by me-self. The book was published by another one of our college mates. It wasn't a huge success as we expected it to be. The 100 copies (you can see how much of a modest and experimental attempt this was) that were printed were hardly sold out. I remember a couple of my friends walking around the campus trying to sell it like it were some fancy products. No marketing techniques worked. The books lay stacked in our shelves for days. The problem was it's pricing. It came out with a price tag of Rs. 20.00. Now, I was always against this. Though I never studied economics or marketing, I'm a keen observer of the market movements and was quite (I still am) convinced that the books would have sold like hot cakes if it was priced at Rs. 19.00 or even say, Rs. 18.50. I'd agree that the margin of profit would have been affected but it was still negligible. Besides, we didn't come out with this for any monetary benefits, did we? At the least, I never considered it to be so. I did argue with the other two about this but they never listened. And I don't think my argument can ever be proved, now. But, friends, tell me - didn't I have a point there?

Anyways... That's not what I wanted to tell you all about. One of my friends (my best friend) wrote the preface for my short stories and reading it now... Ah! Can't tell you how I feel about it. I'm going to put down that piece of writing in exact words as he wrote it -

Dear friends,

It gives us the greatest pleasure to introduce the writing of our fellow student, Sambhu Sankar, not only as personal friends but as those who have watched and enjoyed his development as an artist. From constrained fluttering at the beginning to full fledged careful stories with his own distinctive style, it has been as much single pointed determination and hard work on his part as inspiration.

What we find most appealing in his stories is a native tang, a distinctive Indianess that  expresses urban life as we college students know it. What makes his writing so enjoyable and believable is how it deals with the emotions and feelings of ordinary people and situations such as any of us may encounter in our lives.

We do not claim that the stories are perfect. Far from it, however, we hope that the reader would receive this collection as the creative attempts of a budding writer than the accomplishments of a seasoned professional and take these stories to heart in the same way that we have done.

Govind Krishnan V

Look at the way he introduced me. It couldn't have been better. Reading it, I felt that the preface was many times better and well written than my stories. Needless to say, Govind is a prolific writer himself. Poetry is his forte and believe me, I've not seen someone of his age writing on subjects as deep and with an insight of things as he does. Currently, he works as a journalist with a leading news daily in my country (A job that he took up after many considerations and re-considerations). I've been lucky enough to have befriended him, though we are not much of in touch these days. Our lives seems to have taken different routes and I don't think I can make any complaints about that. I mean, that's what life is all about, right?

And for those who're interested, you can read one of the stories (Sneak-peek is a funny business!) that I had in that book by clicking here. Also I've got another story (The Encounter) that I completed yesterday in there. Click here to get to that story page. Do leave your critical comments. Your responses would go a long way in making me an established story teller that I aspire to be.


Thanks for the info. I'm going to read it.
If you wish there are some quotes on today's post that you might like.
Anonymous said…
Ekan: wow...this is trulyy awesome....I want to read the book!

peace my friend
I noticed that you were a follower of my blog, and I've not had time to have a proper chat with you, but I'm very pleased to meet you, and your posts are very interesting. I'm going to be a regular follower of all your posts now!
Keep on writing!
Extremity said…
memories taking a dust covered book off the shelf and tapping it and reclining to read it..whats d smell of nostalgia?
Unknown Mami said…
What a beautiful introduction! It must bring back some fond memories.
Dean Grey said…
E! (I don't want to misspell your name, so you're now "E" for short!)

How neat that you and your schoolmates were able to self-publish something together. It really doesn't matter on the quantity sold just the fact that you actually did it.

I love the graphic birds on the cover (are those cranes?).

Very cool!

Thanks for sharing!


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