Days away from the launch!

If I closed my eyes for a bit and looked back on the last few weeks, I would almost see myself smack dab in the middle of a storm. From having a vague idea of what my book was going to be called (my publishers made me change the original name and we had the hardest time figuring it out) to suddenly being days away from the launch, a lot has happened, and I mean, a lot!

But without beating about the bush, here’s what it has all led to. Here’s my baby, the one I wrote with my blood, sweat and tears:

RIL_F5

Don’t you love the name? I spent sleepless nights trying to figure out a name, and gave up, which is when the Readomania team came to my rescue, with an entire group of writers chipping in with their two bits. They called it the “naming ceremony of my baby” and it was exactly that! While we were still trying to come up with the name, I started getting in touch with my guests for the launch. My parents took it upon themselves to compile a list of guests along with their phone numbers, and within a week, I had a list of not less than fifteen distinguished personalities to call. In the span of barely two weeks we fixed everything: from the venue to the menu, the guests to the PR agency taking care of media releases and what not, and most importantly, the minute-to-minute of the launch.

It has been an exhilarating process, and the most beautiful part of this journey has been the many wonderful people I have come across. I remember the evening when I sent a message to my all time favourite Assamese author, Anuradha Sarma Pujari, and waited with bated breath for her to reply. Wonder of all sweet wonders, she replied, and not just that, we had a conversation over phone! I babbled quite a bit, and I’m pretty sure I repeated myself for lack of better sense, but I was blown over by how easy it was to just talk to her. In the course of the next few days, I got in touch with quite a few accomplished writers. Each time I picked up the call, I would feel my palms get clammy because I would be so nervous, but each time I ended the call, I would be all smiles because of the unadulterated encouragement and support shown my way.

By the time the Guwahati launch was almost fixed, we had to start talking about the Delhi launch as well, and I found myself juggling multiple issues at a time, all the while keeping up with deadlines at school and taking classes and sticking to my lesson plans. Towards the end of last week I realised I had started developing a pain in my arm from handling the phone all the time, and my eyes had started smarting on their own. With the release of the book cover and the launch dates, my phone started beeping incessantly  and I felt compelled to check it every other minute. There was a time at night, when the phone’s battery was running dangerously low, and I was sitting on the floor with the phone on charge, and I realised that I was literally plugged into the wall.

And so, that weekend, I took a break. From everything. My nephew was over for the weekend and I packed everyone to an indoor playground so I could have the house to myself. I drew a bath, soaked in it until my eyes started drooping, then dragged myself to the bedroom and flopped on the bed. I must have woken up sometime after an hour, but I forced myself to sleep again, and only woke up when I heard everyone come back in. I had lunch, lazily walked about the house, read a few pages of a book, and barely registered the passage of time. The Husband took me for Wonder Woman that evening and I came back all relaxed.

Now that school’s out for the summer, all my attention and focus is on the book launch and getting the tiny details right. I’m bracing myself for a hectic fortnight, but I also know it is going to be the most happening time in my life, and I am nearly giddy with excitement.

This journey has taught me a lot. It has taught me that all it takes is the right intention and faith, and everything else will fall in place. It has taught me that the sign of a great person lies in their humility. It has taught me the importance of surrounding myself with the right people. And it has taught me to not lose myself in the process. The other day I received a notification on Facebook about a post I had written two years ago, and when I read the post, I became overtly nostalgic. The post was about that particularly trying phase in my life when I was enslaved by love, and was compelled to live life according to the whims and fancies of a one year old. I told my husband about how I missed that time, when it was just baby girl and I all day long, and I missed how simple and directed life was. But then again, I mused, if that was the life I had continued living, I wouldn’t be this person making phone calls and sending messages late into night, networking and organising and handling all of the responsibilities that comes with being a published author.

A published author. I still haven’t got used to it yet. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I keep rolling the words in my mouth, keep staring at the cover to see my name and I keep hearing myself say, “The only dream I have is to see my name on print”. And here I am today, days aways from holding the book in my hands and all I can think of is how it still feels like a dream. I was telling a friend the other day about how I almost feel audacious, calling myself a writer, dreaming dreams that I know are beyond my reach, and he reminded me of the audacity of hope.

Audacity of hope, indeed. I’ll toast to that.

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