SO much has been happening in the past three days, I feel as if I've been white-water rafting -- except that instead of water and rivers, I was in or on a river of people and events!
I don't have time here and now for anything more than just a quick gasp or two: on Friday morning, I left for Bangalore on the Shatabdi Express, from Madras Central -- got there at 11 a.m. and after a couple of minor adventures involving getting lost en route to the Tata Guest House and then again from the Guest House to M.G. Road, met Anjum Hasan and Zac O'Yeah for lunch at Koshy's. The reading (for which I'd gone to Bangalore) was at Landmark, at The Forum (Koramangala -- sp? Not sure) -- where the highlights, for me were (a) Anjum Hasan's extremely warm and well-prepared introductory speech about my book and me, followed by the conversation the two of us had together, on stage, immediately after I'd finished reading a chapter from the book. Everything about the interaction was good -- it was lively, interesting (for me! And I hope for the audience too) and informative -- and at the end of it I felt the whole evening had been worth the effort of going to Bangalore. (b) I was delighted that the author Usha K.R. -- her novel A GIRL AND A RIVER won this year's Crossword Award -- and her husband were present. Also, Sumana, who reviewed my book in the Hindu ... (pls see previous post)
There was much more to be delighted with in Bangalore but I must move on very quickly to the next day -- i.e., Saturday, when I returned to Madras, and immediately plunged into the maelstrom of a family celebration in progress. Actually, it wasn't much of maelstrom at all, because we were all so superbly well-prepared. My sister Su and her daughter Divya had flown in from the US on Friday morning, my niece Meenakshi, and her daughter and husband, Maitreyi and Ranjit had travelled by train from Madurai on Saturday, my nephew Vikram had arrived earlier in the week from Bombay -- and on Saturday, between all of us, including of Geeta and Girish and the team of domestic ladies, we pulled together a wonderful celebration to commemmorate my mother's NINETY YEARS of life-on-earth, today, Sunday the 14th. Actually, her birthday is on the 16th, but in view of logistical realities, we held it on a Sunday, so that her friends and other family would not have to struggle through weekday traffic to reach our house for a tea-time feast (i.e., between 4 pm and 7 pm).
I will get around to posting photographs and I HOPE I will manage to post longer descriptions of both events. But for now, this will have to do. Oh! And several more news items about the book have appeared but I absolutely CANNOT chase up the links just now. A particularly nice one, however, appeared in today's New Indian Express Sunday magazine section, by Asha Menon.