May has been a happening month so far.
Both in good ways and bad. But we won't discuss the bad. I am trying to be in peace with the fact that --"If things are not in my control, I better not break my head trying to control them". Is that a saying or did I just make it up ? If I made it up, that will be my first quote. Get used to my wisdom people. So what if I don't live by them.
So, first May and even April was good because we could finally tide over winter, watch buds bloom, hear birds chirp and not wear heavy jackets to dinner. One who has never worn a fur lined double layered jacket and been strapped inside an overheated car day in day out, will never know what bliss it is to not wear them.
|Spring in my Backyard|
I would say the month was good because of just that one single reason. Period.
But then something more exciting happened. I went to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's reading of her newest novel, "The Oleander Girl" in the city. I am not much of a city goer but sitting on a public transit bus which was crawling at a pace less than a snail and watching the skyline outside change from a backdrop of slate grey pink to pitch dark, I had a liberating experience. Yes, I was getting painfully late but it was okay. I was going for myself alone. I had no one to answer to and no phone calls if I did not make it on time.It is rarely that I ever go anywhere for myself and very rarely is it done without a certain goal in mind. Just to risk a work day evening to travel 120 minutes for the sole purpose of listening to a favorite author ? I have never ventured that far before.
And meeting the author was worth the experience.Strangely I have never wanted to meet authors before. I love or not-love them through their books.It is their written words that conjure a image in my mind and I don't think meeting Agatha Christie or P.G.Wodehouse or Bani Basu or even Chitra Banerjee in person would alter anything.
But this time I wanted to go and I am so glad I did.I felt so enriched just by hearing her answer questions about how she writes, how she thinks in different voices and gets into the skin of the characters, about how she draws characters from mythology and her gem of an advice to new authors."Read," she said. "Read, not merely as a reader but as a writer".
OMG, and did I just say Voice ? Voice ? Two years ago the only voice I knew was that coming out from my own larynx and here I am throwing about ideas on "voice".
Then of course there is my book, of which I received my first few author copies. The afternoon I saw the familiar Harper Collins logo on a hefty cardboard box just outside the door, I panicked and went inside the house without even trying to drag in the box.
Should I just ignore it and pretend that this whole thing never happened ?
Should I just think of it as a dream and forget it ?
Should I just say "Whose darn package is this" and post it back at the return address ?
Only after 15 minutes of sweaty palms and racing heart, did I muster enough courage to tell the husband that there was a package at the porch and it might be my book. And even then I could not dare to look at the book, to leaf through its pages, to make sure that it indeed was the one I had written. Of course after the package was opened and the books glanced through, the grim reviewers in my home shared prophecies.
"There are only two color pictures. Spot Books have so many nice pictures. This is boring," said the 4 year old LS.
The 9 yr old, voracious reader, wanted to read it but I said "Later".
After a quick glance through the pages she gravely asked "But will people in US understand it?"
I remembered Chitra Banerjee's advice -- never underestimate your readers.
The husband-man(referred to in the book as H-man) said, "Your publishers are astute to have done the book in paperback".
After a scathing pause he tried to explain, "That way if something goes wrong and the need arises to hit the cook on the head out of frustration, no one will be hurt much. A Hard cover could have been far damaging".
I won't say anymore right now. Writing the book was really fun and I am really happy the way it has turned out but this now is the scary part.
The book is up on Flipkart for pre-order at a special price. So now it is your turn. Go ahead and order.
Pre-order from Flipkart