Anees Salim on his books

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. A college dropout turns ace advertising professional, and publishes not one but four novels in quick succession – and that too, all four in the span of a single year with publishing houses of reputations that make you sit up and take notice. , newly minted author and Creative Director, FCB Ulka, Kochi, though, is one who shies away from the limelight.

He has made it clear that he’s not available for the traditional tour of cities following the release of a book. ‘No book releases for me’ – Anees has posted on his Facebook page, which has loads of followers thanks to his where he has loads of followers drawn to it by his crisp wit. Anees’ pseudonym Hasina Mansoor had quite the following on Facebook too. She later became the protagonist of the novel Tales From A Vending Machine. In fact, it is in the guise of Hasina Mansoor itself that Anees sent out his first manuscript “as the opening pages of her autobiography” to agents and publishers. The book was picked up by a literary agent and sold to a publisher in no time.

But when it came to getting published, another of Anees’ books jumped the queue. The Vicks Mango Tree, Anees’s debut novel, which is already in stores, is set in the Emergency, a period that has an infinite appeal to the Malayali. “It’s the story of India as she limps through 21 months of suspended civil liberties, half-hearted revolts and stern censorship. It is also the tale of common people who pursue their middle class Indian dreams,” he says. With four titles and three publishers in his pocket, Anees is still a recluse who claims that he has no other muse but writing. Excerpts from an interview…

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