I would like to thank regular, long standing readers of AV/GS who have been reading my contribution to AV, well over three thousand, that include letters, short stories, poems, travel log, interviews of prominent personalities, as well as covering visits of Indian politicians like L. K. Advani, Shruti Irani, CM Modi (2002) and many more, since I first started contributing to AV/GS way back in 1993.
Over last two decades I have interviewed twenty prominent politicians that include Barry Gardiner, Gareth Thomas, Stephen Pound, Sarah Thatcher, Navin Shah AM and many more. Most were published in Asian Voice and India Link where I have my own column. I hope to interview two more, my personal favourite, Lord Popat and MP Bob Blackman before I put my pen to rest.
I email my weekly published work to some six hundred prominent people, including politicians. Since then, I have published three books of short stories, main ones being “Ivory Tower and Olive Grove” over half a million words. My fourth book, collection of ninety poems “Don’t Cry for Me” (Not Argentina!) will be out by the end of this month, with Forward written by Lord Popat.
This progress on literary front could not have been possible without help and support of C. B. who has more faith in me than I have in myself. I clearly remember one incident when Advani visited London; function was organized by OFBJP.
I received telephone call from CB, who was meeting late Anil Pota, discussing Advani’s visit. C.B. requested me to write short piece of 700 words about last night’s function. As I had not taken notes, I hesitated, especially as there was three hour deadline. I remember CB’s words, “Bhupendrabhai, I would not ask you if I believe you could not do it.” I submitted 1500 word piece well before deadline. That gave me self-belief, thank you CB.
I believe selection of letters, choice and length is just right, although there are occasional repeats, letters recycled that takes up valuable space without significant contribution. My thanks go to Editorial Board, in particular CB, Rupanjana, Urja and associates. As most AV readers are A1 class, I am sure they understand every word written by us without referring to dictionary! One reason we are able to contribute so profoundly is that we have loyal, devoted following who writes to us regularly, often suggesting topics and providing information. As we say, what you sow, so you reap!
Bhupendra M. Gandhi