Title – 300 Days
Author – Bragadeesh Prasanna
Type – Kindle Edition
Genre – Romance
Source of Book – Early draft copy provided by the novelist.
Price – Rs 166.
This is not a review. This is my attempt to document the transformation of a person, an artist who tries to create art, succeeds and tries his best to publish it, but is pushed down by publishers, who seek a pretty face first, and look at the manuscript later. I met Bragadeesh about three to four years back. I met him as a part of the Chennai Bloggers Club. I recollect very clearly, we met at Café Coffee Day, Ispahani Centre along with some more bloggers. The meeting was to decide how to take CBC forward as a body of bloggers. Neither of us in our wildest dreams thought that we would be admins some day. Bragadeesh is currently ‘makkalin admin’; Sindhu and I are regular admins 🙂 I digress – let me return to the reason and purpose behind this post!
Over the years, I have seen Bragadeesh transform in front of my eyes. His writing is impressive, he takes a lot of pains to think out scenes in his head and then put pen to paper or fingers to his laptop keyboard. From “Polly”, “300 Days”, “Chilakkama” the title of the book went through various changes. He participated in the WRIMO novel project and typed at a furious pace to complete the first draft in a month. This is when he was in a KPO working night-shifts – mind you. A few of us – Vidhyalakshmi, Vidyasankar, Bhavia were privileged enough to read the first cut of the novel and each of us was spellbound.
How could someone with so much pain, so much anguish, still remain selfless and believe in love?
The manuscript went through rigorous editing by Ms Sridevi Datta.We would keep asking when is the book launch? For over a year, I would have irritated him with one question – “When are you setting Polly free?” – Refer Vidhyalakshmi’s post wherein she drew a beautiful parakeet with 300 etched with perfection.
<I have super-talented blogger friends>
There was tremendous turmoil in his personal life, from losing his job because of Obamacare, switching to another KPO and going up to set up India operations and becoming the head of Indian operations for a small firm focused on furniture and lampshades sold in the USA and Europe, he battled every storm with care.
It was a busy day at work and Srilakshmi – another wonderful lifestyle and food blogger cum published short story writer phoned me – “Mahesh, Brags met with an accident!” I was dreading the day when this would happen, I had told him 100 times to wear a helmet and thankfully government rule forced him to begin wearing the helmet. I called up Suresh, Bragadeesh’s elder brother, he apprised me of the situation and said that they were in the Rajeev Gandhi Hospital, opposite Central Station. Till I met him that evening, I was worried like a mad man. He was injured badly, his face swollen, nose fractured, hand fractured, he was in terrible pain, but he still smiled. I always carry Anjaneyar Kovil kumkumam with me, I gave it to Appa and told him to apply it. I said – “He will be fine”. His mother was equally worried, that evening will remain stuck in my mind forever, we are reduced to mere puppets, the Lord pulls strings, we are just characters. He recovered slowly, the worrying factor was his ‘memory-blanks’. A lot of things from the past are clouded in mystery forever!
Rebuilding the Tale:
A long painful recovery later, he worked with renewed focus on vigour on the tale. There would be chats about rejections from publishers. I kept telling him, we can publish, let us approach a printer in Triplicane and publish. Balamani Sir a senior blogger had published his first novel similarly and he had managed to sell a fair number of copies. He was insistent – “No, I want a good publisher, who believes in me!”
Reality and the Launch:
The reality, that publishers cater to a demography that wants Durjoy Datta and Chetan Bhagat clones and not exactly a revisionist romance; finally dawned on Bragadeesh. He launched the book on Amazon as a Kindle book on Prason’s daughter – Anya’s birthday. Prason and Bragadeesh are like Deva and Surya from “Dhalapathi”. They are inseparable and Prason features in the novel as well.
The book follows the premise of the ‘seven stages of love’. Jai and Sravani are the lead characters. Is their love story one that transcends all barriers? What is the intriguing meaning of 300 Days? Why can’t an adult man and woman just remain friends? Does family come before love? Can one love someone and marry someone else? How far will you go in sacrificing yourself for the one whom you love?
These are some questions to which you may find some answers when you read the book!
Plot and Pacing:
A good book is one in which you are drawn into the characters. Even if I had not known the author personally, I would have still loved this book. The pacing varies, the editing could have been tighter, we would wish for a different climax, but then some tales are meant to be like this. But there is hope at the end! A new beginning perhaps!
It is fascinating in its minimalist design – a sure-fire winner – special appreciation for the cover designer!
The Road Ahead:
As I sit and type this seemingly long post, I have the author’s next manuscript in the adjacent window :)! It is a beautiful tale of love, hope, redemption, loss, pain and success and jealousy in the fascinating world of music. A sure-fire winner, which I hope will be published by a leading publishing house soon!
A Note to you Bragadeesh:
I have said this once, I will say it a hundred times. I don’t have many friends in real life, you are one among the few people, with whom I share my secrets, you are a part of my wolf-pack. I will do everything in my power to remain your friend.
As you grow in stature as an author and mentor other authors as part of the Chennai Writers Circle, I shall only be happy and proud of your success.
I am proud to be a brother to this emotional guy who cares so much, loves unconditionally, but can be angry for the most trivial of things. You believed in life and love and have moved on with so much pain! Why fight over silly issues?
One for all, all for one!
Good luck to you as always!