Roadside tea vendor turned popular author
Delhi-based Laxman Rao has been selling more than just tea on the pavements of Delhi for four decades. The 62-year-old is an awardwinning author who has 12 published books to his credit with several more in the pipeline, finds
Rain-bearing clouds hang heavy over the skies of New Delhi as an avuncular portly man alights from his bicycle outside the Hindi Bhavan near the popular Pragati Maidan and begins setting up a makeshift tea stall on the footpath. In a few minutes Laxman Rao’s stall – a rudimentary plank to hold his stove and tea making paraphernalia under a large umbrella – is up after which he opens a large bag of books and spreads the novels on a plastic sheet in front of the stall.
In no time people stop by and order tea. One of them picks up a book, flips through it and purchases it. Laxman smiles as he accepts the money for the book. ‘That’s a novel I wrote last year,’ says the 62-year-old man. ‘It has already sold over 5,000 copies.’
The tea vendor is a hugely popular award-winning writer and has already got 12 published books to his credit, several of them selling like hot cakes at his tea stall and on online stores such as Flipkart and Amazon.
‘I self publish and on an average sell books worth around Rs10,000 [Dh550] every month,’ says the author.
The figure is impressive considering the fact that Laxman started off life in Delhi working as a construction labourer, then in roadside eateries, cleaning dishes for a living.
‘I arrived in Delhi from Maharashtra in 1975. My dream was to be a writer, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t easy so took up the first job that came my way – as a construction labourer,’ he says. When