‘Random Thoughts,' a compilation of articles written by Environment and Forest Department Secretary V.Irai Anbu in The Hindu Metro Plus, was launched here on Wednesday. The book, a publication of The Hindu, has strung together observations of Mr.Irai Anbu on a range of abstract topics – be it about searching oneself within or about selecting the right book for reading.

Launching the book at the ongoing 34th Chennai Book Fair, The Hindu Joint Editor Nirmala Lakshman said what began as a column in the Madurai edition of Metro Plus in 2004 has shaped into a thoughtful book. Referring to its contents, she said the author has chosen a range of topics and given form to his thoughts using simple language and subtle humour.

He has been an inspiring writer, with over 30 books in Tamil to his credit, and his columns were well received by the readers. In ‘Random Thoughts,' he has touched upon wide-range of issues in a way that is most appealing to readers. “As a newspaper, we have been involved in children's education and keen on advancing the boundaries of knowledge of young people. This book will be a motivating factor for all ages. It is a great pocket of wisdom that will set us thinking every time we delve into it,” she added.

Receiving the first copy, K. Ashok Vardhan Shetty, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Water Supply, said the book was Mr.Irai Anbu's second publication in English and 33rd in all. Defining the book as “the best collection of English essays,” Mr.Shetty said every article bore the imprint of the author's scholarship. “Every time we meet, his profound humility stumps me. A keen student of human psychology, Mr.Irai Anbu is an admirable judge of people, which is a hallmark of a good writer. He is a rare combination of a scholar and a fine administrator''.

R. Kishore Kumar, Senior Principal, St. John's International Residential School, said the author has sent across powerful social messages through subtle imagery and metaphors. The book lucidly puts across Mr.Irai Anbu's study of human behaviour and other social issues, Mr.Kumar added.

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