By Shevlin Sebastian
Best-selling author Ravinder Singh charmed a Kochi audience at a book reading session. His latest book, ‘Like It Happened Yesterday’, published by Penguin, has just been released. “I wanted to write stories from my heart,” he said. “This book is all about my childhood.”
Singh grew up in the small town of Burla in Odisha. “Those were the best days of my life, when life was simple,” said the 30-year-old. “There were no microwaves or mobile phones or ATM cards.”
In fact, Singh had a phone in his house only when he was in Class 12. “Before that, to pass any information I would have to cycle to my friend’s place,” he says. “During those days, when I had Rs 10 in my pocket, I would feel so rich. Today, with Rs 10 lakh in the bank, I feel I have to make a lot more money to feel rich.”
In the book, Singh compares present-day childhood to the one he had. “My wishes were limited and so were those of my friends,” he said. “I wanted Lakhani shoes. There were no Adidas or Nike sneakers.”
Singh also mentioned that many readers said that the book reflected their own childhood experiences. “A few men told me, ‘When you were writing about the ‘hot’ madam in school, I was thinking of my own ‘hot’ madam,” said Singh, to laughter from the gathering.
It was a rapt audience, bowled over by Singh’s charm, sincerity and verbal fluency. Home-maker Sumaiya Khalid, from Alappuzha, stood up and said, “I would like to thank my husband who stopped his work and brought me along. Please give him a standing ovation.” Khalid, an interior designer, standing at the back, gives an embarrassed smile. “I have read all your books and love it,” said Sumaiya. That summed up the reaction of the people who had turned up for the reading.
(The New Indian Express, Kerala edition)