Book: Surrogate Author: Authdas Journey of Nine-month book delivery
Author: Santosh Avvannavar, Shilpa Patil
Publisher: Hoffen (2014)
Paperback: 47 pages
Devdas is a classic tale of love & passion. And who knows the pull of passion than a writer who has began his journey to becoming an author for the first time? Imagine the aspiring author as the Devdas. Then what role would Paro and Chandramukhi play in his making? Surrogate Author: Authdas Journey of Nine-month book delivery is based on this theme, and follows a writer trying to unite with his first love—his debut book.
Written as a play, Surrogate Author is modelled on SLB’s Devdas. The protagonist, Authdas is an engineer, who dreams of writing his first book, Paro. His family, afraid that his love for writing might ruin his prestigious career, try to keep him away from writing, which leaves him broken-hearted. Enter Chandramukhi, the inspiration who helps him get through his depression. Can our Authdas win his Paro, or will he meet the same tragic fate as the Devdas in the movie?
In Surrogate Author, the writer’s journey is divided into nine months from inception of the story to the finished manuscript. There is an accurate portrayal of family reaction when their London return son decides to follow his passion instead of a successful career path. The emotions of an aspiring author, his insecurities, and pangs of self-doubt are well depicted.
The authors, Santosh Avvannavar and Shilpa Patil, have woven drama, humour, and harsh realities of a writer’s life to form a tight plot. They encourage writers to keep following their passion in spite of negative criticism, or lures of fame, and money.
However, the book has some grammar, and editing errors. There are few awkward sentences, which feel like literal translations from Hindi.
There’s a mention in the book, “already Sanjay uncle is angry with us for rewriting his story.” For a moment I was confused; I was sure the author of Devdas was named Sarat Chandra not Sanjay. When I realised who Sanjay was, I was still irked. I know that the book is based on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Movie Devdas, and not on the original novel. The movie might be Sanjay’s; the story will always be Sarat Chandra’s. Normally, I would have ignored this, but Surrogate Author is a story about an author’s love for his book.
The book serves to remind an aspiring author, the reason someone starts writing a book in the first place—the love for writing—the reason one shouldn’t quit. Surrogate Author has two sections: the first section is the story while the second gives valuable pointers to newbie writers.
Quotes from Surrogate Author:
Writing books have taught me—true Devdas are authors. (the introduction)
It’s (Writing is) like a surrogacy agreement, the carrying of idea into books for the intended readers.
Surrogate Author would appeal to people who love drama & movies. If you’re an aspiring author, then you might enjoy reading the funny take on a writer’s life.
You might also want to read my review of this author’s other book She: Ekla Cholo Re
* I received a review copy from the author in exchange of an honest review.