I need to delve into my mind trying to search for that exact memory which I am about to put into words here. Hmmm .. A fidget here, and a peek there …. Ah ! finally I find it … Oh! it’s quite rusty in there .. I’ll have to try my best and get out all that I can from this tough cloud of memory !!
I was in my ninth grade on 9 November 2009, I found my fourteen year old avatar of myself sitting on the second floor of the Landmark Showroom at Somajiguda, Hyderabad rapt with attention to that Lord Jeffrey Archer was talking about! Thanks to my father who was actually the person to inform me of his visit to launch the 30th edition of his classic masterpiece Kane and Abel followed by a book signing event. It was on this day that I read my first 400+ page novel!
I never heard about Jeffrey Archer until my father mentioned about him for at that time I still was a newbie to reading striving to evolve from the Hardy boys and Famous five phase to something “not childish novels”. That evening opened the portal to what I must say to be one of my best days !!
Before the talk began my uncle dared me; rather challenged me to ask a question to him and also that he would give me Rs 500 for each question I asked! He knew it was a safe investment for I was an introvert at that time and never actually spoke out!
The author walked in at 1940 hrs to start his speech on his success due to Kane and Abel and how it shot him to fame, his love towards the characters William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski.He repeatedly did point out the fact that he loved Indians and a few instances he faced at Mumbai and Delhi. He also seemed to be proud of the book he was to release during the next year i.e 2010 i.e And thereby hangs a tale.
Then came the question and answer session where god knows where I got the courage to ask a question,” Excuse me sir, Instead of re-writing Kane and Abel couldn’t you have actually put in the time to get out another book?” to that he replied,” Son, I always schedule my year early on. I had it planned to think on a new piece from 2010 February.”
Now being a kid and being offered Rs 500 per question ( a big amount for a kid those days) I decided to make a bigger hole into my uncle’s pockets. And actually asking didn’t hurt me… I still am alive and He didn’t gulp me !! A good start … nothing’s going to stop me now.
After dropping my Hiroshima … I had to drop Nagasaki too !” Why does an author re-write what he wrote already?”, I blurted out without thinking. I then thought”Damn me!! I just asked the same question framed differently!!” . Luckily Lord Jeffrey Archer paid heed to my question, smiled and answered,”It sometimes happens that an author is emotionally attached to a book or it’s characters. Sometimes re-writing also gives new ideas and a little in change of plot can do wonders to the story for the mindset of the people would have changed over the years. Now you get it laddie? And no more questions from you young man. And I dare you over it!” Okay! that’s it for the day! Too much isn’t always good !! Cool down young man .. no more questioning!
Now the book signing began. My mother who also attended the event dropped a copy of Kane and Abel into my hands which I got it signed to which he said,” Young man! I guess I’ll have to mention you at London too!”
Whoaa! Now that’s a complement (or not a compliment- but I decided to think of it as a compliment anyway!).
I came back home read all about Jeffrey Archer. Started the novel and finished it the next evening!
That evening just after the book signing I looked towards my uncle with those puppy eyes for my well deserved share of the highest amount I would be having in my pockets it turned out just like a Jeffrey Archer’s stories end with an unexpected twist in the tale there’s one in here too. He just denied of ever making the bet!
What an experience it was ! I can never forget that day and the book Kane and Abel, the stepping stone to my reading experience got my to 264 novels being read until date!
Thank you folks!