A little later Adi went for a nap and I decided to check my e-mail and found that I had received the mail that I had been waiting for practically my entire adult life.
Oh my god, oh my god, I screamed (silently, remember Adi was sleeping) and then, oh my god, oh my god for effect. I followed it up with some oh my god, oh my god for good measure and then stood up and jumped up and down several times. I then proceeded to run from one end of the house to another at a somewhat high speed, breathless and unimaginably happy. I snatched up my phone to call M and remembered that that was useless. I ran to the landline, no luck. Just when I wanted to shout from the rooftops about something, I could not share it with anyone. I mailed M and he mailed back immediately but somehow it was not the same as talking about what Om Shanti Om had assured me was something the whole kaynaat (universe, I think) had conspired to give me.
What was so important about that e-mail, you ask?
I'm happy to inform you that the editorial team really enjoyed your manuscript and would very much like to add it to our publishing list. If you like, I could forward you a draft contract to take a look at. Taking into account the likely price of the book, and the first print run, we would like to offer you an advance of Rs xyz and royalties of abc%. I hope this is alright.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Why am I telling you about this now? Because my dear reader, I had to use every last ounce of self-control to not put it on the blog then.
I give you now what I have waited for so long. Bringing Up Vasu - That First Year, my debut novel.
I don't think you can read the blurb on the cover. It says this:
First-time mom Mira steps out of the hospital with her baby son, aglow with confidence that her aspirations for Supermom-dom will be fulfilled. After all, she’s attended all the pre-natal sessions, armed herself with postnatal planning, read all the books, and — most crucially — has the benefit of advice from expert Yummy Mummy, Rhea.
Mira realises quickly, though, that the road to being a model mommy is not that smooth: her baby seems to think sleep is overrated, her boss has decided to show her the door, her pregnancy fat is staying steadfastly on, and — having threatened to beat up the one woman who could get her son into the coveted playschool Teddy Footprints — plans for her first-born are already going awry.
With her husband Anand, the one feeble voice of sanity in her life, Mira has to navigate between a colicky baby, finding the perfect maid, postnatal depression, freelance work, demanding fitness instructors, and friends who careen between inappropriate lovers and alcohol. Will she ever gain entry into the kingdom of chic moms? Will she ever be able to successfully juggle a baby and work? And will she ever shed those twenty extra kilos?A funny yet tender peek into the pleasures and pitfalls of becoming a first-time mother, Bringing Up Vasu is a true coming-of-age read.
Scared shitless just about describes my state of mind right now. That of course does not mean that I am not feeling very happy and elated (and apparently adept at using two words that essentially mean the same thing).
I tried really hard to declare this in a funny/witty/exciting way, in other words, in a way that would immediately make you fall in undying love with me and more importantly make you go get a copy. Things however are slow in the old noggin today and I needed to put it out before I burst with holding it in so long!
I know what you are dying to ask of me. The answer is - yes, I did dwell over whether I should use a pseudonym or not. It was Mahesh who dissuaded me by pointing out that writing under the names Amitav Ghosh and/or Jhumpa Lahiri could be considered grounds for libel.
A book. A book. By me! If there is a fulfillment of dreams in this world, this is mine.
What do you think of the cover, constant reader? Please note that Constant Reader is what Stephen King calls his fans like me but I think I am entitled to use it now, being after all part of the same fraternity, ahem.
If people do get by with a little help from their friends, I guess I should do alright, right? RIGHT?
IMPORTANT: I wanted to write this post when the book was finally out but since so many of you know about it already, I am putting this up now. Please note that the book will be in the stores only around the 23rd of June. Or so. As soon as it hits the stands, I will be here again, beseeching you to do the needful and shell out the INR 250 that will feed a starving author.
Another thing, this is my 300th post on this blog. Nice way to bring it in, eh? Now to write the next novel before the 400th one.