It’s a first for both. For debutant author Girish Kohli and for his publisher, Fingerprint Publishing. Evidently, the latter made an excellent choice with its maiden title. For Kohli’s Marathon Baba, published last month, has already hit the bestseller list. The book tells the story of a man’s journey from being human to being god, and his struggle to go back to being human again. It has already sold 8,000 copies and was at number 13 on the Nielsen Top 50 bestseller chart in India. “This success has given me hope. My first two books are lying unpublished. I might take one of them to a publisher now,” says the engineer-turned-writer. Well, after the success of Marathon Baba, publishers are likely to lap up whatever he offers them.
The full name of the book is Infinite Vision: How Aravind Became the World’s Greatest Business Case for Compassion. Written by Pavithra K. Mehta and Suchitra Shenoy, the book is about eye surgeon Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy who battled many odds, including a crippling disease, to turn an 11-bed eye clinic in Madurai into one of the largest eye care facilities in the world. What sets Aravind Eye Care, based in Tamil Nadu, apart is the fact that patients can choose to pay or not at the hospital. Praised by the likes of Bill Clinton and Grameen Bank’s Muhammad Yunus, its business model has even become a case study at Harvard Business School. The eyes have it, shall we say?
Surojit Chatterjee doesn’t just sing for the Bangla band Bhoomi or do a spot of playback singing. He has now begun a project to collect and archive poetry from young Bengali poets from every corner of the world. It all started two months ago with a simple page on Facebook called “Surojit Bandhura Kobita Club”. As many as 1,200 young poets have signed up already and are writing poetry for the page. “I wanted to give a platform to those who love writing poetry but rarely get the opportunity to publish them.” Chatterjee has now decided to convert the page into a website called www.thekobita.com. Plans to publish the poems in a series of collections are also on the anvil.
Bollywood Bad Boy (we really should stop calling him that!) Salman Khan is known to take new talent under his wing and hand-hold them as they try to make their mark in the dog-eat-dog world of Bollywood. But while previously only female stars benefited from his solicitousness (remember Katrina Kaif, Zarine Khan et al?), this time Khan is mentoring a man. The lucky guy is none other than Pulkit Samrat, who famously played the handsome Lakshya Virani in the television serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi . We hear that Khan is so impressed with Samrat’s performance in his debut film Bittoo Boss that he has now taken a keen interest in the latter’s upcoming projects and is even advising him on his endorsements. Pulkit must be really pulkit — that is, ecstatic.
Kolaveri di sizzled. Will the film in which it figures do the same? That’s the big question Tamil film industry watchers are asking as 3, the movie where the cult song features, released this weekend. (A dubbed Hindi version of the movie is slated to come out later this month). 3, directed by Dhanush’s wife Aishwarya was shot in just 51 days in different locations in Chennai. The film seems to be packed with all the ingredients that went into the making of the recent spate of successful southern films — young love and violence. What’s noteworthy is that 3 is hitting the screens without much fanfare. Perhaps because no promo, no matter how snazzy, would be able to match up to the Kolaveri di effect.