Authors, coffee And All

Devaki Purohit
Saturday, 24 November 2018

A young publishing house, And All, held a reader-author meet at a city cafe. A report

Once upon a time, she asked herself, ‘what if?’ until it became ‘why not?’. Everything fell into place from that point onwards for Devangini Mahapatra, and it culminated in a readers-authors

ublishers meet at Waari Book Cafe, Kothrud on Friday. 

By 6.30 pm, as the skies turned dark and the small twinkling bulbs were switched on, the cafe packed with enthusiastic youngsters, authors, publishers was bustling with energy.  After a few crisp ‘Nice to meet you’ and several group pictures, the crowd settled down in a group, eager for the event to commence.

Mansi Engineer of And All publishing house greeted the audience. Before diving into the books kept ready for unveiling, she urged everyone to fasten their seatbelts as it was going to be an evening filled with author interactions, book readings, signings and so on.

She emphasised the purpose of such meets held by the publishing house — to connect with writers and provide a platform for their work. A publishing house started merely eight months ago, was already eight books old. Behind this idea and its success, stood the founder and entrepreneur, Mahapatra. 

Mahapatra’s goal was simple — to match her passion with a purpose. A lady dabbling in the field of writing since a young age, she was there that evening not just as a publisher, but also as an author, for the launch of her first e-book, Where’s My Cloak. It’s a memoir plus a handbook of her award-winning journey as an entrepreneur.

Mahapatra’s little daughter and her dear friend, Amrita Singh, were called forward to unveil the book. As she sat down for a talk, she spoke about the title of her book. Commonly known, cloak is a piece of clothing one used to hide behind. But Mahapatra wanted to break free of that meaning, and talk of a cloak used not to hide, but to empower. The book was written to empower women who seek to follow their passion. 

When she was asked about her inspiration, Mahapatra’s answer was simple. “I wanted to be a role model for my daughter. I did not want to be just a freelancer. I wanted to be someone she could look up to, growing up. I had to scale things up,” she said with a smile. 

With her strong vision and a team of fired-up ladies — Archana Lobo, Engineer, And All publishing house is already leaving its trail and getting recognised for its work. From fantasy novels to romantic ones, patriotic thrillers and lifelong stories that are replacing love stories, there is very little that And All has not done this year. Their first author, Captain Rakesh Walia, unfortunately couldn’t attend the launch of his trilogy, but its unveiling was met with an enthusiastic response by the audience. 

Another one of their authors had an interactive session with the crowd too. Swayam Singh and his book The Godkiller, intrigued every mind present there. “I wanted to write about the need of creation of a god of reason. That requires the death of the old gods of faith. So, who will be the Godkiller?” he queried.

As the evening came close to a conclusion, everyone had the opportunity to browse through the various published works of And All, chat with the authors, and get their copies signed or simply sip on Waari Cafe’s delicious coffee. 

As And All gears up to take this meet-and-greet to other cities, and add more books to their collection, they are encouraging more and more writers to come forward.

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