Sooooo, the book is out. And free to be trampled all over by critics (although there have been a few glowing reviews which gladden my heart). It's quite a massive feeling though, having a real live book in real live bookstores, it will be odd meeting people after this who say, "Oh, what do you do?" and I'll say, "I write books." Coooooool.
The Delhi launch was everything I wanted it to be. It was at Agni, and I was wearing a white Gauri and Nayanika wraparound dress, and I had my hair done (Hobo and I spent THREE HOURS at a parlour before, just being primped. I even got a pretty pink pedicure.) and then I waltzed around kissing people hello, signing books and being followed by cameras. It was AWESOME. They had a segment where I read and then where I had to go behind the bar and pour out drinks for people and the kind people at Agni had premixed a bunch of shots with names like Brazen and Topsy-Turvy (named after a character in the book who does awesome cocktails) and some other stuff, so I just stood and poured out shots and made myself a Cosmo till it got old and I got out and went back to circulating.
But everyone as far as I could tell, was having a wonderful time. And the best part for my hard mercenary soul--the books table was looking emptier and emptier.
After Agni switched on the lights and began to usher us out, a few of us decided to after party at Aqua next door. The original plan was to stay at Aqua till Agni reopened at 10.15, but there was a pool you could dangle your feet in and music like Time After Time so we stayed. And got drunker and drunker and drunker. Many "I lurrrrrrrrve you's" were said, squidgy faced hugs were given, beginnings of speeches made and abandoned and I was all teary and sentimental by the end of it.
The next day was the reading at Full Circle at the MGF Mall, which, frankly, was not an ideal space location because I was battling with a bunch of other sounds coming from nearby shops and the traffic was SO massive that evening, that a lot of people started out and never made it. But I got little Maya to read (I can't read, no really, if my kids ever ask me to read aloud, they probably won't ask me twice) and then I answered some questions and then everyone ate mini pizzas and then me, Fariha, Teleute and two other friends went off to Bennigans and drank some more (and ordered some chicken wings, which I gotta say, are not as good as they used to be). (Ooh, and I met the Mad Momma! Although, all too briefly, but next time, I have full plans of us hanging out more.)
People were missed though--Small in New York, Samit in Zurich, Urvashi in Washington, Sarnath in Sao Paolo (wow, I have really globe trotter-esque friends) and Shakti and Puja. I wish they had all been there, to share in my delight and pride of the evening and I thought of one or all of them the entire evening.
And now, I'm back in Bombay. Met at the airport by JC, which was lovely. It's so nice to have someone to meet you. We had our grand reunion and he cooked for me and Lali and it was excellent to be back. Tomorrow, Shark Tooth and Akshay arrive for the Bombay launch and I'm all yay! With friends like mine, I can afford to ignore the critics.