How far do you go for the love for books? Quite some right. There are numerous groups in facebook where people masquerade as serious readers. There are lot of people who share quotes from books and then there are people who watch the movies based on books and boast they love the book. The problem with such people is, when we look for conversations, we get disappointed.
But then there is this guy called Kathiresan Sekar. I will come to him in a bit. I need to tell you about how contemporary Tamil literature work before that or any regional language literature for that matter. One cannot simply write a cheesy, romantic boy meets girl novel in Tamil and can get away with that. I am sure 300 days would have been a big flop if I had written it in Tamil. The dynamics of the industry is so different. People write deep literature with so much of layers that if there is a straight forward piece, it will get lost. And the research about the culture.
People who write in Tamil still research with books. Thankfully they don’t get carried away by the so called facts they read in Internet. The trouble is finding the correct book for the research. They are not available in the libraries since the state government didnt care about it for last five years and it is unlikely to do so for the next five years. One has to save a lot and wait for the Chennai Book Fair to happen to list the books they want, note down the number of the stalls they have to visit and buy the books. That is when Kathiresan Sekar came into play.
Kathiresan had finished his engineering but was not able to find a job. He started working in a book store for a meager sum of money. He started reading there. He was not paid well and when he knew that he is not getting paid well compared to the new people who got job in book store, he came out of that store and started his own venture. His only marketing medium was Facebook and the book covers, the publishers were glad to share. He befriended me a year back.
If not for bookseller he will be a very good librarian. He catalogs meticulously and also knows in and out about the book he sells. And whenever there is a hot topic going on, he gives suggestion of books in which the topics are covered. He delivers the books in VPP. Now he is available in whatsapp.
If you love Tamil books and feel bad that you couldn’t find the book in stores, you can contact him.
Here is the link of the post he put about the Anthology, in which my story is also featured. I wouldn’t have been this happy even if I had seen my book in oxford book store. It is now in the hands of a book lover, who will strive to give it to like minded people. I am one happy man today.