People usually ask me about the title of my book In Quest of the Last Victory. Why ‘The Last’ victory? Did you achieve the victory? Or is the quest still going on?
My reply to such queries is—‘See, we are not here forever. So, there has to be a last victory too. But my book is not about achieving some pre-set targets or crossing some finishing lines. On the contrary, it is about learning to be free of this obsession of achieving targets and still making the most of your life by leading it in a meaningful, purposeful and contended way.’
The last victory is the story of the most important victory that we need to achieve. It is the story of victory over our own self, victory over our own limitations, both of the physical kind and the mental kind. It is a story of taking motivation from your own failures, in your pursuit for that ever elusive success. It is the story of a lifetime. It is an ongoing quest.
This is not the story of a born achiever. It is the story of an average child, a slow learner, who through repeated trials and tribulations converts his weaknesses into his strengths. He converted his repeated failures into a determination to succeed. It brings him to the most important lesson of his life, which he would need to discover and rediscover, time and again.
Pondering over the right way to present this story, my prime objective was to be able to write a book that would make a person feel happy about having read it. It took me eight years to get it right. After rejecting partly written manuscripts several times and innumerable revisions thereafter, I finally felt I had what I was looking for in terms of a manuscript.
I distributed copies of the manuscript to a set of twenty-five people, including journalists, writers, critics, teachers, students, parents, children, voracious readers and non-readers. The response was overwhelming. People would call me up in the middle of the book several times and excitedly tell me where they had reached. They would tell me where they cried and where they laughed. It was only after I got this overwhelming response that I started contacting publishers.
In a busy world, with so many aspiring authors, it was very difficult to get across the front desk of publishing houses. It was only after making numerous rounds of many publishing houses that I was able to get through to Pearson, and I am so grateful that after going through the story, they offered to publish the book.
From the first time that the book came out in 2012, the response has been overwhelmingly encouraging, more than any author could possibly expect. Yes, in terms of numbers, it might not have reached the most popular selling books yet, but the response has been growing by the day and among the thousands and thousands of letters, emails and calls that I have been receiving from the readers, a majority have told me that this was the best book they have ever read. It is the best compliment that I have received.
People have told me that my book changed the way they looked at life, that they laughed and cried while reading my book, that they gifted it to their friends and a few even told me that they missed their bus stop or railway station while travelling as they were engrossed in reading my book. Many readers have sent heartening reviews for my book from countries across the world—America, Canada, England, Australia, Pakistan, Mauritius and New Zealand. I am only so humbled to receive all these wonderful responses and I am glad that I was able to write a book that the readers loved.
The credit for the success of my story goes to my entire family, my friends, to the people who supported me and to the people who opposed me. This list includes the people who opposed me because we learn equally from them, if not more and like I always say ‘You succeed not as much because of the people who support you, but because of the people who oppose you.’
In this new edition, I have included my experiences of romance, my love story. This I have done in response to my readers’ queries regarding the ‘girl in my life’, about whom I had mentioned at one point in my previous book without giving any further details. I have also added some more bits about my social work, the work we do for the underprivileged children, and about my journey on this path.
A lot of readers who followed me on social networking sites had requested me to include my regular quotes about the philosophy of my life in my book. Though my story is interspersed with such quotes, I have added some at the end of my book in this edition.
I wish my readers happy reading.