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Sandhya Rao

By Aburva Govindarajan
Year 2016, pp. 63, Rs. 180.00

VOLUME XL NUMBER 11 November 2016

Dear Aburva, I appreciate your reasons for writing this book. As a young person who reflects on a lot of things, you want to connect with others like yourself and like your parents so that they may understand each other. In this instance, you have focused on your passion for dance, bharatanatyam in particular, how you were briefly distracted from it owing mainly to peer pressure, and how you returned to it and performed the arangetram, your first solo public performance of bharatanatyam. Along the way you have shared your impressions of Oman, where you live; you have provided information about Chidambaram, the town your father hails from and also important for the temple dedicated to Nataraja and Govindaraja, and in Hindu thinking believed to be the venue of Shiva’s cosmic dance. You have written about how you suddenly gained weight despite practising vigorously for the arangetram, and you have explored various facets of dance even as you have introspected on your own personality and character. This is laudable, and material that has the makings of a pretty solid book. I understand this and realize that you felt the way to share all that you had imbibed was by writing about it, and getting it published. However, what I find baffling is how you and, more importantly, the editors at the publishing house, allowed this book to be printed the way it has been: teeming with errors and gaps and plain bad writing. It’s not your fault, you did what you could. It was up to the editors to bring your work up to scratch. They bombed. Then I checked out Educreation Publishing online and found it’s a self-publishing house that works on the principle of you pay, we print. It makes no reference to editors. Clearly, they don’t exist in their scheme of things. And that’s the problem with this book. It’s only a very early draft. The warts show from the very first sentence: ‘I was witnessing one of those rarest events, watching my parents displaying their differences through a verbal spat.’ It’s a pretty dramatic opening sentiment. Unfortunately, it’s also a very clumsy opening sentence. Then follows an unending parade of mistakes too embarrassing to enumerate (‘It might be funny for elders hear a young girl of my age feeling stressed out…’; ‘He is convinced that learning vocal music ...

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