FRANK but not FREE
Something funny happens these days: I get letters concerning my book "The Remix of Orchid" from people I don't know. They don't convey anything, not even a word either encouraging or constructive; rather they request copies of my book by post. And all of them are requests for free supply of the book.
One such letter conveyed me that the library for which they were making the request was for a group of religious ladies. I know people of Andhra Pradesh are very religious, but what I don't know is how my book will foster their religious pursuit. So I did not comply.
Another request was from a person living in the same town where I'm working. It was a postcard. I thought he would come to me one day knowing that the author lives in his town. He didn't come. So he spared me the unpleasant experience of saying 'no'.
There was one more request from an old person of eighty plus. His handwriting was so ugly I couldn't read much out of it. My respect for his age guiding me, I took help from others. They tried to contact the gentleman on my behalf, but the phone number he mentioned in his letter was found to be out of service.
I could have still supplied the book, but on a second thought I refrained from doing this. The gentleman didn't write in one letter; rather to save his money he wrote four postcards, cleverly sequencing them as 1, 2, 3, and 4. Thanks to our postal service, all the four came together helping me to decipher that it was a request for my book from an old man. Finally I decided: a careless miser does not deserve to read this book.
Another gentleman, a journalist from Ranchi, mailed me about supply of a copy of "The Remix…." I got his order reconfirmed. The gentleman asked for a book with my signature. I sent a copy, but through cash-on-delivery channel. The gentleman didn't take delivery. In retrospect, I think sending through cash-on-delivery channel was a good decision: I only lost the money I paid for the postage; not the whole book.
A. N. Nanda