Sepia is the colour of nostalgia. Anand Antarkar, in his book Sepia, reminisces his relationship and bonding with ten eminent personalities in the world of Marathi literature. Perhaps the only exception among them is C Ramachandra who, as we know, was a renowned music composer. 


Anand Antarkar began with two distinct handicaps. First, he was the son of Anant Antarkar who was the editor of ‘Hans’ magazine. So, it meant he was second in command but his father made it known that he will be treated, at the office, like any other employee. There was no special place or privilege for Anand as the owner’s son. Second, it usually takes some time for people who have struck relationship with one’s father to strike a professional and personal relationship as equals with the son. Anand has managed this well after his father’s demise.

Sepia builds pen-sketches of authors by covering their responses to various situations. Shantabai Shelke wrote lines of her poetry while correcting examination papers of students tells us about her deep passion for poetry. Creativity spurts, as they say, and it does not wait for the artist to meditate on a subject. Arvind Gokhale’s mature and forgiving response to a not-so-happy communication from Anand is another example.

How people deal with various situations in their life, how they pursue their calling with zeal provide valuable lessons for me, and I guess, for any reader. We strive to give meaning to our life; this is a lifelong quest. Our distinctiveness is found in discovering our own purpose. When we read about lives of people who have been at their creative best, I guess we find clues to take our bearings. That is the belief of readers. Looking at the lives of ten eminent personalities in Marathi literature from Anand Antarkar’s eyes only bears testimony.  

PS: We have interesting association with the word Sepia. It invariably reminds us of the old photographs which become sepia coloured with passage of time. It is a different matter that ‘although the sepia tone is strongly associated with olden times for us, these pictures did not actually get that brownish tint due to the passage of time, as many people incorrectly believe. These pictures were originally developed in that Sepia tone to increase their longevity.’

Sepia: Anand Antarkar, Hans Prakashan 2017 Rs. 250

Vivek S Patwardhan

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”