Thursday, January 18, 2007

Launch Part I: The Attic in Delhi, Jan 10,2007

This is a long overdue post.
I arrived in Delhi from Allahabad (i'd be been delayed there since my dad fell quite ill) the morning of the 10th. Slept on and off since I was quite exhausted and picked up some clothes I'd given for sewing. I wanted to be at the venue early to collect my thoughts and figure out how I was going to use my 5 minutes before Ghazala's reading. I was so stressed about my dad and the upcoming event. However, about 20 minutes away from CP, my sister's car died. It just died at a red light. Luckily there was a garage across the road and so a bunch of guys pushed the car (with me in it) out of the way.

So then I took an auto and inhaled fumes all the way to CP during rush hour. Charming! Then I couldn't find the damned building. Hey, I'm not from Delhi, what do I know? One guard at a store directed me up some rather dodgy looking stairs whcih led to some some shady looking offices but no attic. Down I came and found the right stairs.

The Attic is a small (ok, very small) space, which is still quite cool looking and very artsy. Rough walls, wooden floors, etc. No one I knew from the publisher was there but there was a table with my books and others. I sat for a few minutes and then they arrived. But just as I was going through the book trying to collect my scattered thoughts they arrived as did the reporter from The Hindu.

I talked to the reporter for a while trying to sound appropriately literary and composed but feeling like a total fraud. Still that's me. Then Ghazala arrived. I hadn't seen her for close to 16-17 years. Ok, now I'm stressed, feeling like a fraud and old. OLD!

Ghazala Amin is my brother-in-law's (Shahid Amin, married to my sister Bano) sister and a big media person in Delhi. While asking her to do the reading my editor (in trying to place me) said I was Shahid Amin's sister-in-law and did Ghazala know Shahid? Weird, small world huh?

Anyway, the room filled up. I was feeling incredibly alone. It was great to have people there but no one I loved was there. B had to be back in Geneva and my sister had rushed to Allahabad to be with my dad. Add weepy and sad to that list.

Ghazala had them light candles all around the room. We sat on two chairs at the front of the room. A candle burned on the low table in front of us and a cool looking uplight lantern also sat on the table. Very mysterious and cool looking ambience.

I realized how much of a reclusive writer and how not a media type person I am. Not the greatest time or place to make this definitive realization.

Ok, if you come back in a day or so I'll have Launch Part II and maybe even some photos up here!

More later

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