Laxman Rao – A Tea Seller | Author

Laxman Rao – A Tea Seller | Author

Laxman Rao is an Indian writer and tea-seller. He was born on 22.07.1952 in Talegaon Dashasar village in Amravati district in Maharashtra. The author of over 24 novels, plays and political essays, Rao, a graduate of Delhi University, is also a sidewalk tea-seller in Delhi. His books are based largely on his own experiences and reviewers have said that his books “exude a rare sense of honesty and humility” and that his “writings are woven around ground realities of life”

Here is Laxman Rao’s life in his words : “Ramdas was of my village and we studied in same school, but he was my senior. He was a characterless student in the school. A teacher of the school completely changed him and he became favourite student of all the teachers. One day when he was returning after attending a wedding, his urge to take a bath in a river made him to jump in the river and he never came back. That was not a suicide case, but this incident inspired me to become a writer. I have passed secondary classes in Marathi language from Nagpur Board, Maharashtra, senior secondary classes from C.B.S.E., New Delhi and graduated from Delhi University. Now I am pursuing M.A. (Hindi – 2nd Year) from IGNOU. My struggle started way back in 1975 when I landed in Delhi with an aim to become a successful Author. Before that I used to work in a spinning mill in Amravati. After the closure of the mill I started to work in the fields. Then I took Rs. 40 from my father and left my hometown. I wanted to come to Delhi but all my money was spent till Bhopal. There I worked as a labourer at construction site for three months. After I arranged some money I came to Delhi in July, 1975. I stayed in a Dharmshala of Birla Mandir for 2-3 days. I was looking for a job but didn’t succeed. Then I worked as a labourer and afterwards as a waiter at roadside eateries for two years. In 1977, I opened my own paan (beetle leaves) and cigarette shop at Vishnu Digamber Marg near I.T.O. Later I converted my paan shop into a tea shop. I chose to write in Hindi as I wanted my books to be read all over the country. So I started reading Hindi books as much as possible. I used to visit Daryaganj’s old books’ market every Sunday and buy Hindi books. That was when I read books of Gulshan Nanda, Munshi Premchand, Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay, Shakespeare, Lenin, Marx etc. I approached a number of publishers to publish my books in early days of my struggle in Delhi, but they all refused to publish my books for some reason or the other. One of them said, “Get out from here. You don’t know what publication is all about.” That was when I decided to publish the books on my own. I established my publication house ‘BHARTIYA SAHITYA KALA PRAKASHAN’ and published my first novel ‘NAYI DUNIYA KI NAYI KAHANI’ in 1979. I met Mrs. Indira Gandhi at Teen Murti Bhawan on 27th May, 1984. She told me not to give up my writing. I insisted that I wanted to write her biography but she asked me to write something on Prime Ministers’ tenure. Hence, I wrote a play within three months and titled it ‘PRADHANMANTRI’. I wanted to present this book to Mrs. Indira Gandhi but her unfortunate death had taken away this opportunity from me. Now a book titled ‘PRADHANMANTRI’ which is based on Indira Gandhi’s tenure as a Prime Minister of India (1969-1972) is ready to publish and shall be released soon. After this I published my third book ‘RAMDAS’ a social hindi novel in 1992. I have sold over 3000 copies of Ramdas till July 2014. The other books that I have got published are as follows: Narmada 2001 & 2014, Parampara Se Judi Bhartiya Rajneeti 2006, 2010 & 2013, Abhivyakti 2010 & 2013, Renu 2008 & 2012, Ahankaar 2012, Ramdas 1992, 2001 & 2013, Drishtikon 2014. Currently, I am working on my upcoming books ‘PRADHANMANTRI (Literary Analysis) and DANSH (a social hindi novel).” Ramdas, Renu, Abhivyakti and Drishtikon are available for sale on www.amazon.in . On 23rd July, 2009 I was invited to President House along with my family to meet President of India Mrs. Pratibha Patil and to present her my social hindi novel ‘Renu’. Meeting with the president has added credibility to my work.
Most of the people ask me that if I write so good then why am I selling tea, I could have had looked for a job in an office. But to this I have to say that had I chose to do job in an office I wouldn’t have been able to continue my writing. Though I don’t get so much time to write while selling tea but whatever I manage to read and write I do this with free mind. As my writing doesn’t fetch me more than Rs. 10,000/- a month, I have to run this tea stall for the daily bread. A play has also been staged on my novel ‘RAMDAS’ with the same name. It was directed by Sh. Sunil Rawat under the banner ‘Saksham Art Group’. It was staged for the first time on Teacher’s Day in 2011 at Pearey Lal Bhawan, I.T.O., New Delhi. After that it was staged for four more times in New Delhi latest being on 11th May, 2012 at Amphi Theatre, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. The response to the play has proved that tea selling work is no obstacle to my creativity. The play has got a positive response by the audience. They appreciated the play. I live in East Delhi’s Shakarpur area with my wife Rekha and two sons Hitesh and Paresh in a rented house. My elder son Hitesh is pursuing Chartered Accountancy course and younger son Paresh is a graduate from Delhi University in B.Com. and now he is pursuing M.Com from IGNOU. I am very much satisfied with my life, I want to move ahead. I am hopeful that my books shall earn me a lot of money someday. Then I’ll stop selling tea and engage in full time writing. That day is not too far away now.”

Video credits: The DelhiPedia

Laxman Rao is the best example to prove that poverty doesn’t deviate your passion. There are so many ways, you can fulfil your dreams if your deterministic about your passion. Here is the video on the daily life of this passionate tea man.

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