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First published in 2011

    It gives me great satisfaction to share the fact that my book ‘GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE’ has got entry into many prestigious libraries of the US including HCL technical services, Harvard College Library; Library of Congress, Washington DC and can also be accessed in the library of MIT, Massachusetts through worldcat.org. It is also available for reading in the University of Washington libraries—Seattle WA 98195 United States; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN-55455 US; Library of University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States and Yale University Library, New Haven, CT 06520 US.

    I began writing this book immediately after the untimely and tragic death of my son Shravan, as everything was fresh in my mind then. He had staged a long and valiant fight against Brain Cancer. But then he sadly succumbed to it leaving us all high and dry. He developed cancer, when he was just two-and-a-half. I was then thirty eight. The battle continued for 14 years and during that period he underwent as many as eight surgeries and a whole gamut of treatment that comprised of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and what not. My biggest challenge then was to keep a very fine balance between my career and my emotions. And of course keep myself solvent enough to meet the high cost of treatment. Further, as luck would have it, my wife in the process had to give up her career, as she was 24×7 required to look after the boy. Those days, I used to get a feel as if my entire life was in a deep muddle. Where, emotions had no place as that would have pulled me down on my performance. On the other hand outstanding performance would have earned me more incentives and salary and that in turn would have helped us in his treatment. So the whole thing was like a lethal chakravyuh that could have given anyone jitters.

    In this tough stranglehold of time, me and my wife spent some fourteen precious years of our lives. In that duration I grew from thirty eight to fifty two, when he finally expired. Those were the toughest years of my life. The idea of scribbling down this page, is to go down the memory lane and express my deep gratitude once again to each of those Good Samaritans who came into our lives around that period time to take us through that very difficult decade and a half, even when their names are mentioned in the acknowledgment page of the book I would like to thank them once again. Because in such adversities it is indeed the collective bench strength of all your well wishers that pulls you through the upstream.

    The book was intended to describe the grueling fight, our family had to undertake, in the India of those times to fight the dreaded disorder. And it also intended to convey, what it took, to see through 14 years of intense cancer, by an infant patient, who saw it through and through till he succumbed when he was sweet sixteen. It also detailed the issue of how noble companies fought for such causes for their devoted employees, especially, when Shravan’s medical insurance was not there, since he was just two and a half when he was diagnosed of cancer, clearly our fault. I’m sure the book has achieve the purpose for which it was written and most certainly it must have passed through many enlightened minds across the globe. Who, in turn will put their might together into this long standing challenge of cancer, for the world to benefit. 

    Here, I would also like to profusely thank all those, who helped me in bringing, this book to light. Where, I can’t forget my elder brother Ajit and his wife Aolla, my son Kartik, my colleague Bipin Bihari, Mr Vijay Sharma and my publisher Kaushal Goyal and of course my wife Sujata. For those of who haven’t read it. The book is not at all scary. On the contrary it will pep you up and make you realise there is always a way out in every situation.  

    The first publication was done by Shravan Charity Mission followed by Pigeon Books. For print copies kindly contact Pigeon books website and for e-book antrik.com. (In antrik.com after entering home page go to categories than biography/autobiography where you’ll find the book.

    The details of its cataloging in various libraries is given below:

(http://hollisclassic.harvard.edu/)  (this is the harvard link. Kindly write ‘gloom behind the smile’ in the search column that will take you to web page where the name of the book and other details are mentioned.

  1. HCL TECHNICAL SERVICES, Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA 02139 United States vide storage noumber RC 265.6.S68 T75 2011 at Widener offsite storage Hollis number: 012926119.
  2. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON LIBRARIES-SEATTLE, WA 98195, USA- Available at Suzallo & Allen Libraries- stacks (call number- RC 265.6.S57 T75 2011)
  3. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, MINNEAPOLIS, MN-55455, USA- available at TC Wilson library Ames (RC 265.6.S68 T75 2011
  4. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/8457173 
  5. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA at Chapel Hill, NC 27514 USA, Davis Library 8th floor, RC.265.6.S68T752011
  6. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Washington (biggest library of the world) DC 20540, USA, RC 265.6.T76 2011
  7. YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, NEW HAVEN, CT 06520, USA- call no RC.265.6.T76x2011(LC)

By Kamlesh Tripathi





Yes, they do. As most car ads that you see in the electronic media have a slant towards those usages that you may once in a blue moon put your car to. And it could be in the range of 20-25% of your total car usage time. Something, like going on a quiet cross country drive or driving intercity, excessive speeding like a mad man, showing off etc. etc.

Yet most car ads repeat, the same stale brawny messages of excessive speeding, high horse power availability, zipping speed and pick up from- 0 to 60 km in 5-6 seconds. When these should just be left as specs and features, since most cars in the same class, have it all. And not to forget the risky car acrobats; as seen in some ads. The one I readily remember is a Maruti Swift ad, which cannot be performed on Indian roads and are risky for most people who drive these cars. As many may not even have the real sense of an impact, in case of an accident; and one in a million time, your life saving gadgets may not even operate. As it happened in the best of brands like the Toyota Fortuner, where the court has awarded a huge compensation for an accident in U.P..

There are however some ads that stand closer to reality such as SUVs negotiating rough terrains, going cross-country on a holiday, features like comfortable leg-room, plush interiors, turning radius, ramp angle, mileage- kitna deti hai and so on.


But advertisers should now sensitize themselves to one basic fact. Majority of car sales happen in the metros which have huge traffic jams, with very low average speed; and where high speed or high horse power is of less consequence. Rather the irony is, most of the times in busy streets bikes and scooters overtake you and sometimes even a bicycle. And, perhaps you are too sheepish about that rogue auto-rickshaw that tends to push you off the track, for a dent in your car may cost you precious time, boss’s irritation and money; but for him only a hammer technology. And the Mary’s little lamb, the cycle rickshaw that might deliver a deep scar with its jutting-out axle. So then what should a car ad convey is the big question?


Car and career is now a necessity for the working class in India. About 60-70 percent of the times, when we drive our car, it is for going to work. India thinks in cars. Many important decisions of our lives and career are taken while we drive. It is the second most expensive purchase after a house. So tweak the focus of car ads to be more holistic, realistic, contemporary, and in Indian conditions. As I should not be reminded of abroad while seeing and Indian car ad; and I have some suggestions in this regard:

  • Talk more of the speeding dangers than speeding excitements.
  • Teach the art of patience: Peacefully waiting in traffic jams and signals.
  • How to avoid road rage. How to keep cool: Deep breathing
  • How to manage scratches: Can we develop stickers that protect our vehicles from minor scratches and rub-offs of two wheelers and fellow cars that often lead to road rage
  • Change Indian myth of masculinity: Speeding to safe driving tips.
  • Can we integrate a bit of our office or personal life into the driving time.
  • Apart from music can we have a gadget that can download thoughts, reminders while driving, send some voice mails along with some robotic operations.
  • Remove generic technical myths about car technology.
  • We sit in the car for long durations. How does it affect our health in terms of orthopaedics, muscles or even our eye-sight.
  • At what speed can we take potholes without damaging the car.
  • At what speed can we cross a flooded street without the car stalling to improve on traffic jams in monsoon.
  • Security net and connect-GPS.
  • Driving tips for improving mileage.
  • Talk about pedestrian rights.
  • Professional tips for a professional drivers. Something like how to handle kids?
  • Routine maintenance- many owners and drivers don’t even read the manuals.
  • Explain new technology in layman’s language.