It was a miracle that the Mumbai launch happened at all. On the 20th of September Mumbai was drenched with heavy rains that were predicted to last three more days to a week. The airport was a feet down in water, a plane skidded off the runway, all flights were cancelled.
|Suhita introducing the book|
Thousands of passengers from Hyderabad to Mumbai were stranded and several returned home after spending the better part of the night at the airport. It was not good news at all.
|TWIED on display|
The rain did not abate all evening. We were told to go early to the airport for our 620 am flight. I was constantly in touch with Miskil and Suhita and we reiterated that whatever best will happen and we will take it one step at a time.
|Anjali, Suhita, Sonali, Me and Tarun unveil 'This Way is Easier Dad' |
At the airport on the 21st, Shobha, Anjali and I found very short queues. It was one of the quickest for me through check in and security. A small flight awaited us. I feel many cancelled their flights in view of the predictions.
|Sonali speaking about the book|
Our flight took off ahead of time and landed ahead of time. Miskil came to pick us up and took us to her new home at Churchgate . Mumbai was overcast but hey, where was the rain? It had stopped. I said nothing. Let the best happen. It held all day. No rain, dark clouds. I called all those I needed to call, sent messages, grabbed a good meal, and showered. The plan was to get to Crossword, Kemps Corner, by 5 pm. At 430 pm it started raining. For a moment I thought, God let it stop, we are so close. Then I realised my attachment to the outcome and corrected myself. Let whatever is best happen and I am perfectly fine with that. The rain stopped.
|Sonali and Kaveri, Me and Anjali|
Algan was the Master of Ceremonies and he was waiting for us. I met Ketaki of Crossword. Sonal was there from Jaico despite a minor mishap at her house that morning - ever the professional. I met Sheetal and Sharon who help Sonal with marketing, lovely young ladies who clicked most of these pictures.
|Anjali reading from the book|
Shobha, Anjali and I, Suhita, Jayant, Miskil and Kabir, Prutha, Mangala tai were from the family. Tarun, Shanthi, Akanksha came. Sonali Kulkarni came with her adorable 6 year old daughter Kaveri and her manager M. Shatrujeet, Ankita and Joydeep, all writers (we were on a panel at the PILF), came and I was so pleased to see another prolific writer and good friend Dilip D Souza join us. Who said writers don't support one another?
|Sonal, her daughter, Joydeep, Ankita, Parag, Mamta, Boski, Jayant, Krishnan, Sunil, Sati, Sucharitha, Sudha, Sunitha, Manga tai, Maya, Trisha, Mahesh|
And add Karan Bajaj to boot, author of 'Keep off the grass' and 'Johnny goes down' and currently Head of Discovery, South Asia, who came all the way from BKC just to support me. It was lovely to see him. Sunitha, Sunil, Sreenu, Birjis, Asha, Snehal, Vishnu, Mahesh, Maya, Trisha, Mrs. Bhogawar, Sati, Sucharita, Sudha. Parag and Mamta came and so did Prashanth Manjrekar. Boski Gupta of Free Press Journal came and the gentle giant Krishnan from DNA came as well. I was overwhelmed that they had all showed up for me, despite the threat of rain, the distance in Mumbai.
|A view of the audience|
The evening started with Algan introducing us. Suhita introduced the book and spoke of it and us in glowing terms. Sonali took the mike and said she enjoyed reading the book and how she felt assured that there were parents who did not micromanage their children's lives and instead allowed them to grow on their own path. I spoke about my writing process, how the book came about, how the many incidents drew me to study and be more aware of the intelligence of the child, of life.
Sonali said she most liked the fact that I respected Anjali as a person. Tarun spoke about how the book did a lot more for the cause of daughters than any scheme etc. I tried to clarify it was not so much about parenting because I did not know much about parenting - at best Anjali was doing a good job of parenting us and all I was doing was stay out of the way.
|Me. Shobhs and Suhita|
It was full of fun and banter, with and repartee.
|Me and Karan Bajaj - really nice of him to come|
I read a chapter (the dog chapter), Anjali read a chapter in her inimitable way, Mamta read a chapter and we fulfilled a decade long promise to have her read at our book event. (It was in August 2007 that we had a book launch at this same venue for 'The Men Within'. Sanjay Manjrekar and Ayaz Memon were the guests then. Suhita, Miskil (who read a chapter then), Jayant, Sati, Parag, Mamta, Tarun and Shanti were all there even at that event a decade ago.)
|My favorite pic of the day - all daughters on stage - Miskil and Suhita, Kaveri and Sonali, Anjali and me, Akanksha and Tarun|
There were a few questions and answers and we proceeded to sign a few copies. Off we went after that to Miskil's house for an after-event party.
|Flowers to Miskil - fully deserved|
Thank you Sonali for your time and support, Tarun, Suhita without whom this event would not have happened at all, Miskil for hosting us, Sonal and the Jaico team for putting it together, Crossword for the space, Algan for a super job, all my friends and well wishers who showed up to support me.
|Algan compering away in his inimitable style|
It was humbling in so many ways and I can only say that I am grateful beyond words for the fact that the event went off and went off so well.
|A screen shot of Sonali's post - I caught it on whatsapp and couldn't resist putting it here|
It was very gracious of Sonali to write about the event on facebook. She was very unassuming, intelligent, graceful and made us all very comfortable. A lot of the credit to how the evening panned out must go to her and to Suhita for moderating the event so well. A huge change from guests who make us all feel very tense.
And so 'This Way is Easier Dad' moves on to Mumbai and beyond. Onwards to Bangalore next and then to Chennai. Thanks all for everyone who came and those who supported us from behind the scenes. Akash, Sandhya, Mugdha of Jaico, Sagar, Abhinay, Anita, Vaishali, Suresh, family, friends, and many more who were constantly in touch and without whom this event would not have happened.
Glad to hear the book tour is going well!
Wish you continued success.
Congratulations Hari. Great to hear of the book launch. Best wishes.
Thanks Ranjani. Been so long. How are you doing? And Aparna? Say hi to her. Next time in Hyd do drop in. And so stay in touch.
Book is doing well. This is part of the process..the book events. Couple more and I am done for now. :)
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