“This was a book that had to be written”

Posted: September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

I know this post was long overdue.. My sincere apologies to readers, friends and well-wishers for the delay…  Had just been too caught up with post launch follow up and media interviews…


Thanks again for making the launch event on 12th September a big success. I am particularly grateful to Tom Alter who took the trouble of traveling to Delhi solely for the event. As I’ve mentioned earlier, Tom Sir’s appreciation of the book is immensely reassuring for me. I consider him one of most erudite scholars of the game and if he says, “this is a book that had to be written”, it makes me feel a lot more confident about what I’ve written.


Anyway, coming back to the event, the Oxford at Connaught Place is a place I’m familiar with. Roughly two years ago, I had a reading session of my first novel here. So coming back gave me a feeling of déjà vu. Of course, the situation was a lot better this time. Unlike on the previous occasion, where the responsibilities were entirely on me, this time around I had a capable team of the publishers handling the event.


The occasion was special in other ways too. I was excited about meeting my editor, Deepthi Talwar, who I had never met till then. (Till then I had only met Priyanka from the publishing team, who heads publicity).   I was also looking forward to meet my friend, Allan Ganguly, who has done lots to promote my books. Two of my friends from Mumbai- Ambarjeet and Kunal were luckily there too. Ambar had specially planned his trip in a way that it would coincide with the event. He came in for the launch along with his friend, Chaitali. My brother, Tanmay who works across the street joined in, along with his friend Lopa.


The event began with Tom Sir and me unveiling the book, followed by him reading a portion from the book. As I gazed through the gathering, it was pleasing sight for me to see a lot many familiar faces. My old friend from NIA days, Protiqe Mozoomdar was present, along with his wife, Shweta. Beedisha, another friend from NIA days, with whom I had not been in touch for nearly a decade, was kind enough to join in too. Jatin Khosla, another old friend from my Delhi days, who has always been there for me, was expectedly present too.


Among the others who I wish to thank for their presence are veteran sports journalists, G. Rajaram and Advaita Kala. Raj is one of the humblest and ever-so-helpful souls I have met. He had ideated with me on some of the issues dwelt upon in the book. Advaita has been a good friend for more than a year now. We’d been exchanging notes over chats and I had been looking forward to meeting her.


Tom Sir’s knowledge of the game was undoubtedly handy. He shared a particularly interesting anecdote that involved Sir Don Bradman’s perception of the significance of those 22 Yards of the cricket pitch.


The event was expectedly followed with interviews with the media. Much after the crowd and the media had left, Tom sir, Rajaram, N.P. Singh, Allan and myself hung on, discussing myriad aspects of cricket- from match-fixing to parents’ attitude towards their kid choosing cricket as career.


 We must have wound up around 9pm, before we could be forcibly evicted. Unlike Mumbai, Delhi shops shut early. Given an option, I’m sure, our conversation could easily have extended to a couple of hours more.


I was also glad to see one of my ex-girlfriends Pallavi there. Though she could reach only after the ceremony was over, I really appreciate her gesture.


I am also thankful to numerous other readers- Shubhda, Anoop, Ranja and others who made the effort to be present. The evening was a truly special one for me. Two years ago when I had a reading session for my first book here, I had wished to come back to venue soon for my second book. This time around as I left Oxford, I wished for the same. I must thank the Oxford team, led by Atika for their wonderful hospitality. The warmth extended to me by other members of the publishing team- Paul Kumar and Pritha Maitra was also heartening.



Life however is thoroughly unpredictable. My post release enthusiasm was sullied the next evening when I learnt about the bomb blasts that had ripped the city. One of the blasts had occurred right across the road where we had the event the previous evening. The time of the blast roughly the same.- 6:25pm or so.  This blast killed around 10 people. I shudder to think that even while my event was on, these so-called terrorists could well have been meandering somewhere close to us, giving final touches to their sinister operation; their normal visages concealing their barbaric intentions. For all you know they could have been present at the event.


Well, such is life…




My Delhi was eventful for two other reasons… One, I went on a memory trip to North campus after almost 10 years and two, I presented my book to Shri. L. K. Advani.  Well, more on that in the posts to come..


Please do have a look at some of the Delhi pictures and media reports- http://picasaweb.google.co.in/tuhin9/22Yards#

The reports about the book, by the way, are pretty encouraging. The pre-orders have been fabulous; they are displayed prominently in most stores and the books are moving. Initial feedback too has started coming. While most readers have liked it and some have found it better and more captivating than That Thing Called Love , the inherent human tendency to compare makes them draw a parallel with That Thing Called Love.


But as I’ve always maintained the two books simply cannot be compared. It would be similar to comparing Titanic with Rambo! Happy reading!:)








  1. allan says:

    Oh Tuhin!!!!!!
    Amazing!! so wonderfully crafted……..
    u knw, the more i read you, the more firm i get in my believe that your USP is ur ability to detail any situation to the extent that it becomes soo easy for the readers to visualize!!
    One more thing : Dude, you are a great human being!!!

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