I've never been more unprepared for a reading. A whole day before I left for Delhi, I was running a temperature, which I was constantly supressing with paracetemol. Was I even in Delhi? There's no way to tell - it felt like Anycity. I remember crossing that gigantic Hanuman at Karol Bagh. And then I remember my anonymous room, lying down on the bed with the fan almost off because I was feeling cold when it was 38 centigrade outside. And I remember the plaster of paris lines on the ceiling that ran on and on, around and around senselessly. I felt like Mr. Biswas the night of his breakdown.
But somehow, once Sampurna was there, I drummed up the enthu to plan the reading, because we were reading for the first time together. We each read for 15 minutes and then did a jugalbandhi. I did not wear pink. We sat at a conference table and Rukmini Bhaya Nair said several nice thing about us. I felt like I was back at the Upper Conference Room in college, about to present a paper or participate in an elocution competition.
But people came - Vivek, though he wasn't well; Annie, Jai, with red eyes that he assured us had nothing to do with eye flu. The Mad Momma, some old school and college friends; Keki, though he wasn't well either. More than I expected and fewer than I hoped, but that's always how it is.
I'm still not well. Can you tell? I'm rambling, almost certainly I am. And I'm leaving again on the 11th, when all I want to do is be ill in peace and sleep.
More later, folks, and will definitely try and do a podcast. How does one do one?