“My book journey must have begun long ago.” I told Lulu, my parrot, who had flown in my room and settled on the sofa. “I can’t say when and where it began, “tracing one’s book journey is as difficult as finding out the origin of a river”.
“That’s so true. Looks like it is akin to finding the origin of a river, like the White Nile. They are still at it for centuries. I like the way you glorify the simple act of writing and calling it a book journey; you have a bright future!” Lulu’s smirk was unmistakable.
“Oh, must you make fun of me always? The question is important – when does a book journey begin? That’s a deep question, Lulu.”
“Everything begins in mind. All journeys including a book journey.”
“And it was so unconscious beginning. I started writing because I had to – I edited my company’s magazine for several years. But the thought of editing a book crossed my mind in 1999 when the magazine completed twenty-fiver years.”
“You wrote the book or edited it?”
“Edited it. Vijay Tendulkar, the well-known playwright and author wrote the foreword for my book – ‘Kunchale un Kalam’ meaning paintbrush and pen.”
“That’s interesting. What did the experience teach you?” Lulu hopped closer to me.
“I worked with Sharad Chavan and Suneel Karnik. Unfortunately, Sharad Chavan is no more. Both were my mentors, I would say. I learnt a lot from the way they differentiated a good article from the one otherwise. We discussed many articles before picking up a few for inclusion in the book.”
“And anything more?”
“My work with them inspired me to write a book. I felt that I should write a book and how wonderful it would be to see a book which carries my name as the author.”
“Did you write a book?”
“Nah! But I translated an English book in Marathi. I had also attempted translation of a noble laureate’s speech, and spent several hours brooding over the appropriate words in Marathi. Finally, I translated a small but an interesting English book in Marathi.”
“You could not write an original book so you translated one, have I understood what you say?”
“Absolutely, Lulu, as always!”
“I circulated the translated version privately; it was not for sale. And the coincidence was that it was published on the 99th birthday of my father, or a year short of his centenary year.”
“What did that experience teach you?”
“Hmmm …. Books are like wine. You enjoy when you sip it, not when you gulp it. I read the books slowly ever since, I absorb the meaning much better.”
“A good book ‘stays’ on our mind, right? In some way which we often can’t fathom, books influence us, help us grow.”
“You said it, Lulu. Just as reading influences us so does writing. Just as reading gives us insights, writing does too. Sometimes the pen sources thoughts from our unconscious! When it does, it becomes such a discovery, and a pleasant experience!”
“And then you published our dialogues ….”
“Yes ‘The Lulu Duologues’ was my next book. A friend helped me with editing and I discovered that my mother’s 100th birthday was only a few weeks away. I completed all work, and published it on her 100th birthday.”
“Oh, you are getting emotional.”
“You are right, Lulu. In a sense, I paid homage to my parents.” I wiped my tears.
“Interesting coincidence. You published a translated book on the 99th birthday of your father and another on the 100th birthday of your mother. Was it deliberate or was it ordained? What do you think?
“I did not plan those events. I guess HE arranges it. HE is the real publisher!”
“The publication event on May 20 was a big event. You were choking as you made your short speech introducing your latest Marathi book ‘Shramikanchya Anokhya Jagat’.”
“It was the biggest event in my book journey. Granthali, my publishers organized it well. Satish Pradhan and Dr. Suchita Krishnaprasad spoke well. And now we have planned another event in Pune.”
“Looks like you have become a big author!”
“Oh, shut up, Lulu”
“My question again – What did that experience teach you?”
“Hmmm …. I feel that the book ‘Shramikanchya Anokhya Jagat’ is the culmination of all my work and a homage to my Gurus. I feel humbled”
“Those are the right bytes – I feel humbled”
“I mean every word of it, Lulu. My feelings can’t be described in words. They are poor communicators of feelings. It is painful being unable to articulate. Try to understand me.”
“Kahlil Gibran said ‘Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.’ Reflect on your thoughts and feelings about the book journey; there will be lessons for you.”
Vivek S Patwardhan
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” / Read more Lulu blogs in my book ‘The Lulu Duologues’