“Money can buy you a fine dog,
but only love can make him wag his tail.”
- Kinky Friedman
Over the past twenty-eight years or so, ever since I started writing and publishing on behalf of THE DAWN CLUB, besides the inspirational magazine ‘The Bloom’ and the poetry magazine, ‘The Pearls’ (no more being published presently), I have written, edited and published more than 30 inspirational books on behalf of our club. And, on all these books, I have bravely written ‘This book is not for sale’.
“Bravely’? or ‘foolishly’?
Well, whichever way you wish to see, you can see. One man’s food is another man’s poison… Someone else in my place would have made – what they colorfully describe – ‘Pots of money’… ‘Loads of money’…
As a young struggler in Mumbai, this city of dreams, in the early eighties, I had found on the roadside a copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic, ‘Think and Grow Rich’. The author had said clearly this: Money is a shy bride… You have to woo her.
Maybe, I am bad in wooing money… this shy bride!
A couple of days ago, I received a phone call. It was a lady who sounded a lot shy and hesitant to tell what she wanted to tell. “Sir, I am Anuradha,” she managed to say.
“Anuradha Kirpane?” I asked (someone I was familiar with).
“No sir, Anuradha Patkar, Umesh Kadam’s sister,” the lady clarified very softly.
Umesh Kadam, who lives in London, has been a good friend of mine and was actively involved with THE DAWN CLUB during its initial years. Anuradha, told me that she lived in Bangalore with her husband (an Air Force pilot) and two teenage daughters. She said, as they had come on a short vacation to Mumbai, she wanted if her daughters could attend a couple of our P.D. sessions. I was in the midst of something when this conversation was happening. So, I assured her that I would be reverting to her to take it further…
But, for two days, I simply forgot about it… and, somehow, I could not trace Anuradha’s number when I wanted to revert… Yesterday was Sunday. I saw this message from Anuradha on WhatsApp:
Good morning Sir. I am Anuradha Patkar, Umesh’s sister. I am sorry, I didn't call back as I was not aware of your schedule and didn't want to disturb you.
I came to Panvel and happened to see " Flowing With The Wheel" on the table. I could only see the title but instantly I knew it was a book by my favorite author Gerry Sir and I had to read it. So I picked the book and it was just flowing... and yes, I have found your experiences and learnings as my own. In the same flow, I picked up the mobile and called. It was a pleasant surprise to hear your voice. I not just treasure your publications (The Desert Experience, The Zest…) but read them many times, lend them to friends…You may not be a best-selling author (Obviously, you can't be as you don't sell your books); but, there is definitely an instant connect which is rare and that's very important for me. Pardon me for writing such a long message; but, I am sure I wouldn't have been able to communicate all this verbally. It is with deep gratitude that I thank you Sir for what you have been doing all these years.
I replied immediately:
Hi Anuradha, first of all apologies for that day. I somehow didn't save your number and hence sent a message to Umesh to send your number. But, he seems to be off FB. So, read your message and felt elated, blessed and humbled. It is people like you who keep me going. Want to give more books. Can you drop in with kids for a Workshop today at 4? It would be great . Love.
Last night, I showed Anuradha’s message to my wife. Twenty-six years ago, when I had wooed my wife – the real bride – I was conscious of my relationship with the other bride called ‘Money’. So, was my decision to write on all my books ‘This book is not for sale’… yes, was it a ‘brave decision’ or was it a ‘foolish’ decision’?
Yes, I have been wondering ever since Anuradha sent me that message.
Pic.: Avinash Manti