A prayer and dedication for the book by the Presbyter in charge on the 20th of July, 2014
I finally decided that it was time I asked Revd. Sunil Ghazan to say a prayer for my book and to officially release it before the congregation. Having decided to do this, I carried my specimen, on the 20th of July to the Church duly wrapped in gift paper and got it released. After the service, I displayed a few of the books and was pleasantly deluged by members of the English Congregation who wanted a duly signed copy of Dew Drops, a collection of poems. I guess I should have carried some more of the books to the church. We, as a family have always resorted to prayer and dedication by the Presbyter of the church before starting any new project, or perhaps even before leaving on a long journey. I guess it runs in the family, what with my Grandfather (Late Revd. Moti Lal) having been a wonderful and well known priest in the times before the Church of North India was even set up. He would surely have been pleased to see this book!
A Long Story told briefly about how I came to publish my first book
I had always been interested in writing short stories from school itself. My experiences of life in Ethiopia had always been so rich, what with an amazing culture and a rich flora and fauna, and a society undergoing an upheaval while there I was, an impressionable boy soaking in everything, probably storing everything for later on! In those days, we didn’t have T.V. nor did we have cinema halls in a town called ArbaMinch or ‘Forty Springs’ in Amharic, so, the only source of entertainment and enrichment for me came in the form of the rich collection of books that the school I went have. My father was an avid reader, and I just followed in his footsteps!
I migrated to Delhi in nineteen eighty five for my further studies in college. The sense of being lost in an entirely new society and a new culture was not lost on me, as I began living with my Grandmother, away from my parents who were still working as teachers in Ethiopia. For the first time I came into contact with a large number of relatives who formed the typical extended Indian family! For me, it was like being reborn and learning to fend for myself in a world that had suddenly extended its horizons. I was at that time only sixteen, and there were times when I had to do my own chores which included sometimes, cooking my own food, washing clothes, preparing for college, and studies. When my brother joined in nineteen eighty seven, there were two of us, and then my parents joined us in nineteen ninety one.
I joined my first job as a teacher of English to senior classes in a Government Aided School in Delhi in nineteen ninety four and continued on the same post for a good seventeen years. By then, I wanted a change and so quit the job and took up an assignment as the Principal of a Diocesan School in the small and sleepy town of Jagadhri in Haryana in 2011. In some ways the natural beauty, the flora and fauna of Jagadhri rekindled those hidden memories of life in Ethiopia. If the time I had spent during college days was a period of soul searching, then I would say that the one year I spent in Jagadhri was an even more intense period of soul searching and introspection because I was away from my family, my wife and two daughters. My father lived with me, but then the time I spent in Jagadhri was a time when after school I was alone and had a lot of time to think things over. It was during this period that I wrote some of my more intense poems that have been included in my collection titled, Dew Drops. I had started posting my thoughts on my blog, http//:rodrickwrites.blogspot.com since the year 2008, so I had a convenient platform on which to host my poems. My one year stint in Jagadhri ended after one year when I felt that the atmosphere there had been too constricting, what with having to convince employees to evolve and adapt.
I returned to Delhi without a job, but relieved that I was back with my family. I was unemployed from the month of April 2012 till the twenty fourth of July. I was finally requested to join as a senior teacher in a wonderful experiential school in Gurgaon on the twenty-fifth of July, which I came to know later on was the birthday of the Principal of the School, Dr. Mahesh Prasad. The love and affection that I was given in the school, and the encouragement I received from Mrs. Kaye Jacob convinced me that there was still a lot of energy left in my. Mrs. Kaye Jacob kept encouraging me to adopt the experiential pedagogy and she convinced me to consider the benefits of the Common Core State Standards of the United States of America. She also encouraged me to do research into experiential pedagogy. One of the areas that she made me work on was Propaganda Techniques. My post on my blog was re-scooped and that was my first high as a writer of articles and posts. While I kept writing posts on my blog, I also became interested in photography and began posting photographs on National Geographic’s ‘My Shots’ page.
It was finally in the year 2013 that I saw an advertisement posted by Partridge Publishing inviting writers to self-publish their poems, articles and novels with them. At that time, I had a lot of doubts about the possibility of my ever being able to publish anything with a well-known Publishing Agency like Partridge Publishing! On a whim I responded to the advertisement, and now I have no regrets about what I did. The persistent e-mails and phone calls by representatives of Partridge Publishers convinced me to send my manuscript to them. Yes, I did receive a lot of negative feedback from all those I knew. They told me not to go in for the offer, since I didn’t know these people. I however believed in my instincts and went ahead and sent my manuscript. The process that followed was an eye-opener for me. There was so much that I had to learn about the process that goes into publishing one’s work, and I have no hesitation in stating that an important part of the publishing process depends on the credentials of the publishing company! Partridge Publishing, helped me realise my dream of publishing my own work, and I have great things to say of Partridge Publishing. What had started as an experiment has finally turned into a reward that is beyond any expectations. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that my publishers taught me to dream and convert the same into something substantial!
My intention was never to have published a collection of poems because, I have always wanted to publish a collection of short stories and thereafter a series of novels. My collection of short stories which is ready is my next project. I hope to realise my second dream of publishing my second book which will be a collection of short stories. I had never imagined that I would be a writer of poems, but then that is exactly what I have done, to my dream come to fruition, thanks to my publishers who taught me to dare to dream and thereafter convert my dreams into reality! Poetry is a very challenging genre in today’s times, but then I felt that poetry was one genre that would help me express my feelings and emotions, and that is exactly what I have been able to do in my collection Dew Drops. Now that I have been able to convert my dream into reality, I hope to be able to inspire others to do the same.I would like to add that my experience of publishing a book has given me a new lease of life, and it has brought to me a sense of worth. Now when I have reached my early middle-age, it is as if I have been given a new lease of life. My students and all those I know look at me with a new sense of admiration, and sure I am glad to be an example to everyone I know. My suggestion to all upcoming writers is to believe in themselves, and most important of all to save their thoughts and ideas on a suitable platform that would ensure retrieval at a later time. The scrap book that I had kept when I was a high school is lost, but then the thoughts, and ideas that I had saved on my blog are still with me. What I had started four years ago is still with me, and I am glad to state that all I have to do is to collate and collect the material that I had saved down the ages. I am grateful to my publishers, Partridge Publications for helping me to realise me dreams and for helping me to convert the same into a published work. Dew Drops, a collection of poems is the result of the latest trend of self of self publishing! Ever since the day I published my first work, I am glad to state that there has been no turning back! I have finally learned about the importance of dreams and being able to convert them into reality. My faith in God, and the spiritual support of my Presbyter, Revd. Sunil Ghazan who has been with me in my journey of discovering the thrill of self publishing.
Sharing a few light moments with members of the Church of the Epiphany