Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The story so far...

Let us start at the beginning with this one.

There is this book I have written called Mumbai On The Footboard. Hence the weird url to this blog.

What's this book about?

It is a fiction book about Mumbai, with her myriad people, their lives and the overarching feeling of belonging to this greater whole, this lovely city.

How's this book different from the many books out there which talk about the city and her people?
Well, for starters, it chronicles events of a very specific time period. It starts just before the 26/11 attacks on the city and goes on to a little after the big elections held in May. So, it is a chronologically specific book which talks about one of the most eventful periods in the city's history where there were terrorist attacks, changed governments, creation of martyrs and villains, pressure from the entire country to hang a twenty year old dude who strayed his path and was labeled a terrorist, the opportunism of the media and its insensitivity in handling the terror episode, the Oscar wins and the controversy thereafter, the dance of democracy called elections, the rise of a leader fighting against external invasion of the city and for restoring her Marathi identity with attacks on Bhaiyyas, a battle between the prudes and the liberals over a single day called Valentine's and what not! This book chronicles it through the eyes of the many people who actually live what people of other cities of the country can only watch on TV channels.

So, how is this a fiction book?
It is a fiction book because, while the things that are portrayed have been 'inspired by real life incidents,' the way that they have been tied up together and narrated has been the imagination of the young author.

Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?

What else can you tell us about the book?
It is a self-published book. There is a reason why I did not go to a big publisher; because they gave me a time period of 1-2 years to publish the book. With the time specificity of the stories, I thought it would be more prudent to publish the book by myself, in a lesser amount of time.

How long did you take to publish the book?
The writing part was the easiest and the shortest. It took about 2 months. After that, finding distributors to get the book to reach the point of sale, getting a barcode for the book, setting the content in a book format, etc took about 4 months. Then, there was the marketing of the book, talking to bloggers, creating this blog, contacting newspapers, taking blessings of people that took time. In all, it took a little over 5 months to get the book out.

How did you find time for all this?
I work full-time as a copywriter with Lowe-Lintas India. As a copywriter, one imagines and writes for a living. Having done this for an entire day, I did not hav energy to write a book after work, although I had a few ideas in mind. So, I took a 6-month break from work, starting Feb 1, 2009 and lasting till July 31, 2009.

How did you fund the publication of the book?
Well, I had started work about 6 months before I started writing the book. It was my savings over those six months that funded the book.

Why did you write the book in the first place?

I have been living in this city since I was born. I read about it, I see about it in news. I experience it on a day-to-day basis. And I love the city from the bottom of my heart. I truly believe that there is something about the city that draws one to it. It's dirty and full of poverty and traffic jams and corruption, but once you have been seduced by her, you seldom leave. And all of this is what I wanted to write about. What hastened the process was, on 26/11, I was to meet a few friends, opposite Oberoi hotel, at marine drive. Out of sheer laziness, I cancelled the plan and then all my friends, one-by-one, dropped out of it. While I was yet to reach home, I received news of what had happened. I had literally missed being killed. This realization that death had been so close to me and that it could reach me whenever it wanted, made me take a decision about my dream of writing on the city. I did not want to be part of a scenario where I did not write because I was procrastinating and one fine day, while I was going to work, a bomb exploded in my train and I died. I might sound a little weird out here, but the city was definitely shaken out of its reverie by the 26/11 attacks because of a similar realization.

Where can you find this book to read?
The book will be available in all major bookstores like Crosswords, Landmark, Odyssey, etc. Plus, it will be available at retail bookstores like Strand, Book Zone, etc. And guess what! It will be available at the pavement book shops throughout Mumbai! After all, a book about Mumbai should be available at the landmark institution of Mumbai, the pavement bookwallah, no?

When will the book be out to read?
Second week of July, 2009.

Once the book is out, what do you plan to do?
Get back to work. And till the book is out there for people to read, be really nervous whether people will like my work or not.

If I have something to say about the book or I see an opportunity of some sort for myself in this, where do I contact you?
Mail me on anish.vyavahare@gmail.com. Alternatively, you will find me on facebook. You can send me a message there. I would also appreciate a comment on this post.


  1. Hmmm... What all do I say... Well... Here goes.

    The cover is neat.

    I liked the way you've taken to this book project of yours... Inspiring!

    I would certainly like to purchase a copy.

    And for this post, its just what the doctor ordered. http://www.cockybox.com

  2. I would like to self publish my book..will u help me?

  3. Definitely Pushpa!
    In fact, I am already designing a publication workshop for people wanting to self publish as well as for those who are publishing through corporate publishing houses but would like to know about what exactly the process is.

    You can contact me on anish.vyavahare@gmail.com

  4. :) I'm attending your workshop.

    Ps: Loved the way you've written this blog post!

  5. Hey thanks girl!
    Been trying to post a reply to your blog for long now! Some prob with my blogger account :(

  6. ohh coll stuff buddy! i wud like to grab a copy of this!!! the way u have written and described ur stuff will make anyone grab a copy of ur book man!!! way to go!!! All the best!!!

  7. Hey Anish first of all congratulations and wish u all the very best for your book..I am positive that the book is definitely gonna catch lot of people's attention and I somehow have a notion that its gonna be a book that will make people think (the way u thought of writing a book)..U seem to be an amazing writer..I have also read your blog " Blind on Purpose" and i must say it was mind-baffling and alarming..Wish u all the success dude..I live in New York..Wish i could have purchased your book..But the next time I come to Mumbai,I will make sure that i read and get an opportunity to appreciate your sincere efforts

  8. Hey Somesh! Great to hear from from the other side of the globe!

    I do hope my book touches a chord in the minds and hearts of people. Apart from that, it is small encouragements like yours that I am receiving from you guys that is making all the difference :)

    Do join the facebook page of the book. Just search for Mumbai On The Footboard and jump in!


  9. Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?