Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunil Poolani - The Champion of the Written Word

The demise of Sunil Poolani, the executive director and editorial head of the Fiction division of Leadstart Publishing, is definitely a tremendous blow to the publishing business in Mumbai. It is also a huge loss for writers like myself who had received support and guidance from this extremely helpful person. Despite his busy schedule, Sunil would always find time to talk to us or send an email regarding our queries or reservations. Yes, we will miss him a lot.

When I heard the sad news  from Douglas Misquita, the author of Haunted (an amazing novel), I simply could not believe it as Sunil was in his early Forties. Yet he had achieved a lot in this relatively short period of existence. He had transformed the publishing landscape in Mumbai by giving opportunities to aspiring writers of English fiction and non-fiction. Any writer worth his salt in these genres would know how difficult it is to get published in Mumbai where publishers prefer to publish the great works of chefs and textbook writers than the local "Shakespeares" and "Dickens.'" The big publishers like Rupa, Harper Collins and Penguin are based in the northern part of the country and it is difficult to interact with them.

I admit it took a few months before Sunil got back to me after my submission of an assorted sample of poems, short stories and essays on their website but most other publishers would make you wait much longer. After the excitement of my work being selected for publishing, I worked out the details with Sunil and Swarup Nanda, the big boss of Leadstart and my book "Rose Gardens and Minefields" was released in October 2010. Sunil published an article on my book in his blog and had guided me ever since.

Besides being a lion in the publishing business, Sunil was an accomplished reviewer and critic who regularly contributed articles to mainstream publications like the DNA and the Hindustan times. He was one of those dynamic personalities who lived their dream to the fullest. He was one who loved and worshipped his work but still spared some time for poor souls like me. Yes, we salute you O Champion of the written word!!!

6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Leadstart Publishing rocks!!! Sunil Poolani was indeed great!!!

Mathew Panamkat said...

Leadstart responded to me a first time writer for adults.I salute Sunil Poolani a giant in the literary world. He was a Mallu like me.
"Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of oceon bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on desert air."
Sunil was both a gem and flower whose glitter and fragrance only a few have experienced.

Vivek Pereira said...

Hey Mathew, these are exactly my sentiments and you have expressed them extremely well.

Vivek Pereira said...

Hey Mathew, you have captured my sentiments precisely and expressed them extremely well. These are wonderful words!!!

brian d said...

Vivek: How do i get hold of a copy of your book? I am keen to read your poems.

Binoy Gupta said...

Leadstart is publishing books by new authors.
But are the books available in any regular book shop?

Or the story ends after a formal publicized launch?

Binoy Gupta