Sunday, December 02, 2007

My Opening to Page 3 -- Ankush's new Book !

It was during the late nineties that I joined the not-so-exclusive club of listless-Delhi-to-Gurgaon-commuters. During those days we had the unprecedented luxury of an employer provided bus which would at reckless and breakneck speeds, ferry us between Gurgaon and Delhi. To distract me from the near death experiences during this roller-coaster-esque ride to Gurgaon and back, I decided to carry some reading matter with me. That is when I discovered Page 3.

The Times of India served the purpose of the above mentioned reading matter. This particular publication had been picked for two reasons. Firstly, I thought that the regular perusal of a newspaper ( the TOI being a newspaper ) would broaden me as a human being, and secondly, it was extremely convenient to pinch the neighbour's copy on my way to work. So there I was, one day, trying to catch up on the latest political developments, whilst being violently jolted from side to side, when my eyes fell on Page 3. I immediately knew that it was the one. It was the only way in which I could ever get my picture into some sort of publication, and if I should fail to do so, the rest of the voyage of my life would be bound in shallows and miseries.

There however was a slight problem. To get my characteristically facile smile flashing on Page 3, I had to be someone, or actually know someone. I am sad to report that despite my sincere efforts, I magnificently failed on both counts. As a result, over all these years, no Page 3 happiness has ever graced my unfortunate life. I am therefore now, extremely happy to deplane the news that at last, the silver lining has appeared. There is hope. I now shall ( most probably ) not be denied my rightful place under the Sunday Supplement anymore !

The news is that my good friend and the possessor of a gigantic brain, Ankush Saikia has unleashed his first book. The book is called Jet City Woman and the prosaic details for the book can be found here. The cover of the book looks like this: (Click to zoom)

Ankush of course, has been previously short-listed for his very clever writing in the Outlook/Picador India Non-Fiction Competition. The short-listed entry is called Spotting Veron and was one of the better travel essays that I had read in some time.

This time around he has published a complete novel. It is an intense, funny, sad and engaging coming-of-age novel set in New Delhi and in north-eastern India. The author also maintains a blog, documenting the happenings and events around his first book. I would therefore urge my scant readership to go visit the blog and also buy the book and in the process, promote my brainy chum.

The Readership, at this point of time, must be raising its collective questioning eyebrow, and asking "Whats in it for you chump ?" Some must be also asking "And what of the Page 3 tish-tosh that you were waffling about ?" The combined answer is -- long awaited Page 3 domination ! Allow me to soberly outline the whole process.

  1. Hordes of impatient readers converge in bookstores and start buying Ankush's book like there is no tomorrow.
  2. Ankush, as a result, is showered with an insane amount of biscuits, doubloons and accolades.
  3. Ankush starts getting invitations to extremely trendy parties and fashion shows.
  4. He, in a moment of foolishness, invites me to one of these parties.
  5. I appear on Page 3, in the Sunday Supplement, wearing a violently pink shirt and carelessly holding a drink, in a photograph titled -- Ankush and friend.
  6. I achieve elusive happiness !


Phantasmagoria said...

We wish Ankush success. Shall keep eyes wide open on pg. 3 listings for friend in pink shirt. We can then say dismissively, that we used to know this chap.

Anonymous said...

I used to harbour similar ambitions when you started going for guitar lessons. They werent exactly Page 3 ones though. They were of free meals(which you generously would share with me periodically) in some posh restaurant, where you would play every night.

Umesh said...

ha ha ha ! Wishing Ankush all the success he deserves, and the pig-with-wings all the page 3 exposure (pun *definitely* intended) he deserves (as in 'serves him right').
Shocking pink .... shocking indeed! Hey what about the carelessly held vodka-martini and some cheap ngage cell-phone glued to your ear?!

Ankush Saikia said...

You disappoint me Bashu, just page 3? Why not page 1?! Just do something really evil, like running off with all of your company's money! Page 3 is easy; next time you're in India we'll have a party at Ashley's Gurgaon place, call up a PR agency and pay them a couple of thousands, and the next morning we'll all be P3Ps! Jokes aside, thanks for doing your bit in promoting my book, I really appreciate it. And thanks for acknowledging my immense cranial matter!


Bald Monkey said...

@Ph: Yep ! Keep ye eyes skinned for hippogriffs !

@Umesh: A ngage has no place on page 3 man. It is a phone which has been relegated to the unfashionable backwaters of LAN parties.

@Ankush: You are welcome man. I always have held your cranial matter in very high esteem.
Also, please do not thank me for all the promoting shomoting.. As you can see, I have motives ulterior....