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

Friday - - Real Life -

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

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