Ever since I have developed a fascination for books authors have been a part of conversations around me. Until today my perception of an author used to be of some kind of celebrity, some what like the Katrinas and Shahrukhs of the world. We all know they exist and in real, but they seem to live in a different world. When I got an opportunity to attend the book launch (for the first time in my life) in form of an invite for the launch of 34 Bubblegums and Candies, the first book from the author Preeti Shenoy, I grabbed it with both the hands.
My excitement to meet live with an author, who I used to follow through her blog, took me to the destined place well one and a half hours in advance to ensure I didn’t even a single minute of it. I walked in the crosswords and saw her books being displayed on the showcase. I picked the book in my hands and felt the cover page and the back page details which I had been seeing on the website on actual paper as a book. I kept the book down as I didn’t want to read it before the launch actually happened. I wanted to hear the author and her feelings for her first book before diluting her reactions with my own perception of the book.
The launch started at the predetermined time and in came the person who was very much a normal human being and changed my perception of authors. I was expecting someone with a somewhat stylish Brit accent indicating the flawless English usage and pronunciations. A minute of conversation dawned on me the realities of an author. The launch was triggered by her introduction and a welcome note by the crosswords team.
The launch was presided by Anuja, sharing the dais with Preeti, who in words of Preeti herself is one of the most energy spreading people she knew and also fostered a passion for Preeti’s writings. She started her address with the answer to the question which was haunting everyone’s mind, what made her traverse the journey from being a blogger to becoming an author. She talked about how a sudden and unfortunate turn of events made her realize the value of every days in her life and more the value of our life being lost every day because we fail to live up to it. She also added how the snippets or experiences of our lives are perfect analogies with bubblegums and cadies and helped her derive the name and concept of her book 34 Bubblegums and Candies.
Preeti concluded with reading an excerpt from the book. After which another excerpt was read by Anuja and her experience with the author and how she could correlate with the book and could swan how the every bubblegum and candy in the book has come out straight from the heart of the author. The ceremony was drawn towards the end with some games and an interactive question answer session with the author herself. The ceremony marked it closure with the signing of the books by the author.
What stole the entire show and made it so special for the guests and the author herself was the gesture by Atul & Purvi, for whom the author is a full-time devoted mother of two. They made very cute little bookmarks for the guests present in the launch and personalizing them for each one of them. You can read about the entire effort put in by the kids here, by Preeti herself. I being the lucky one got one of the bookmarks, which says “Dear Prateek, Thanks for buying my mom’s Book. By Atul and Purvi”
@ Atul & Purvi: The bookmark is awesome. I will always keep it with me to remind me of you two.
Attending this book launch was an amazing experience for me specially to realize how the heart of an author goes in every page of the book to actually make it happen. How some unfortunate incidents can be changed by a person’s outlook to create something positive and meaningful out of them. There were lot of moments where I could actually connect with the author and also feel the inspiration and inhalation out of the book. The most engaging part of the ceremony was when Preeti read a chapter on Radiators & Drains. She talked on glimpses of people around us, how there are radiators who emit constant positive energy spreading a feel good around us and then there are drains which actually feed on our own energy and exist only to pull us down. The chapter concluded on how one should surround himself with Radiators and avoid drains. This one was a certainly the bubble gum for me, I have been thinking of it since the moment I have heard it and read it and then re-read it.
Two questions which actually float my mind are not about radiators and drains around me. The question is about me am I a radiator or a drain? If I need can I change myself to be one or the other by efforts or being a radiator or drain is imbibed through our genes? And more importantly is a radiator emitting energy at all points of time in all moods and in all situations? I have my own perceptions to these questions but no definite answers. I am not sure if there are any.
P.S.: I have read the whole book cover to cover already within 2 hours of the launch. Initial feedback is if you like non fiction without any storyline; this one is worth reading and every word of it. A detailed review will come later after chewing the multiple bubblegums & digesting the sweet candies.