Source : The Hindu
Perumbadavam’s Oru Sankeerthanam Pole has received overwhelming acceptance
Set in St. Petersburg Oru Sankeerthanam Pole first hit the stands in 1993. Woven around an unusual romance and noted for its simple-yet-intense appeal, Perumbadavam’s magnum opus that took the Malayalam literary scene by storm has reached its 100th edition. It will be released by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. “The book came out at a time when people believed that the era of reading was over. I am happy that this book could contribute to the revival of the scene,” says the author.
Oru Sankeerthanam Pole has sold over 2 lakh copies in 24 years. “I have penned many bestsellers like Abhayam, but this one is different. It is set in 19th century Russia, a backdrop not so familiar to the regular Malayali reader. I was not prepared for the overwhelming acceptance and numbers,” says Sreedharan.
Asramam Bhasi’s Sankeerthanam Publications, which has the exclusive rights for Perumbadavam Sreedharan’s works, may be the first publishing house in India and certainly a rarity elsewhere that is named after its first book. “We have published nine books of Perumbadavam and I think we are the only publisher who has printed the entire oeuvre of a single author.”
Bhasi says he first met Perumbadavam as a schoolboy and they share an intimate and brotherly bond. “He was a fan-turned-family-friend who came forward to publish my book. I discouraged him as I was not quite confident about the success of a Malayalam book set in Russia. But I never expected Oru Sankeerthanam Pole to become a bestseller or break records. After that, all my other works were published by Sankeerthanam,” says Perumbadavam.
A unique aspect of the author-publisher relationship is the absence of any legal contract binding the duo. “I have never signed on the dotted line for Bhasi and there is no agreement between us. In 1993, he was a young businessman and I turned him into a publisher,” laughs the author. Sankeerthanam Publications has published 350 titles of various authors. Bhasi says he never tried any marketing strategy to increase the sales of Oru Sankeerthanam Pole. “Often, the merit of the book is reflected in the sales volume, there are always readers for great writing”, he says.