‘In the Mood for Love’ has been the toast of the Telugu reading world since the time it published. The first print run of 1000 copies came out on December 14 and they were premiered at the Hyderabad Book Fair. It was a total sell out and ‘In the Mood for Love’ ran into second print. And, before the Fair ended, an additional 500 copies were sold – a big success for a debut book. Currently, the book is being sold at Stall No 272, 273 at Vijayawada Book Festival.
Breaking the norm, Aparna and Venkat released the book in a local pub in Hyderabad
Aparna Thota shares the pre-story of how the book came about, “I and Venkat Sidda Reddy wanted to bring out a book for some time now. We wanted the book to be consumed by young readers. Usually, when we print Telugu books, a few copies are sold, and the rest are stored away. I come from a family of writers, and it is only in recent years that my mother and uncle decided to have a stall at the book fair. One of the reasons I am hesitant to publish my own books is also this.”
The 12 stories written by twelve promising young writers, with each choosing a month from the calendar explore various emotions of love. The stories are set in contemporary times, about a generation which views the world differently.
The first story ‘Satyaveni’ by Nagendra Kasi is set in January around the festival of Sankranthi. Aparna’s story is about Valentine’s day. The summer of May, the monsoon of August (Mahi Bezawada), the financial year ending – are all part of the stories.
“The criteria for choosing the authors was simple. First, they had to be friends, we needed to know them, and then it was about the quality of writing and how understanding they were about the concept and presentation. The ones we chose are all serious writer, who write to enrich readers’ experiences. Venkat Sidda Reddy has already published two books and works with Suresh Productions, Rishi Srinivas and Karuna Kumar too write film scripts, Purnima Tammareddy runs the website ‘pustakam.net’, Usha Jyothi, is a PhD scholar working on writer Patanjali.”
Aparna adds, “Much diligence went into the choice of stories as well. Nagendra Kasi rewrote the story ‘Satyaveni’, that is receiving rave reviews, at least thrice, to get it right. We would have loved to have Kendra Sahitya Akademi winner and the writer of the popular song ‘Oosupodu’ from the film ‘Fidaa’ Chaitanya Pingali on our list. But she wrote this beautiful political story that did not fit into our format. Yet to give our book a documental binding we made her write the last word. Rishi Srinivas dropped a story and wrote another story. They are all open-minded writers who went that extra mile to make it the book we wanted.”
With its honest stories set amidst situations that happen in real life ‘In the Mood for Love’ is indeed an example for good quality writing in the space that has been empty for a while in Telugu publishing world.