There is a saying: Don’t judge a book by its cover. The adage suits Laxman Rao to the dot. He is a tea seller who sits with his appurtenances in front of the Hindi Bhavan at ITO in New Delhi.
But that is not how people know Rao; they know him as the writer of many a novel, all in Hindi. The 63-year-old Rao sells books at the same place where he prepares delectable tea for customers on a daily basis.
Awarded by former President Pratibha Patil in 2009, Rao has written 24 books, of which 13 have been published. His books are being sold on leading online retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.
Rao told TY News, “Earlier when I approached online websites requesting them to put up my books for sale, they refused. But as readers started growing, the websites themselves contacted me to sell my books online.”
His tea stall is frequented by many – from college students to foreigners. They come not only to sip tea but also to purchase books.
It is ironic that Laxman has succeeded in selling his books before the Hindi Bhavan, which has clearly failed in promotion and propagation of the language. This reporter asked a Swiss visitor who came to buy books at Laxman’s stall. When asked how she would understand books written in Hindi, she replied: ”I am learning Sanskrit and there are other scholars who are learning Hindi so I will get these books translated.”
Laxman says a better person can be a better author. People from all over the world come to meet Laxman. So whenever you visit ITO, meet Laxman Rao. It would be one of the most memorable days of your life.