“Books are light houses erected in the great sea of time.” -E.P. Whipple
Whipple has very rightly said about the books. The books are written by learned authors, read by helluo librorum or ubi vermis liber, but in between the two there is one important link and that is the publisher. Above that there is a particular personality of a man who has been leading forward the flotilla of publishers for the past several decades as head of the Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India (FPBAI). We feel it necessary to mention a few words about that man-Subhash Sethi and his auto-biography: “PAGES FROM MY LIFE – A PUBLISHER’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY”.
Subhash Sethi has to his credit an illuminating experience of 50 years in publishing industry. During this prolonged period, he passed through innumerable phases of agonies and ecstasies, thereby constituting a strong peripheral wall made from the strong bricks of experience.
However, Sethi did not want to let the experiences go unshared and unutilized. With the view he has taken trouble to compile the creamy layer of vast experience in the shape of this book to provide stimuli, information and learning’s of trade for the benefit of the young generation entering the publishing industry, which may prove to be a Magna Carta for young entrepreneurs of book trade.
The foreword of Sethi’s book has been written by Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi; in which he has concluded that having overcoming all problems, this man of unique qualities as of today is not only an established publisher but also the leader of the publishing industry. I am glad to know that he has written his ‘Memoirs’, which not only gives a nostalgic account of his life cycle but is most likely to prove as guiding star for aspiring publishers.
The book published by Viva Books Pvt. Ltd; contains 214 pages comprising 13 Chapters; prominent among which are: Trials and Tribulations, Partners and Friends speak; The media speak, When I met an Angel; Hello, Young Men and My philosophy of life.
In trials and tribulations Sethi laments his agony of not having seen his father. He was just a few months old when he lost his father that too in extreme troubled circumstances when the partition of the country took place in 1947. His mother escaped with him and other siblings from Sargodha district in West Punjab (now in Pakistan) by keeping him in roti ki tokri (bread basket). The life of Sethi from childhood till now has been full of struggles, agonies and ecstasies. However, Sethi did not allow his experiences to go waste and he has given the account of these experiences in the shape of this book for the benefit of the youth aspiring to join publishing industry.
Subhash Sethi joined the publishing industry in 1967. After having worked with some of India’s leading publishers, Sethi runs his own company, Indiana Publishing House, and its imprint Cross Land Books. Indiana has a list of over 700 titles covering various areas of interest a big achievement for a young company.
Although, the book had earlier been released by Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Member of Parliament, during Annual General Meeting of The Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India. However, Mr. Sethi on February 9, 2017, made a courtesy call to Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India and gave him the book. The President browsed the book with interest and appreciated Mr. Sethi’s efforts for compiling the work.