An evening to remember at Bookworm plus two unique reader stories
How are you doing? Hope all is good in your corner of the world.
One of the things I'd wanted to do this year was to blog regularly, and so here I am with my updates for April.
I'd attended the Dehradun literature festival from 1st to 3rd April. It was a very grand event, and I met many of my readers and fans, and signed a lot of books. We had a full house in the large auditorium that I am estimating, could easily seat 400 people. I'd made a short reel with the highlights.
I am sharing it here.
Last Saturday, I had another event at Bookworm, Bangalore. It had been raining very heavily, and I did not expect too many people to turn up, given that it is almost impossible to move around in Bangalore, during heavy rains.
Again, I was pleasantly surprised to see a full house.
I want to share two incidents from the event, which moved me a lot.
Before, the event began I was sitting at the back in the bookshop, chatting with my fellow author friend Kiran and my editor Deepthi, when a young girl walked up to me. Usually nobody does this before an event, as we've a lot of things to plan and talk about, before we go on stage. I never interact with readers before the event, as my mind is occupied with the event which is about to begin. After the event is done, I am relaxed, and then I pose for pictures and interact with my fans.
Hence, I was a little flummoxed when this girl walked up to me. She told me she was a huge fan and handed me some flowers she had got for me. She said her friend wasn't allowed to come to the event. She took out her phone and asked if I could send her friend a voice note.
I was put on the spot. I don't even know who this friend is, and what I was supposed to say. I was going to refuse. But then I saw the girl who had requested it was almost in tears and her hands were trembling She was barely able to speak. Something made me ask her what her friend's name was--and I sent her friend a voice note, where I asked her to stay strong.
At the event, we spoke about many things like writing process, the role of literature in society etc. When someone from the audience said that television makes regressive 'saas-bahu' serials, I refuted it vehemently saying things are definitely changing with the advent of OTT platforms, especially Netflix and Prime.
Later, after the event, I got a lengthy message from the girl explaining how my words had given both her and her friend hope and courage.
Almost all readers who came that day told me that they felt their dream of meeting me had come true. It was very overwhelming to hear that. This true genuine love I receive from my readers and fans blows me away every single time.
Later I got this message from a another reader/fan. (sharing with permission)
I asked this reader to send me a picture of him, so I'd remember who he was. He sent this:
It was nice that he observed how I took the time to sign each book carefully, and that he saw a friend in me.
Every single day, I receive many such messages telling me about how my writing has impacted them, and what a difference it has made in their lives. I feel blessed to have such readers.
While I get messages all the time, what makes it truly special is to meet all of you in person.
Thank you all for this much love and support. Thank you for turning up in such large numbers for my events, to meet me.
It means a LOT to me!
Much more than you'll ever know.
Lots of Love