Monday, February 18, 2013

Of Books and Launches

So here I go again. My editor beetles in and reads out to me from her iPhone- One book launch to attend. Meet the author who is a debutante, and get a few quotes, a few pictures, the press release and that's it. I sigh inaudibly,  perk up and say 'sure' as she orders me 'You'll have to attend this one.' I sling my green bag over my shoulder, looking very journalistic and zoom off to Amethyst Cafe.

A few stray cars. A small garden cafe, with cane chairs and a homely exotic decor. Lots of grey heads and middle aged elegant women. Another evening of sulking in the corner without company, I think.

I declare myself a media personnel and resign myself to observing the sly company of people in rustling silks, cropped haircuts, impeccable British accents and a composure of manner that only people with a lot of time on their hands can cultivate. The star of the show is a lady in midnight blue. She looks slim and dainty in her layered shoulder-length haircut, a dupatta sideways over one shoulder, perfectly falling salwar bottoms and wispy bangles, obviously gold. She has big eyes and the practiced calmness of  a doctor. She is not very good with public speaking, but the speakers to endorse her book do a good job to get the crowd hooting at times. This is the dentist's first book; 'as my children grew up, I had a lot of time on my hands,' she says. So writing came naturally.

The book is called 'All about smiles.' Yes and dentistry. The pun chokes itself. But the point of the book is a light read. It is about her experiences with patients who came to her clinic. 'I want people to like my book,' she says simply. I wonder calamitously: there's going to be a point when everyone is going to write books and there will be no one to read them. Anyone, just about anyone, at any point in their lives, from any profession, about any topic can just pick up a pen and write. I find it so hard to find time to read all the people I want to read. And now writing is such a thing that anyone can do it! Suddenly, I want to sit back and never touch a pen again!

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