The reading went off amazingly well, thanks to those of you who asked. But who really wants to know the nitty gritties, right? So other gossip will happen.
After reading with The Little Theatre for ages, you'd think my own reading would be a breeze, wouldn't you? Actually, I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't sleep the night before, and the day gave me ample opportunity to finish chewing off what little skin I had left around each of my fingers. Afternoon came, and I regretted my decision to wear a sari. I had to drive through trauma-inducing traffic wearing yards of silk which kept getting tangled up in my footwear.
I'd offered to pick up Meenakshi Mukherjee, and arriving at her place, I asked my son to get out and carefully locked every door. A slow motion moment followed, when I slammed my door shut and simultaneously realised I'd left the keys in the ignition. 45 minutes to the reading and all the books are in my car, which is now locked. Of course, not having central locking, opening the car up by strictly illegal methods was a breeze. By this time, I'd calmed down and reach a state of zen.
At the Goethe Zentrium, a young reporter interviewed me. She was bright-eyed and I bubbled with enthusiasm and I think I wanted to be sick. Luckily she spotted Dr. Mukherjee and slid off to interview her.
Later, Dr. Mukherjee told me the girl wanted to know her opinion about Malayalam literature. Reporters ask such mystifying questions! But the girl was ticked off rather sternly, I'm told.
Dr. M: "Have you read any Malayalam literature?
Bright youg reporter: "Erm...Chemmeen."
Dr. M: "That was decades ago. What have you read recently? And why do you want to know about Malayalam literature in translation at a poetry reading from a book in English?"
I don't know if anyone else is surprised, but the reading wasn't covered by the newspaper she represented.
Another newspaper the following day 'spotted' several of The Little Theatre readers (who were reading with me) at the release. Anybody who hadn't been there could be forgiven for thinking that a poetry reading was the new P3 event to be seen at.
After the reading, I was idiotic enough to allow people to ask questions. One gentleman accused me of having no attachment to anyone. "There's a poem in which you say when the leaves drop there's no regret. That means people mean nothing to you. Could you say why you are like that?"
Later, while I was signing copies, the same gent came up to me and announced that he also writes poetry, but he writes - unlike me - mainly love poems. "Shall I recite one poem to you?" Being a basically nice person I mumbled something and he slunk away. I think.
So, reading over, we repaired to the Sailing Club to recruit our strength. Oh but that was fun. The rest of the evening passed in a fairly alcoholic haze, but I remember enough to state with conviction that it all ended brilliantly.