Amrut Deshmukh, popularly known as the Booklet Guy was invited as one of the esteemed faculty members at Pune VEDH in the year 2018 and later at Parbhani VEDH in November the same year. The theme for that year’s Pune VEDH was ‘Passion to Wisdom’. I, a regular audience member for the past eight years and a budding volunteer of the Pune VEDH team, was most inspired by Amrut Deshmukh’s interview. I had watched guests like Rohan Shetty, Rohini Rau, Maya Burhanpurkar, Krushnamegh Kunte who had scaled the mountain of success with ultimate clarity of goal. But our booklet guy trekked up to the peak on a parallel road to the one these other inspiring guests have walked. it is absolutely inspiring how, after three failed startups, he found his dream through books. it would rather be more fitting to say that books finally found him. A man who wanted to be an entrepreneur, not just became a regular businessman in the capitalistic sense, but a social entrepreneur.
Editing this blog series became the reason why I contacted the booklet guy. I wanted to request him to write a piece for our blog series as a faculty member. He readily agreed. And so this beautifully genuine piece was sent to me a few days ago:
“Amrut! Please pick up the call!”, I read this WhatsApp message from my IT friend Sanjyot who manages Booklet App. OMG! 12 missed calls from Sanjyot! Must be something serious. I called him back.
“Hello, What happened Sanjyot?”, I said with a bit of nervousness. “Amrut where are you man? Do you know our Booklet app downloads have shot up by 10 times in one day!? So many people suddenly downloaded our app, that the server has crashed. But don’t worry. I did the needful and the sever is now live again. But what happened? How come so many downloads all of a sudden?”, Sanjyot spoke all this in one breath.
I had to interrupt him. “Wow wow wow. That’s a great news man! I am not sure about the reason of this sudden spike in downloads. Wait let me check and get back to you. Bye”.
I quickly opened play store to see the latest app reviews from which I could get a clue. One of the reviews read: अमृत, तुझा video बघितला YouTube वर डॉ.. आनंद नाडकर्णीं बरोबर. खुप छान काम करत आहेस. माझी काही मदत हवी असेल तर नक्की सांग.”
What! The video of VEDH is up on YouTube. I immediately looked it up and was apalled. 81000 views!!! The video had gone viral amongst many Marathi and non-Marathi people. There were 102 comments of appreciation on that video.
What a memorable day of my life. I could not resist my temptation to watch the video although all the discussions between me and Dr. Nadkarni were still fresh in my mind. There was a gentle smile on my face throughout the video with bursts of huge laughter at regular intervals.
The only words I said to myself were, “Thanks VEDH. Mission Make India Read accomplished!”
I personally think, in a world of degrading environment, depleting natural resources and a drying human touch; mission make India read is the ultimate fertilizer for minds that wish to make the world a better place to live.