the mad hatter's book launch

Day two of the book launch and what a day it turned out to be. Two events were planned in two locations as different from each other as chalk and cheese: a very upmarket hospital and a middle suburban mall; the common denominator: the presence of a chain book outlet. I must admit that the choice of the hospital was rather bemusing as the launch was to include a theatrical performance. But ours is not to...

As we were getting ready, a telephone call informed us that our dear publisher had taken ill at night and was feeling hellish. Ominous...

We reached the hospital and weaved our way to the tiny bookstore located in one of the numerous waiting halls filled with anxiety ridden families where the hum was often broken by incomprehensible announcements over a PA system. The appointed hour of the event struck and went by. Confusion prevailed and tempers threatened to rise. Chairs were moved around and bewildered people were made to readjust themselves. Soon a trio took seat next to the bay window and started beating a drum. I do not know why but what came to my mind was a page from Alice in Wonderland. Were we to be guests at the Mad Hatter's tea party?

Drums beating in a space replete with Silence Please signs looked incongruous. We barely had time to take the situation in when a posse of angry looking men arrived and put a stop to the whole show. A senior doctor had objected, quite rightly, to the noise and ordered it be stopped. By that time some guests had arrived to, each one wondering what was happening. What ensued was a expected: parleys and discussion, a bit of blame game and then the inevitable: there would be no launch, no book reading, no show.. It was time to pack up, the party was over.

Anyway there was still another launch, later in the day, miles away..

Come 4 pm and we all gathered in a middle class mall near the food court and blissfully the kids play area. This little messy mall was more to my liking than the hoity-toity one of the first launch. The stage had been set, the actors were ready and the show would begin once a mike was found. In the meantime the play area beckoned big and small and Utpal, Kiran and Shamika decided to have a blast, and boy they did!

In the meantime a mike had been found and the show began. A rendering of parts of Dear Popples and the Prayer and then some book reading. A handful of people watched the on-goings, and then it was time to go bit not before some goodies were bought to be savoured during the long return drive.

All in one the two day experience was one to remember. Nothing was as expected and yet when one looks back a lot did happen: wonderful connections were made, a family of five was saved and a bunch of kids big and small had a whopping time!

here are some pictures of day 2