New Delhi: Laxman Rao is no ordinary chaiwallah (tea vendor). His tea stall at New Delhi's ITO complex offers more than just a hot brew. For a few hundred rupees, you can pick up one of his 24 books, written over 40 years.
"I observe people from my tea stall. They become my characters and my stories are based on them," he says.
In 1975, when Rao came to Delhi, many publishers rejected him. Despite that, Rao came out with his own banner Bhartiya Sahitya Kala Prakashan.
"Publishing is a tough job. You need to write, struggle to get it published. But selling the book is the toughest job of them all," he says.
From schools to public libraries to the distributors at Daryaganj, Rao tried to win them all. Although success took a while, Rao's popularity soared as journalists and theatre enthusiasts frequented his tea stall. And from word of mouth, Rao is now using the social media effectively to make a sales pitch.
"My sons through internet alert my buyers about my future projects. I have been struggling for 40 years now. In few years I will take up writing full time," he says.
Defying all odds Laxman Rao has managed to make his dreams come true, fighting the battle on his own terms. His simple yet gutsy formula of hard work, patience and perseverance is the success mantra. The story of this footpath author still has many chapters to go. Till then he will continue to head towards his goal, a tea cup at a time.