The Roli author who is popular both with young adults and grown-ups and is equally at ease interacting and bonding with them is Maj. Gen. Ian Cardozo. I still remember the first time I met him at our office almost fifteen years back. I had heard a lot about the decorated, war-disabled officer, who was the first such officer to command a battalion and a brigade. Smartly dressed in a dark blue jacket and a tie that reminded me of my dad, he instantly made me feel at ease. Our first meeting was to discuss the graphic books we planned to do on the life of twenty-one Param Vir Chakra awardees. After the success of his first book with us, Param Vir Chakra: Our Heroes in Battle, Gen Cardozo believed that the next step should be to make these stories accessible to young adults. The idea was to present them in a motivating and visually stimulating format. The graphic book was a new genre we were exploring. Working with Gen Cardozo has been one of the most rewarding experiences. We worked as a team supporting each other, and he was always generous with his time, feedback, and, most importantly, army-life anecdotes and jokes. For every PVC story we did in 32 pages, he created storyboards drawing each frame, writing each dialogue, and bringing out exciting details from the life of the war heroes. From the sport they played as young children in school to the letters they wrote home to their parents, the effort was to humanize the soldiers and make them vulnerable, but in the process also highlight the bravery of these young men for whom country comes first. For an editor, Gen Cardozo is a perfect gentleman author. Working, observing, and listening to his experiences is invigorating. Now in his eighties, he taught himself editing and sending feedback on digital files because we were working on his autobiography during the lockdown! We did not get a chance to meet even once during the entire editing process and met only when the book was finally released in November 2022. An excellent raconteur with a great sense of humour, his autobiography, Cartoos Saab: A Soldier’s Story of Resilience in Adversity celebrates his energy, charm and extraordinary life.
Managing Editor, Roli Books