Went to Delhi for the book launch of "If you love someone" two days ahead. The flight was full of people we knew: Asif from AA Husain, the Midhani team, BG Raj. Delhi was pleasantly cold but the warmth of my friends blew me over. Suresh and Vasu put me up magnanimously at their guest house at Barakhamba Road, Bhaskar lent me his car and had me picked up from the airport in fact, Prasad used his PR experience extensively, D. Suresh made it all possible, Basant Pandey took time off his otherwise busy schedule, Das gave me his journo contacts, Tanuj gave me as much time as he could, Anil Kak, Sandeep, Sahu ...and many more.
The World Book Fair
First time at the World Book Fair and it was a pretty nice experience. Pragati Maidan is a huge place and Hall 1 had all the big names; Penguin, Harper Collins, Rupa, Hachette etc. Did not pick up any books because I did not want to lug any. Indialog had a stand in Hall 2 manned by Sahu and his Man friday, Bipin. Met Clement at the Fair which was great. Food was lousy. Distances were huge to and fro the gate. Crowds were manageable. Ambience was great.
The book launch went off very well. Sheela did a fine job of compering. There was a capacity crowd with many familiar faces. Good to see Tanuj, Madhav, Bhaskar, Sandeep Nath, D. Suresh, Clement, Anil Kak, Domblekar, Annshu Mishra, Gita Rajan and her sister Radha, Prasad among the crowd. Anuradha Marwah gave the book a wonderful introduction. My reading went off without a hitch. And the Chief Guest Smt. Renuka Chowdhury gave a great speech that was far beyond my expectation. She dwelt on the book in detail, said that the protagonist was a 'real person' that every Indian woman could relate to, and that it was a sensitively written novel that everyone should read. The Press was in attendance in a fair number.
All in all it went off far better than I expected. Thank you all!
And I loved what I experienced of Delhi. Plan to go there again and explore it at leisure.