Chetan's Blog

Pre-Revolution 2020 letter to my readers.


Dear All, 

I cannot remember the last time I wrote a personal blog entry. There was a time, not so long ago; I used to do this regularly.  Twitter spoils us. You can get away with posting one line, and have everyone see it immediately. However, Twitter doesn’t allow elaboration of thoughts, or the feelings behind them. Mostly it is ok, but every now and then, I feel the need to share more with my readers. This happens especially before a book launch. It is the time when I am most vulnerable emotionally, and expressing myself helps.

So, here were go again. Another book releases in less than twenty days. Revolution 2020, something I have lived with for the last two years, is finally going to be out there in the world on October 8th 2011. Countless opinions shall follow, and the book will finally find its place in the world. I remember the how nervous I had felt right before the release of 2 States, my last book in October 2009. I had gone to ISKCON temple in Mumbai the night before and blogged about it later. I do not feel as much nervousness, at least as yet. Maybe I have matured, maybe I am confident about Revolution 2020, and maybe I am just numb. I need to get away for a while, and will share more about that in a moment.

A lot has changed for me in the two years since the last book. More than anything, I think the readership is wider and broader than it ever was before. This is for the following reasons:

  1. My last book 2 States, became the most widely read of all my works. For the first time, I saw housewives and senior citizens pick up my book in large numbers, perhaps connecting to the universal theme of marriage and parental approval.
  2. After 2 States, 3 Idiots, an adaptation of Five Point Someone, came out in December 2009. The movie did extraordinarily well, and reached places where none of my books had reached. Almost anywhere in India I travelled, I found a new set of readers for my books, who had picked them up after watching 3 Idiots.
  3. In 2009, I started doing columns for English and Hindi newspapers. Every two weeks since then, I have had a chance to share my thoughts about the nation with a totally different set of readers – the people who read editorial pages, but not necessarily my books. Both TOI and Dainik Bhaskar have readership in crores, and it will be interesting to see if my column readers pick up Revolution 2020.
  4. In the last two years, Twitter and Facebook exploded as well. Millions of readers now connect with me through these two sites and they are a source of constant support for me.

In light of the above developments, it would be interesting to see the initial response to Revolution 2020. I try to not think about the magnitude of expectations, and for that reason I think it would be a good idea to get away for a while.  Hence, even though the book launch is right around the corner, starting tomorrow I shall be in Thailand for a yoga retreat for a week. I will be somewhat disconnected from India and I think that will help settle my mind right before the launch. The program is supposed to be quite tough, as you don’t really eat much the entire week (a glass of juice per day is what I have been told!). Thus, in the middle of all these high profile fasts in the country, I’d be getting away to do my own, and mostly for my own sake.

On the personal front, my twin boys have grown up. They are seven years old now. They were born just two months after my first book came out. Thus, in some ways they reflect my age as an author – still quite young, and hopefully, a long way to go. It is fun to be at home and watch them grow up, even though they disturb me every now and then from my writing. But as Krish says in 2 States – ‘what is life without being disturbed by the right people?’

Anusha is busy at work. She is Chief Operating Officer at her bank, which as you can guess from the title, is quite a big deal. People often call her superwoman. She has maintained her career, brought up twins well and handled a crazy husband. I think she is quite a role model for Indian women.

Apart from books, I spend my time doing talks, which have grown tremendously over the last two years. It is from these talks that Revolution 2020 was born. The talks help me stay connected to India. At the same time, they make my schedule hectic. In the last one year alone, I visited 55 cities.

Hence, I have become terrible at replying to calls, messages and keeping in touch. One of my goals after Revolution 2020 is to simplify life, be more selective in what I choose to do, and make more time for family, friends and myself.

For now however, I have to bring my new baby to the world. Revolution 2020 carries fantastic feedback from the people who have read it, so frankly I am not too worried. To keep things simple, I would do the initial launches only in Mumbai and Delhi, and then get to other cities in a few weeks. I will post details on the same later. This time the title of the book doesn’t reveal so much about the story, but I think that will add to the fun of reading it. I can’t wait for your feedback.

I hope the book launches go well. After all that, in December, I have also promised my family that I will take them on a nice long vacation, especially after the book launch madness, and a part of me is looking forward to that as well.

Thank you once again for your constant support through the years – in almost everything I have attempted to do. I always say: my personal goals in life are already met. I now live for people who have made me – you, my readers.

With that, I better go pack for my 7-day escape before the madness.

Don’t be serious, be sincere.

Love,

Chetan


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