*** SPECIAL FEATURE - March'14 ***
Away from their unreasonable demands, Piali strives to find peace in the mountains. But within six months, her lover tracks her down. Once again, she betrays the one by trusting the other.
Will her labor in the name of love be in vain, or will love transcend all differences?
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The Prez Features in My Book!
I'll let the mails do the talking for this one.
Respected Dr. Kalam 14th June
Hoping this finds you in good health.
I, Anindita Sarkar, a teacher for nine years and a corporate trainer for the last six, am delighted to be writing to you. An M.A.(English), from Banaras Hindu University, I started my teaching career in 1997. From then to 2006, I taught English to high school students in various parts of the country, my last academic stint being St.George's College, Mussoorie.
That was the year when you graced the Sesqui Centenary celebration of our school with your presence. I was the editor-in-chief of the school year book then, and with the editorial board, we tried to capture what you truly embody. The excitement that your visit created; your address to the students; your answers to their questions; your photographs with the faculty and all my memories associated with it have frozen in time.
So potent was my meeting with you Dr. Kalam, that when I made a foray into writing, this visit of yours to the school became a backdrop of my book! My book, Love's Labor, an e-book published by Indireads, a Toronto-based publishing house, deals with the caste and communal differences that so plague our society. How the protagonists sometimes bow down, and, at others, rebel against the limiting influences of family and society; how the role of parents defines our choices as Indians; our deference to the collective consciousness rather than upholding individual wishes form the fabric of Love's Labor.
Please permit me to present to you a hard-copy of my e-book, Dr Kalam.
I am publishing under the pseudonym of Andy Paula, as Anindita had been made Andy by well-meaning friends since my school days!
While I wait to hear from you, I wish to share a personal detail. As I transitioned from a school teacher to a corporate trainer, I carried your leadership lessons in my soul. Prof. Satish Dhawan's move of shouldering the blame on himself during the failed launch of SLV-3 and conferring credit on the team on its success, is an example I always share in my leadership trainings. And for some reason, recounting this incident, invariably fills up my eyes.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience, Dr.Kalam. My husband, Prakash Chandra, a software engineer, and I, will be the two people present for the presentation. And we shall not take too much of your time.
PS: The teacher right behind you, peering intently at the action below, is yours truly. From 2003 to 2013, time has taken its toll.
There are some mails we send and forget; the others keep us awake. This one, definitely, belonged to the second category. There was no reply from the former Prez' office for ten days. TEN HARROWING DAYS! The Missile Man was travelling, he would be back only by the 3rd of the next month. 3rd of the NEXT MONTH, OMG! (Did I actually think he would invite me for high tea the same evening he got the mail?! Aah, the vanities of an author!)
A couple of phone calls later, the PS to the former Prez asked for the mail to be forwarded to his personal id. Duly done. Wait begun.
Good things come to those who wait, they say. They after all do, it seems!
Dear Ms Anindita Sarkar, 28th June
Ref your request to meet Dr Kalam to present a copy of your e-book to him. Dr Kalam will be happy to meet you on Wed, 03 July 2013 at 1950 hrs at his office No.10, Rajaji Marg, New Delhi.
Please confirm if you are coming for the meeting.
Please confirm? Please confirm?! I have been waiting for a fortnight for only this, Mr Secy. But then you wouldn't know the thrill, the apprehension, the excitement, the palpitations, the zoning out that happen on receiving a mail from someone like HIM, or from his office. Same difference :)
Let the pics do the rest of the talking.
Dr Kalam autographing Loves' Labor; his autograph; reading the novella on the iPad
The first thing I noticed about the former Prez was how frail he had become in ten years. He was as inspirational though, taking interest in the digital format, appreciating how we are saving trees by not paper-printing, fascinated about how global Indireads is with the authors, editors, publisher, marketing- all working out of different countries, complimenting entrepreneurs that they are the employment-generators and not employment-seekers and saying all the things a budding writer would take home with her.
Was I inspired to write more, write better? Of course! The moment I come down to Mother Earth, I will...and that's a promise :)
Andy Paula is a corporate trainer, an avid reader, a near-passionate blogger, and now, a writer. When she met her editor during the writing of Love's Labor, she realized how ruthless she may have appeared to all her enthusiastic trainees who nurtured creative dreams. "Never again," she thought, "am I going to correct another article." And she proceeded to make corrections in her own manuscript.
She confesses to never having made a kaleidoscope with broken bangles or taken apart a clock and put it back together, in her childhood. Two things that she did cherish were reading and falling in love. To the question, ‘What prompted you to write?’ Andy gives a tongue-in-cheek reply. "They say there's a book in each of us. Just wanted to check if they were right!"
When she is not making stories in her head, this Thinker does her pranayam and tries to meditate to keep a grip on her wandering mind.
10 Digital Copies of Love's Labor by Andy Paula
5 PDF copies of Love Across Borders, an anthology of twelve heart-warming narratives