June 24th 2012, Yeah that was the date fixed when the debut novel of Kshitiz Roy would release. Four months back in February, at Netarhat there went a tense discussion on the name of the novel. Shrimanji and Kshitiz Ji were eager to have the title ‘Buy Me A Patna’ which was tempting and touching too. But their opinions were discarded by the publisher- Mahavir Publication as they wanted the title – ‘Romance with a City’. None the less, both titles were appropriate but the thinking of a young thought provoking writer and a learned man like Srimanji could not be ignored. The tension continued and the matter was resolved by the cup of coffee when everybody left it over to the publisher for the final decision. Then I had the feeling in some corner of my mind that neither of the two titles could win the race of being the ultimate one. Reason behind releasing the novel on that day was that it was the marriage anniversary of his parents and the novel would be the perfect gift to present. But owing to unavoidable reasons the novel did not come on that day. I too had a disappointment. I was so much eager to find it resting in my lap. I waited and waited and waited just as Kshitiz ji typed and typed and typed the novel on his
In the evening of 8th November, 2012, while I was stepping out of Hari Om Tower attending my usual boring classes, I found a message resting in my inbox of my mobile phone. Reading the mail, my mood changed and my face brimmed with life and laughter finding that the name has been finalized and the cover too has been designed. I hurriedly rushed down the lanes of Ranchi to one of the Cyber Cafés and asked for a place. While I logged in my Facebook profile a notification blinked- Kshitiz Roy asked you to like his page ‘City City Bang Bang’. Knowing nothing of it I opened the page and there it was-‘City City Bang Bang’. The cover was set; the title was finalized; the novel was ready to be served. I wanted to devour it at that instance. My assumption was correct. The novel had a unique status so it got a unique title and unique look. I rummaged through all the pages related to the novel, liked it and rushed back to home gladly as if I was filled with the contentment of winning something special. Ya, it was special! It was like a dream come true for Kshitiz Ji and everyone associated with the making of the novel. I studied the cover page and Srimanji even cleared every minute details of the cover on the mobile phone. The cover was meticulously planned and quite profusely built in order to attract and captivate. The cover itself is the gist of the novel; the happening of the novel; the pros and cons of the novel.
I was still glad when I reached home and my father asked me the reason for the same. I ignored. On the bed that night there was no sleep in my eyes. I dreamt of the days when I would read through the lines of ‘City City Bang Bang’.
I remembered the days of my third year at Netarhat when I first heard of him writing a novel. I did not dare to ask for it. Very next year, he himself told me of the novel that he was writing. I thought he was boasting. He did not tell this to everyone. I asked some of my friends about the novel but nobody responded. My curiosity aroused and I dared to ask about that. He told me of the real time mysteries of the world and we were soon accompanied by Srimanji who too listened to him with full devotion and dedication and at times added a touch of philosophy to the talk. That year a book of poetry by Kshitiz Ji in Hindi ‘TUM’ has come and I saw Srimanji weeping while going through the lines of his son. Such profound emotions overflowed from the lines of Kshitiz Ji that made his own father to weep. Each drop of tear that rolled down the cheeks of Srimanji proved to be the milestones of improvement of writing of Kshitiz Ji. Usually I saw both of them acting like partners to each other and working on the storyline and I found every time Kshitiz Ji dominated over Srimanji. Srimanji was even proud of it! The novel was build after discussion and talks with commons.
Kshitiz Ji was inquisitive to infuse every aspect of life in his novel. He visited several remote rural areas of Netarhat and talked to the residents about their life and living. The motley beautiful places surrounding the area captivated him and I remember he told me some day that he was always inspired by the places he visited, and things he saw. His eyes, ears and heart were always open for thoughts. Picking up small things and talking of it like a professional man left us awestruck. He was a tumbler full of Knowledge!
Being a content writer he managed time for his writing as well the job. I always saw him indulged in some activity or the other. He played cricket with us, shared time with the housemates, prepared sumptuous dishes (especially his favourite Maggie and coffee which I miss too much) and came up to the expectations of everyone. One can’t feel bored while with him; He was a perfect entertainer! He discovered things for himself. Apart from his busy schedule he was quite enthusiastic to help everyone in need. During the School English Drama 2011, the actors were not able to infuse action into the drama. We came up to him and he rewrote the script and we together ransacked the pages of several books on Julius Caesar in the library as a project work. For action he showed us the movie ‘300’ and after watching, our actors were juvenile and the play was a big success.
In the beginning of the year 2012, almost all the typing works was over. Srimanji once asked him, “Kshitiz, isme gaaliyan kuchh jyaada nahin ho gaya kya?” He replied, ”Script ki jarurat hai, Papa”. Of Course, it was the requirement of the script. After all, readers too want to visualize the changes taking place in the society. He was not at all ashamed by the question of Srimanji. Srimanji cracked hard nuts for the proof reading of the novel as he did not want to leave any loophole in the book. It is the nature of Srimanji; his works are so fine that one cannot find any mistake in it. His writing is exemplarily outstanding; it is extremely beautiful and he admits it that determination and hard labour has gifted him such beauty. Most of the characteristic characters have been inherited by the young author.
Mataji quite often encouraged the young brain for writing and being an eminent reader of literature, gave vivid thoughts about things. By mid-January, Srimanji had the novel printed on A4 sheet for proof reading and error-correction. It was quite difficult to tag the pages in a single file. Right from the morning, he was busy with tons of papers spread around him to be tagged. It was quite difficult for us to arrange them systematically but we finished the job in two and a half hour. I could see the sigh of contentment in the eyes of Srimanji and then he patted me on my shoulder, “Oh, it’s up finally!” I too wanted to give a pat on his shoulder for his works for the novel, for his son. But I did not do so, how can I? By then, he had finished writing the review of the book and the profile of Kshitiz Ji. The book was almost complete and now, only the printing job was left and it would soon be rocking in the markets by December, 2012.
Now I understand who Kshitiz Ji is? Being Kshitiz Roy is a mammoth task and he finished the job with perfection and satisfaction. He has carved out a niche for himself in the arena of writing. Wishing for a grand success of the novel ‘City City Bang Bang’, I reserve a copy of the book for myself. It would be my privilege to be one of the first owners of the Book at Ranchi. Praying for the good of the career of Kshitiz Ji and his writings, I welcome one and all to read the novel at least once. ‘City City Bang Bang’ is a novel worth reading; a novel for all; a novel written in a lifetime; a novel that will rule the bookshelves.