My Facebook wall tells a beautiful story these days. It talks about a book that I put my soul into, and how it walked into people’s hearts. It also mentions how the book has been doing well and is holding its own for over three weeks on a list that gets updated by the hour. Through pictures, it talks about ever loyal friends who have put faith in me and have gone ahead and bought the book. Scroll down further, and it’ll show you pictures of the gorgeous launch events and how I was beaming and glowing in august company. It talks about the culmination of a long journey, one that started with least expectations. But it also hints on how this one event has changed the course for the rest of my life.
What it doesn’t show, however, are those tiny little moments that shaped it all. The moments that were my very own, the ones I held the closest to my heart as everything around me seemed surreal. So yes, of course, the unveiling of the book was a big one. Having esteemed writers hold up my book for everyone to see felt like a rite of passage, but even before that, I will always remember the moment I first saw the book, which was just a day before the launch. I was at my Mama-Koka’s place, to talk about the programme for the next day because he was my Guest of Honour, along with my Mahi who was the beautiful host for the evening, when The Husband walked in with the books. To be honest it felt a lot like holding my baby for the first time. I ran my fingers over the cover, flipped through the pages, sniffed them, closed the book, kept it on the table to see it better, and then two second later would pick it up again, and do the same thing over and over again. I couldn’t stop smiling. The Husband gave me a pen (for me to sign copies, he said) and asked me to sign the very first copy for him. That moment, right there, penning my signature, was one that will always be etched in my memory: Mami-Aita’s dining table, with the tea things not yet cleared and the faint smell of mangoes in the air because Koka’d insisted that I try the mango puree that he’d made, my head brimming with a thousand thoughts but my heart pushing through with just one feeling – accomplishment.
The next moment luckily I have a picture of. This.
This was on the dias, right after the unveiling of the book. My Mahi pleasantly surprised me by inviting my parents along with my sister on stage to unveil the book and it was extremely emotional. Mamma, Deuta and my sister held the book right there with me, and all I could think of was how they have stood by me all throughout, and how this was all their doing: Mamma, the wind beneath my wings and Deuta, that rock-solid wall that sheltered me from self-doubt, and my voice of reason, my sister. After the book was unveiled, my Deuta hugged me and all I could think of was how I will always be his little girl, no matter how old I grow, no matter how high I soar.
The third moment I also have a picture of.
My little one, of course. Who’d skipped her afternoon nap that day because she was so busy playing with her cousin. Who’d thrown a tantrum because she didn’t want to wear a dress and had to be coaxed and pleaded by my sister to attend the launch. Who was over tired by the time the launch ended, and could be kept silent only with the help of a phone. And there I was, after the launch, right back to being a mother. While we were trying to wrap things up at Vivanta by Taj (which is where the launch was), I had asked Jenny to take her home so she could be put to sleep right away, but Miss Munchkin absolutely refused. So I carried her instead, and poor thing was asleep in my arms within seconds. We’d planned a dinner with Mr. Nagaraj and his family who had travelled all the way from Bangkok for the launch (more on that later) and also to celebrate my finally being a published author, and I was to get changed right after putting the little one to bed but she decided that enough was enough and clung on to me. And that’s the moment I remember: asking my husband to leave for dinner without me because I couldn’t bear the thought of her having another tantrum; realising that no matter what happens, I will always be a mother first.
I also remember this tiny little moment the very next morning when I was walking up the stairs to our terrace with a bucket full of clothes to hang out to dry and I remember recalling how ordinary and normal life felt. I had been on tenterhooks for every single day leading up to the launch, and it wasn’t until it was finally over that I realised just how anxious and uptight I had been! I felt like I could finally relish the thrill, and I’d started walking with a new spring to my step!
This next moment I will never, ever forget. Two days after the Guwahati launch, The Husband and I traveled to Delhi for the Delhi launch. I was already slightly apprehensive about leaving Miss Munchkin behind but we’d decided that it would have been too hectic for her. The previous night I had received a message from Adil Hussain that he was suffering from viral fever and was hoping that he’d recover enough to make it to my event. Even before that, a series of events had dampened my spirit, and it was with a deliberate intention to keep myself positive and not be bogged down by disappointing thoughts that I boarded the flight and buried myself in The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (beautiful, beautiful book by the way). The moment I landed, however, I received a message from Dipankar (the face of Readomania and my rock throughout this journey) letting me know that on its very first day on Amazon.in, the book had reached Number. 4 on the bestselling list in the category of New Releases in Indian Writing! I remember grinning ear to ear, I remember giving a high-five to The Husband, and I remember repeating to myself: everything will be alright. I almost bounced my way out of the aircraft. I had always liked the Delhi airport, but from this time on, I will always associate it with how victorious I felt. That moment, shivering slightly from the cold, watching an advertisement on rare species (the one going on at that moment was about an Aardvark) and informing my Deuta over a pathetic phone connection about the good news… that has to be one of those moments right up there, on top of the list. Three weeks later, as of today, the book is at Number. 6.
Then of course there’s this moment:
That’s Adil Hussain, saying something funny and I am laughing that typical smile of mine that makes people wonder if I can see while I smile or not (I do, folks. I do)
Now we’re back in Singapore, and normal life, so to speak, has resumed. Except of course, it is intercepted by these moments when I read a wonderful review, or when friends tell me that they liked the book, and I feel like I must have done something right. The Husband and I went out on a date yesterday, after ages, and I asked him, ‘So which moment was the highlight for you?’ He thought for a bit and he said, ‘When I saw people queuing up in the Delhi event to get their copy signed by you. That’s when I told myself, she’s made it!’ I reminded him of that one evening in our Dubai apartment, sitting on that cold leather couch when he’d promised me a Macbook the day we get to know my book is getting published and I had laughed it off saying, ‘Yeah, right. Like that’s gonna happen!’ I don’t think I have ever eaten my words as happily as I do now.
Cheers to that!
Oh, and here are a few links:
You can buy the book in India here: http://www.amazon.in/Revelations-Imperfect-Life-Sankhya-Samhita/dp/9385854429/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
The Amazon.com link here: https://www.amazon.com/Revelations-Imperfect-Life-Sankhya-Samhita/dp/9385854429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499481050&sr=8-1&keywords=revelations+of+an+imperfect+life
Goodreads link here, with this amazing review a wonderful reader has left: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35528184-revelations-of-an-imperfect-life