Foreword that I wrote to a splendid novel ‘The Tailender’ by a young boy Anirudh Naveen, who is still a student at Delhi Public School, Pune. The e-book will be available on Amazon soon.
Tailender has different connotations. One is, obviously, the laggard who languishes at the back. Another is the cricketing inference to one who brings up the rear but has a more important part in another role. But even in his minor avatar, the tailender is often called upon to shore up the innings of his team in conjunction with one of the main protagonists with the willow. That can well be the difference between victory and defeat, not seldom by a thin margin. The moral, thus, is that no role or situation in life is insignificant. Whatever the circumstances, give it all you’ve got. Do everything with purpose and intent.
Which brings one to the other kind of tailender, the laggard. Such a person is invariably one who does not the fathom the context in which he is performing a certain task, and consequently does not give his best. In education, for instance, sometimes students simply do not understand why they are pursuing certain subjects, or even the very purpose of their curriculum. Also, mechanical city life is an impediment to the broadening of outlook, obscuring the larger picture. There is no clarity of purpose or vision, and they just meander along…..until a lucky one finds a mentor, sometimes by chance.
It is the second category that this well-researched book addresses using the analogy of the first. Cricket, therefore, surfaces around every bend. The sport is so popular in India that readers, particularly the young, would readily relate to the book. Several points are illustrated using the nuances of the game. There are various historical and political references that would be a revelation to some.
The talented well-informed budding author has conceptualized the storyline skilfully, crafting the characters with imagination, and springing in well-timed sub-plots that add an element of mystery to the tale. He is certainly a well-read schoolboy who has penned a novel that would do credit to writers far senior in age and experience. It has been an enjoyable few days reading this delightful story.
Indra Vikram Singh