A memoir out of your memories

Ever thought of preserving your loves ones past as a novel? CE identifies Kagaz ke Phool, that writes personal biographies of people

Published: 16th November 2016 10:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2016 02:29 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: His grandmother’s 70th birthday was round the corner. In his pursuit to do something special for her, Namit Maheshwari decided to make a book out of the letters penned by her loved ones for her.  The birthday girl was in tears when the family presented this small token of memories.

 All those letters were printed on parchment sheets penned in the authors’ handwriting. The celebrations went on where every person present on the occasion read their letter to her. At the end of the ceremony, she kissed Namit’s forehead and hugged him on the stage. “She believed that those letters gave her all the respect a person looks for in their lifetime,” says Namit recalling the moment that changed his life.

He was zoned out for a few moments, realising probably this is what every person looked forward to in their life — acknowledgement. “That night I created Kagaz ke Phool, a company that writes stories of people exclusively for them,” he adds.

So, what kind of market was it, when he started his business? “There were certain things missing from the market — the art of appreciating or acknowledging that someone had an ephemeral impact. With the help of digital media, we are able to make products of mass appreciation — photo collages and video compilation, but Kagaz ke Phool was aimed at bringing back the magic of writing,” he says. A minimum of four weeks is required from placing of an order for a private biography to eventually getting it published.

The concept of private biographies has always been around, but was restricted to a few. “People were under the impression that getting their biographies written made sense only when they had reached the level of Amitabh Bachchan or Sachin Tendulkar. We are trying to shun that notion. Everyday life is a struggle for a normal human being and they do their best to take care of their families. We believe that they should be appreciated by their near and dear ones for their efforts. The concept of recording memories has always been there but preserving them in the form of novels is indeed new,” says Namit.

His team comprises of established writers, journalists as well as certain renowned publishers. “We are the first in India to take this idea to the common man. There are a couple of companies abroad that are into the same kind of work, but we believe we are drastically different,” he says.

The published books essentially take the readers through the life of a protagonist, as if they were walking in their shoes. “We don’t exaggerate while writing stories; there is no need for us to make the book interesting with an uncertain climax. People reading these books generally know the central character in and out. Our prerequisite is to portray the characters in the book as honestly as possible, so that when they read it, they can say, “Yes, this is me”. We are trying to revive the magic of writing again. This philosophy of empathy and authenticity makes us better in this industry,” says Namit.

His customers fall in the age group of 20-80 years. “Regardless of the phase of life they are in, they have some moments that make their life worth living. We simply help them preserve it,” he says. Essentially people under the age of 50 are more interested in acknowledging the people around them like their parents, spouses, or friends is what Namit found out during his interactions with clients.

“Customers over that age look for a biography that helps them to preserve their story. We have done books for both the age brackets on a variety of subjects. Siblings getting books for one another, parents giving a book to their daughter on her wedding day, love stories and kids acknowledging their parents have been the usual requests. We do get a lot of silver and golden jubilee gifts,” he says. “Sometimes talking to clients and understanding their stories can be emotional,” he shared.  
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