Racket Boy – An autobiography by Philip George

Trip to India

Report: Scene 1


Tuesday, 8 May 2024

Arrival at Mumbai:
Geetha and Racket Boy arrived in Mumbai on Malaysian Airlines flight. Upon landing, they observed the typical behavior of Indian passengers rushing to retrieve overhead luggage before the plane reached the parking bay. Despite this, they arrived safely at Mumbai Airport at 10:45 AM. The immigration process and luggage collection proceeded smoothly. They obtained a local Indian SIM card, offering 1.5 GB of 5G data per day for 30 days at a cost of RS 600 per month. Subsequently, they took an Uber to their hotel in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) area, paying RS 800 cash for the ride. They checked into the hotel around midnight.

Activities on Tuesday, May 8:
At 11 am they checked out of the hotel and engaged in liaising activities with Saga Publication. Accompanied by their agent, Rakesh, they embarked on a bus journey to Pune, which lasted approximately four hours. Along the route, they encountered various sights, including the slums and the challenges of poor infrastructure and maintenance, indicative of the chaos often associated with Mumbai. Despite these observations, they safely reached Pune and stayed overnight at the house of Racket Boy’s relative, Saro ( Mary).
Overall, their journey from Mumbai to Pune provided insights into the contrasting facets of urban life in India, from the bustling metropolis of Mumbai to the relative tranquility of Pune.
Racket Boy.

Detailed Report:
Scene 2

Location: Pune

Wednesday, 8 May 2024


Geetha and Racket Boy commenced their day in Pune by catching an auto-rickshaw from Saro’s house to Apa Balwant Chowk, located near Dagdu Shet Ganesha Temple.
The purpose of their journey was to meet with Rakesh, their agent, and engage in book signing events at various bookshops in the area.

Book Signing Events:

They visited several bookshops in central Pune, a bustling area boasting over 250 bookshops. Racket Boy recognized the immense potential for book sales and felt energised by the vibrant atmosphere of the bookshops. He conceived innovative ideas to further promote his brand, contemplating large-scale advertising campaigns and the establishment of a dedicated “Team Pune” to enhance collaboration with local bookstores.

The book signing events proved to be a resounding success, with Racket Boy and Geetha enthusiastically autographing copies of the books and posing for numerous photographs. The presence of Racket Boy and Geetha and the books in the front of the bookstores garnered significant attention, effectively showcasing their work to a wider audience.
This successful formula will be replicated in other cities across India during their upcoming three-month tour.

Bookshops Visited:

  1. Express Book Service
  • Owner: Mrs. Jerajani
  1. Solanki Book Seller
  • Owner: Mr. Solanki
  1. The Word Book Shop
  • Owner: Mr. Ajay
  1. Book Tales
  • Owner: Mr. Yogesh
  1. Varma Book Shop
  • Owner: Mr. Omkar
  1. K Sager Book Store
  • Owner: Mr. Abhijit
  1. Book Ganga
  • Manager: Mr. Vinod


Overall, the day proved to be highly successful and productive, with Racket Boy and Geetha making significant strides in promoting Racket Boy’s books and engaging with readers in Pune. The enthusiastic reception received at each bookstore underscores the potential for further expansion and success as they continue their tour across India.
Book signings continue tomorrow morning followed by a book launch tomorrow. Watch this space.
Racket Boy.

Scene 3:
Title: Book Promotion Tour Continues with Warm Reception Thursday , 9 May 2024.
Pune, India

In the bustling city of Pune, the promotional tour for the book “Racket Boy” continued on with a series of engaging activities and warm receptions from local bookstores and communities.
The day began at the cozy residence of Saro and Mathew in the leafy Goodwill Enclave Road area, where Racket Boy and Geetha spent the night. After a hearty breakfast, they embarked on an auto-rickshaw journey to rendezvous with their agent, Rakesh, at 11:30 AM.

Their first stop was Utkarsh Book Service at Deccan Gymkhana, followed by a visit to Book World at 1:00 PM, both located in Pune. At each bookstore, Racket Boy and Geetha were welcomed with open arms by the owners, who treated them graciously and even presented them with garlands and young plants—a touching gesture symbolising their appreciation.

Discussions about the “Racket Boy” book ensued, with Rakesh overseeing the book signings.
After a productive morning, they indulged in lunch at a chic South Indian restaurant cafe before returning to Saro’s residence to freshen up. The journey back was marked by the typical traffic congestion and spirited driving characteristic of Indian roads—a humorous reminder of the local driving customs.
Despite a modest turnout, the book discussion group at the Orange Cafe proceeded smoothly, with Racket Boy and Geetha captivating the audience with insights into his journey and anecdotes and self deprecating stories.

The day concluded with a delightful dinner and an evening spent bonding with family members at a posh Pune Mall, where Saro, Mathew, and their relatives got to know the long-lost relative, Racket Boy, better.
Reflecting on the day’s events during a postmortem discussion at home, Racket Boy and Geetha expressed gratitude for another precious day filled with meaningful interactions and memorable experiences.

As the promotional tour progresses, Racket Boy continues to forge connections and share his story with readers across India, leaving a lasting impression on all those he encounters.
For more updates on the “Racket Boy” book promotion tour, stay tuned.
Racket Boy

Scene 4:
On Friday, May 10, 2024, we departed from Saro’s home in Pune for Mumbai at 10 am, traveling by car. We reached the offices of Saga Publications at 1:30 pm, accompanied by Rakesh. There, we met Pranika and her team and engaged in an extensive discussion about the Pan India itinerary and other book-related matters until 7 pm. Following the meeting, Geetha and I proceeded to our pre-booked Air BnB apartment in Verscoe. However, upon arrival, we discovered that we would be sharing the premises with two other families. Unwilling to accept this arrangement, we promptly informed the landlord of our decision and sought alternative accommodation. Eventually, we found lodging at Hotel Ammag around 11 pm, where we checked in and promptly retired to bed.

Scene 5:
On Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Mumbai, we checked out of Hotel Ammag in the morning and moved to a better accommodation, Hotel Indore, which boasted better amenities and a more attentive staff. After settling in, we ventured into the heart of the dusty noisy squalor of the area and indulged in some authentic basic street food, including biryani, fruit juice, and coffee, all for the modest sum of RS 115 (£1.05). Following a refreshing shower and change of attire, we left the hotel to attend the Waves Book launch, an event organized by Saga Publishing and hosted by Maidhna Khan in an elegant bookstore. The event drew an engaged and enthusiastic audience, who attentively listened as Geetha and I were introduced and fielded questions about the Racket Boy Book.

The feedback from attendees, particularly about the book’s impact on youth and parents, was touching. They appreciated the simplicity of Racket Boy’s journey and his achievements, which underscored the values of diligence, dedication, determination, and consistency. Racket Boy’s blueprint for success, as highlighted during the event, emphasised the importance of hope, dreaming, hard work, consistency, reliability, resilience in the face of failure, and unwavering determination to reach one’s goals, echoing the sentiment famously expressed by Michael Jordan: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. I have a friendly relationship with failure”

After the event concluded, we participated in photo sessions and signed copies of the book for attendees.
Later, we were treated to a lavish Indian fine dining experience at Joyshi’s restaurant by Aakriti and Pranika, a stark contrast to the humble street food we had enjoyed earlier. This stark juxtaposition between the lifestyles of affluent and less privileged Indians was not lost on us, prompting reflection on the disparities within Indian society.

Despite these disparities, the evening was filled with relaxation, laughter, and camaraderie. We concluded the day by taking an Uber taxi back to the hotel, feeling pleased and relaxed as we reflected on another productive step towards achieving our goal of selling 3 million books by August 2026 through the nationwide distribution of fiber optic cables.
Racket Boy.

Scene 6.
On Sunday, 12 May 2024, while staying at Hotel Indore in Mumbai, RB and Geetha went on a thought-provoking book review session .
Their morning began leisurely as they attended the event at 11:30 am, held in a modern shopping mall in the bustling BKF area, hosted once again by the noisy Maidhna Khan. The focus of the discussion centered around Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” a poignant exploration of slavery’s enduring impact on African American history. Unfortunately The audience or the presenters had little knowledge about American history of that time and RB authoritatively presented a quick overall chronological overview from the times of the Puritians to the American civil war to the KKK to Trump to the January 6 Capital attack which appeared to brush over the heads of this audience unable to see the importance of that and the links to to Beloved.

The event drew a varied audience, predominantly young professionals from Mumbai’s academic circles, deeply entrenched in the pursuit of high achievements and city life success.
However, more disturbingly within the veneer of urban sophistication, RB sensed a disconnection—a tacit adherence to English culture and a Bloomsbury-esque reading ethos.

RB worries about the superficial approach to learning literature and acquiring knowledge, observing a tendency to mimic English ideologies without genuine depth or understanding of historical context. He’s encountered these pseudo-intellectuals before, as Geoffrey Knowles once remarked over a gin and tonic at a test match at Lords or Old Trafford.
Nevertheless, as the event concluded, RB and Geetha seized the opportunity to introduce the themes of the Racket Boy book, engaging with attendees and sharing their insights.

Following the event, RB and Geetha retreated from the artificial glamour of Mumbai’s Bollywood affluent scene, returning to the less affluent areas of the city that RB felt a deeper connection to.
There, they savoured a humble yet satisfying late lunch at a street cafe, relishing the flavors of fried fish, rice, and vegetables all for Rupees 450 ( £4.10).
Afterward, they indulged in a well-deserved afternoon rest recharging for the challenges ahead.
As the evening approached, they opted out of a silent reading session in the park, choosing instead to strategise on marketing and publicity endeavors while also allowing themselves some much-needed rest.

RB found solace and fond connection in a podcast by the Two Matts from the European News, pondering the dichotomy of his identity—a constant battle between his anglicised mindset from years of living in the West and his longing for the authentic experiences of his Indian heritage. This internal struggle, woven into the fabric of the Racket Boy narrative, remained ever-present.

Reflecting on the morning’s event, RB contemplated its significance in exposing his book to Mumbai’s affluent elite. However, he harboured doubts about whether his message of fighting against the wind and unconventional thinking would resonate with this privileged class, contrasting sharply with the enthusiastic reception experienced at the Title Wave venue.
With these ruminations swirling in his mind, RB retired for the evening, embracing the complexities of his Indian journey—a quest for belonging rooted in firsthand experiences and genuine connections with the land.
Racket Boy.

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