Ronak bhai had organized an early Jain dinner post the function and all of us were led to Bollywood Lounge a newly opened restaurant very close to the theatre where the anchor of the evening RJ Pooja Dal Dholakia, the authors, their relatives and close friends joined for a post party.
Everyone was tired and everyone was hungry and in a mood for posing pictures. Pooja took a selfie of all and I managed to grab Raonak in a frame finally, he had been avoiding coming on the stage or participating in a single picture all through the event. In my opinion the credit of a super successful evening goes to publisher Ronak and his wife Aanal. The couple worked quietly and tirelessly to make sure that the event went smoothly and everyone was happy.
I leave the city with warm memories of the book release and Navbharat Sahitya Mandir.
It is true that book lovers come to listen to the author at a book release but are they seriously interested in knowing about the book? I am not sure, I feel genuine readers like to discover the books on their own without spoon feeding and would rather be told about the process of writing or the person behind the mask of the writer. I hesitate to talk about my books at the launch because quite frankly I’m exhausted with the process of writing it and would rather indulge them in some easy chatter. It has always worked. I tell them stories about myself and I think they find it more engaging.
An important lesson to learn at all book release is to never indulge in long speeches, nobody is interested, keep it brief. And to know you are on the right track watch out for smiling faces, if they are not smiling, you are not making an impact!
There are two kinds of authors, the first who likes to be involved in everything the publisher plans, the second who submits to the flow. I fall into the latter. When Ronak bhai asked me if should send me the event flow. I refused to participate, said it is your city and your event, I will object to nothing and enjoy myself as a guest. So it was as much a surprise for me as for Aruna Irani that Navbharat had planned a surprise tribute for our chief guest, an audio visual spanning her life and her career after which everybody got up to offer a standing ovation.
Post the speeches and before the Question Answer session there was a surprise for all of us as as Prateik Gandhi and team of Dhunki walked on to stage to meet the esteemed speakers and to seek blessings for their film Dhunki to be released coming Friday.
A film release in between book release, where there are so many people on stage can only happen in Ahmedabad.
I discovered that there is a vast difference between book launches in English as compared to book launches in Gujarati. In Mumbai the book events are crisper and shorter as compared to book events in Gujarat where the audience comes prepared to spend an entire evening listening to their favourite authors and to others discussing the author and the new book.
It is not easy to fill up JB Auditorium at AMA in Ahemdabad on a rainy day but Ronak of Nav Bharat Sahitya Mandir apparently has a reputation of having a house-full show every time he releases a book in the city. Authors clamour to be published by him and other publishing houses look at him to green light subjects so that they can plunge into choices without apprehensions. More on Ronak bhai in the upcoming columns stay tuned for details on a refreshing launch.
A year ago I started writing for Navrang edited by Krishnkant Unadkat and it has been the most delightful experience. I mentioned to him that it would be nice if I can get all my columns published into a book. He introduced me to Ronak Shah of Navbharat Sahitya Mandir and the result is before you. Chalo Cinema is ready to hit the stands and a celebration of the book release unfolded yesterday in Ahmedabad.
Actually, it was a double bonanza because Krishnkant Unadkat released his book Jaano ne Maado Doorbin at the same event and the guest of honour was Hindi cinema and television actor Aruna Irani.
Irani had a sparkling impact on the audience. More about Aruna Irani and the book launch in the coming days.