|The Big Moment - 50 Not Out! Launched at Hyderabad by the classy VVS Laxman|
|Books waiting in readiness|
|VVS Laxman, Me and Sumanth, listening to Suresh Babu speak|
|Pre-launch - Anjali and I pose with old friends AP Srinivas and Suresh|
|C.V. Anand in a relaxed mood|
|Vinay Gopal, Jamshed, Me and Arif - classmates from All Saints meeting after 30 years|
|C.V. Anand introducing the book - winner of the award of Special Merit by the Election Commission of India|
|Nice - Very, Very Special Moment|
|The One and Only Coach Sampath - Sumanth|
Vivek Jaisimha, friend, mentor came, handsome as ever, with Mona, warm as usual and a big hug. Cheryl Rao, writer of several children's books came with her husband and wisely took her copies in advance. Ramanamurthy, fast bowler, member of the Hyderabad winning team during 1986, came by and gave me a big hug. Military, Sanjay, my new ball partner in Under 15 came by. And then Sumanth came, film actor, Coach Sampath in Golconda High School came, handsome and glamorous, easy and graceful. We all caught up in a small enclosure away from the crowd and awaited the arrival of Laxman. And then he arrived. I had to snatch him away from Narsimham, captain of the JNTU team in our playing days and now President of the Architect's Association.
|A moment's reprieve from the proceedings - Laxman makes a point|
|Me and my two bits|
|Signing books - Dr. Krishnan and Mrs. Girija Krishnan in the foreground|
|The highly talented director-actor Srini Avasarala, Suresh Pullella and behind me Farruk Ali Khan from my school days|
|Farruk, Joseph Fernandes and Joel Wilson from All Saints|
|A view from the crowd|
Laxman spoke very well, read the book in its true sense and gave the event that magical silken touch. 50 Not Out! flies off the bat of Laxman, C.V.Anand, Suresh Babu and Sumanth and my family and friends at Hyderabad and I am sure with the kind of good energies we have had at the event, it will live to its potential. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all - the event was all one could hope for. A packed crowd, media jostling for space, crackling speeches, sell out books and the love of friends and family.
Some quotes from the press about the event
"It's not just 50 aspects of being a successful cricketer, but the book gives us 50 aspects of how to be a successful person" - VVS Laxman, Times of India, Hyderabad
'There's a lot of technical stuff like temperament, leadership, team spirit and all that but importantly in his (my) case, it's given him courage to get out of his comfort zone, which is cricket, and into writing; courage to follow his dreams, unconventional as it seems.' - VVS Laxman, Times of India, Hyderabad
'He (the author) has successfully greenflagged a lot of red flags accentuating the importance of preparation an focus, without which it is hard to succeed in life." - VVS Laxman, Times of India, Hyderabad
'It took me just three hours to read the book and it made me quite emotional. There were several aspects of it which I could relate to my own life. It's written in simple language and is easy to read and understand.' - VVS Laxman, New Indian Express
'Two important factors which he spoke in the book are about courage and preparation, which are extremely important not just in cricket but in any profession.' - VVS Laxman, New Indian Express
'I turned emotional on reading 50 Not Out. It was so touching that you instantly relate to the happenings around and try to pick up a few lessons in the art of living too.' - VVS Laxman, The Hindu
'The two biggest lessons of the book are courage and preparation. The best part is it just doesn't discuss problems, but has plenty of solutions too.' - VVS Laxman, The Hindu
|Vishwa, Me, Shrini, NP Singh, Vijay and Shobhs|
'I loved the way he made a conscious attempt to connect cricket terminology to signify the good and bad in anybody's life like explaining what it means playing with a straight bat and bowling no-balls.' - C.V. Anand, The Hindu
'When your movie is released you feel very tense but I had just then finished reading what it means to have an eye on the ball in cricket and stay focussed.' - Suresh Babu, The Hindu
'When you're writing a book of this kind, you run the risk of either being cliched or preachy. Hari has cleverly sidestepped these two by blending life lessons with cricket and films.' - Sumanth, Actor, Lead Actor in Golconda High School
'Cricket taught me innumerable lessons and I wouldn't be half the man i am if it wasn't for the game. The lessons came fast and frequently and I initially thought it applies only to cricket, but then I soon realised hat it can be applicable to all walks of life.' - Harimohan Paruvu, New Indian Express
'I tried to get into the mindset of champion cricketers and compare it with champion personalities in the outside world. There were challenges on the way and I wrote about a hundred drafts, but it worked in the end.' - Harimohan Paruvu, New Indian Express
And then VVS Laxman unveiled the book.
|Young admirers - Anjali, Ashrita, Harsha and Mansi|
Post launch Laxman was mobbed the TV and press crews. I was signing books for a long time. As expected the 100 books got sold out soon and the Jaico salesman rushed to get 10 copies from Himalaya which were sold out too. When will these guys ever learn?
Let me try and remember who came.
My cricketer friends - Vivek Jaisimha, Vijay Mohan Raj, Ramanamurthy, NP Singh, Mujtaba Askari, Sanjay T, Vijay Kumar, Timothy Paul, Bansi, Srikanth Iyengar, Baliguddin, Riaz, Narasimham
MCC friends - Ramkrishna, Suri, Pavan, Srinu, Ramesh, Subbu, Suresh Pullella, Venkat Swaroop
School friends from All Saints - Choudary, Vasu, Arif, Jamshed, Vinay Gopal, Rahi Prakash, Rajesh, Farrruk, Joel, (all cricketers too) Joseph,
My Inter friends - Ajay Narne, Ramaraju (with his entire team from Gap Miners), Suresh Reddy, From Osmania University Engineering College - Sanjay Reddy, Sunil Jyoti, Chandu, AP Srinivas, Prasad Badiganti, Vijay D, Kishore, Vivekanand, Anjaneyulu, Sagarika, Kanakaiah, Anil Kumar Suravaram
OUMBA - Shrini.A, Vishwa Prasad, Ramesh
Writer friends - Vinod Ekbote, Major Kiran, Cheryl Rao, Taufeeq
Buddies - Madhav, Kiran, Ranjan
Film fraternity - Senthil (ace cinematographer of GHS, Magadheera fame and a most compassionate and kind human - he came after the program but stayed long long after, chatting about this and that in his unique humble manner), Nandini Reddy, Srini Avasarala, Ramesh Eligeti, Prasad Nimmakayala, Sagar, Naveen Nayak (whose pics I posted now),Sai Srinivas (Siddhanth of GHS), Sudhir,
Elders and teachers - Mrs. Jaisimha aka Junie Aunty, Naresh's Mom, Mr. Shankar Melkote, Prof. Shamraj, Prof. Balaji, Dr. Krishnan and Mrs. Dr. Girija Krishnan, Vidyasagar,
Doctors friends - Dr. Satyanath Patnaik, Dr. Sreenu and Dr. Manju, Dr. Gautham
Friends - Mona Jaisimha, Monica, Shanthi, Mamta, Shailendra and family, Pratap and Narendra Nargundkar, Chitra, Prashant, Ramesh, Pavani, Vaishali, Anitha, Geetha, Shreya, Rohan, Shashi, Jaleel (constant at all launches and a wonderful friend, brother of Aqueel the Great), Suryaprakash Rao of HRG, Amar Chegu, Prem Chand, Lalitha, Murali Baseedu, Naushad, Tej, Roopesh, Dayakar, Sushmitha, Jawad, Kishen, Bhanu, Vikram, Safir, Anjan Nadimpalli, Suresh Ravi, Bhaskar, Vijaylakshmi, Divya Uday, Dhruv, Sheetal Kiran, Madhavi C, Nitin and Naina, Ashok Nair, Major Chary, Sridhar, Ravi Kulasekharan, Shravan Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Shalivahan, Gopinath, Paola, Achyuth Menon, Shiva, Reena, Shekhar, Prashanth Chandra, Prateek Chandra, Bobby, Abha, Anjali
Family - Shobha, Anjali, Mythily, Ashwini, Jagdip, Abhishek, Sheila, Ram, Chimu, Radhika
Journalist friends - Das, VVSubramanyam, Gladson, Radhika Rajamani, Venu Kodimela, Pallavi.
I am sure I missed some. I am going to get them all,
Thank you all for coming and making it such a blast.