asked a formidable old gentleman in the back row, prompting mr. r. joshi to reveal that THIS was how he’d spent his mammoth advance and subsequent earnings from subsequent income-earning activities; he pays people to go and ask bad questions at launches. for an explain-the-title he pays 400 bucks, for a merely bizarre question involving pragmatic probing of, hopefully, political issues that have nothing to do with the book being discussed, Rs 150. Ashish Nandy’s interjection, where he asked Rana if he knew what caste he was, came for free.
Finally met my HarperCollins editor, Ratika Kapur, thanks to the kind offices of Hari M. Also had most pleasant conversation with Anita Roy, whos doing such good work with the Young Zubaan list. Told her about my plug for Vandana Singh’s Younguncle and how it was still somewhere in Outlooks computers, gathering dust…sad.
Conspicuously missing at the launch were Hurree Babu, busy lording over Bombay’s lit types for a change, and Meenakshi, whose profile of Rana came along with the most interesting author pic i have seen in a while; he looked as if he were being ravished by the giant horse that starred in the new story he read at the launch.
very pleasant launch on the whole…and I was very wellbehaved throughout, contrary to whatever the Jabberwock has reported in today’s blog. Yes, i giggled frequently, but it was nothing like, say, what Indi and I were doing at Sarnath’s reading. The expressions on peoples faces when Indi started picking scabs off his feet in the second row….hah.
Felt very Delhi. of course, soon as i get to meet a reasonable number of interesting people, i leave. how typical.
Almost forgot in my excitement – bought two Sandmans yesterday, Game of You and The Kindly ones (5 and 9). there were some others too, but they were hardbacks, and simply out of my price range. read game of you…very good, but nowhere near as good as end of time (8).
there was an auto strike yesterday, and the guy who finally agreed to take me to CP overcharged me terribly. but i went anyway. such is my devotion to Literature. Got a ride home from the burbling saviour, which is why i wasnt able to party the night away with rana, monica, shuddha and gang. sad, again. so many great apes remain unnamed.