…and your book is out?
If you are me, you say things like “I want a quiet launch”. In fact, months before the arrival I had told a few people the ideal book launch is me in the Bahamas, the book in the stores, standing with dignity, and a few words about what others think. The Bahamas hasn’t quite worked out, not even Goa…so I am tanning myself in the Mumbai sun…
The book is available in Bangalore and Hyderabad; I know because people have told me. It has been despatched from Delhi, so I assume it will be in the Delhi stores. Some did ask me why there was no launch. One is the reason I have given. I do not like the idea of finger food and drinks or chai-paani doing the rounds while some stentorian voice reads out excerpts and people become exceedingly polite.
I am not used to polite.
There is also another reason. The end reader should chance upon it where it matters. I am not looking after the publicity and no media person has got a copy from me. In fact, no one has.
However, the publishers do plan to have some sort of interactive thing later in a few cities…preferably after some people have read the book. This makes sense to me.
Since this is the only place I can update people, I shall do so…
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About updating, as some of the readers of this blog know, it had become quite cumbersome. What you do not know is how I have even updated personal stories. Someone made a sensational comment about his personal life; with time I realised things had changed. Was it fair to retain it? No. Out it went.
Another one was more amusing. This woman was to get married. Suddenly discovered she had decided against it. She wanted to wait. Fine. As long as she would. I casually asked about her. “Haan ab shaadi ho gayi (Now she is married),” I was told. Great. “The miyan must have been so jittery?” I asked. “Kaun? Who? Arre nahin…shaadi ho gayi, dulha badal gaya! (She has got married, but the groom has changed)” This is worse than Nawaz Sharif getting a hair job or Asif Zardari discovering a spine.
Note to self: Next time write a novel or short stories. But next time is already non-fiction again.
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The first trip to Pakistan was in 2001, pre 9/11. The last May 2007. Just to let you know about my past!
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The best thing I heard (and all ye armymen who have been on my case…this is straight from the mess…so don’t mess with me)...
“All the best and it feels great even here in sub-zero temperatures at 10,600 feet above mean sea level.
Can I send you a cheque and give you the postal address to send me an autographed copy. I am probably, the only reader of FV's writings at this altitude. But one never knows. Maybe, even the yetis at Mount Everest might be part of the FV fan club :-)”
The worst thing by someone who has read the book: Hmm…million apologies. I cannot mention it yet because it will give away some very important details. But, yes, the criticism is in…and I am not the kind to whitewash it.
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And hello, hello…people this is a first book, not my first piece of writing. I have said this many times. Being here writing about my walls and ceilings is as important to me. Trust me on this. And don’t forget all those years I have been writing and getting the rough end of the stick.