It was a special evening for literature lovers in Gurgaon as Love on 3 Wheels, author Anurag Anand’s latest offering was formally released. The launch panel comprised eminent personalities like political activist Shazia Ilmi, actor Simple Kaul, sports expert Gautam Bhimani and the author himself. Moderating the event was Meenakshi Sharma of GliterARTi – a city based book club. Dhaba by Claridges, the event venue, seemed thematically adorned, borrowing hues and patterns from the book’s quirky and bright cover design.
As the assembled guests waited for the dignitaries to arrive, snippets of conversations revolving around the book could be heard doing the rounds. “It seemed like a regular chick-flick at first, but as I began to read it I realized how wrong I had been. It is a breezy read alright, but in the limited pages the author has explored human emotions and relationships with amazing alacrity,” one book enthusiast was heard commenting. “Yes, it is perhaps a go-between for those wishing to graduate to serious reading from entry level chick-flicks,” another replied. The wait was allayed by the steaming cups of Masala Chai and snacks that the friendly Dhaba staff were busy serving.
Gautam Bhimani, Simple Kaul and Anand arrived around the same time, followed on their heels by Shazia Ilmi. Vineet Kochhar and Chef Ravi from Dhaba by
Claridges welcomed the dignitaries, formally kick-starting the discussions.
As described by Anand, Love on 3 Wheels is a romantic thriller that plays out on the streets of Delhi over a three-day period. At the core of the story is an auto rickshaw driver who has unwittingly been struck by the cupid’s arrow. The story gathers pace when Sargam, an ambitious and pretty girl misplaces a parcel containing a large amount of cash. A medical practitioner, a conman, a simple village girl and other such exciting characters keep appearing and getting integrated with the storyline as it ebbs along. Packaged around basic human emotions and relationships, and garnished with unexpected twists and turns, ‘Love on 3 Wheels’ promises to be a gripping read.
“I started reading the book late at night and simply couldn’t put it down till I had read the last page. It is simply unputdownable. There were several instances where the story left me teary eyed,” said Simple Kaul, a Delhi girl herself. “For the past couple of years I had been preoccupied with technology and social media, allowing my reading to take a back seat. However, Love on 3 Wheels has rekindled my desire to read. The characters are beautifully etched out and they stay with you long after you have put the book down,” she added.
Shazia Ilmi began by complimenting Anurag on his choice of subject for the book. “We are surrounded by people who make our lives much easier by their simple contributions – the driver, the liftman, the security guard and the auto rickshaw driver. But often these remain faceless contributors, people we identify with only for their utility in our lives and not at a humane level. Anurag’s book is not only a testimony to the sensitivity and empathy he holds for this class of people, but it will also prompt his readers to look at them as living, breathing human beings.”
On being quizzed by Meenakshi Sharma, the moderator for the event, Shazia went on to share the details of her social initiative whereby she is working to set up a helpline for children who have been victims of social abuse. The numbers she shared to establish the prevalence of this evil in today’s society were truly baffling, and this prompted the author to commit 50% of the first year royalty earnings from the book towards this cause. The announcement by Anand was greeted by applaud and cheers from the assembled audience.
Gautam Bhimani, a published author himself, spoke about how he found Anurag’s work to be a notch above other works by Indian authors that have been hitting the shelves lately. “Most stories we come across are linear in nature, whereas Love on 3 Wheels is a layered story that keeps the reader curious about what is to follow. The same incident, described in exactly the same words can carry an entirely different meaning when viewed from the perspective of a different character – and this has been beautifully demonstrated by Anurag’s writing,” he said. Responding to an audience question on which character from the story would he like to enact if given an opportunity, Gautam was quick to pick the one with the darkest shades of grey. “If I ever take to writing fiction, you now know the sort of story you can expect,” he quipped.
The panellists were then invited to formally launch the book. As if on cue, a small figure, clad in red, emerged from the audience arena and walked right up to the stage. This was Naisha Anand, Anurag’s 3-year old daughter, wanting perhaps to observe her father’s moment of glory at the closest possible quarters. It was a warm and unfeigned moment and those witnessing it did so with a warm smile.
|Publisher:||Srishti||Year of Publishing:||2015|
|Cover:||Paperback||No. Of Pages:||168|
|MRP:||Rs. 175||Buy From:||Flipkart.com
Anurag Anand Love on 3 Wheels