The other day, when Vinod Kapila, my batch mate settled in San Diego sent his comments on reading my recently released novel, ‘Sun of a dark sky’, I was overwhelmed. Normally, your college batch mates chide you for anything good or bad done by you and you can hardly get a word of praise out of them. But what Vinod had written about the book pleased me to the core of my heart and I felt like picking up my pen to begin with my next project.
Though an author always writes a book first for his own pleasure and then for an audience, it definitely has a role in encouraging him and infusing a new strength in him. Kapila’s remarks took me back to 1988 when my first ever article was published by The Tribune and the Chairman of the organization I worked in had travelled all the way from Patiala to Ropar to pat me and issue a letter of commendation to me. That was something unprecedented and put me on to a never ending journey of writing books, articles, stories, poems and much more.
In 1995, when RN Gupta, a senior IAS and Chairman of our organization came to know that I had authored two advanced technical books, expressed his astonishment openly. ‘That’s something awesome. Reward that boy suitably,’ he had said. When the Finance Department informed that the rules existed for punishments only, he ordered to frame the rules. I was awarded well by the organization, sending my spirits soaring to new heights and do more of creative work.
In 2007, Engineers Association, a powerful body, invited me to their meeting. I went to attend the meeting and finding the hall full, silently took a seat in the last row. That day, office bearers of various committees of the body were to be appointed. President of the Association announced, ‘There is a man sitting in the last row who has done tremendous work in his field and written many books, articles and columns. I nominate him as Chairman of the Publication group of the Association. I was taken back by this sudden shower of petals of appreciation as the necks turned to have a look at me and applauded me with a thunderous clapping. It had kept echoing in my ears in the days that followed.
Bouquets and brickbats arrive regularly in the life of an Author. One letter that I have always kept on the top of the heap, had arrived in 2006. It was sent by an unknown person, highly placed in Mauritius and inspired me countless times. Introducing himself, the man had written:
“Greetings from Mauritius!
At the outset, I congratulate you for your celestial accomplishments.
For sure, Chandigarh (for that matter India too) would be a different setting if every professional/ engineer contributes to his/her profession like you. I was going through online edition of The Tribune and learnt about your website. My visit to your website was followed by a high order of respect blended with an urge to felicitate your good self and here I am keying in the characters through the keyboard of my laptop…….“
One can’t remain immune to the reactions of the audience, I find. Even Sachin couldn’t and sent Air tickets for the man who had always appeared among the crowd with his body painted and Sachin written across his chest.
Thank you, audience. Keep meshowered me with your responses and reactions, your bouquets and brickbats and let more power flow to my pen!