Saturday, June 20, 2009

In Which We Meet Chandrahas Choudhury

I was really excited about Chandrahas Choudhury's book reading. I was excited for many reasons, one being that I have read Chandrahas' blog for years; another being that last time I saw him, I thought he was cute.

As it often does when I have things to do, it rained. Hard. I sat by the window and hoped the rain would stop in time for us to leave for the reading. Miraculously, it did. The Guy wasn't feeling too well, but offered to drive me there nonetheless. We left in what should have been plenty of time.

We were only a few kilometres away from our home when I realised I needed to pee. There was nothing to be done then (except go back, which we didn't want to do), so we went forward. Traffic was heavy and almost still in places due to the recently ceased rain, and it took us half hour longer to reach our destination than it should have. By the time we reached, the Guy also needed to pee.

We reached around a quarter of an hour late. The Guy obligingly dropped me off and went to park the car. I went in and found Chandrahas talking about the book. I crept onto a seat. The Guy found me there some minutes later.

Frankly, I don't much like the idea of readings for a new book - I want to enter a new book with little idea of what it's going to be like. Readings and discussions on the book make more sense, I feel, after I've read it. As it is I've learned too much about the story already before actually starting on the book.

After the reading, we got to talk to Chandrahas and get his autograph (which of course, was the whole point and the reason why I was there, in case you were wondering after the previous paragraph). He was really sweet and stood chatting to us for some time. He even (pretended to?) like one of the Guy's impromptu one-liners and claimed he would quote it. ([We like fiction because] "there's so much non-fiction around us anyway", if you must know.) Chandrahas then proceeded to recommend a book to us.

We said our byes and moved out of the queue, me clutching the book with Chandrahas' autograph on it. We looked for the book Chandrahas had recommended (Middleman by Sankar) and decided to take that too.

And then, finally, after around two hours, we went to the loo (no, not together; not even at the same time, because one of us had to hold the books).

It will tell you how excited I was that I didn't have the desire or the patience to look around the bookstore. (Me! Bookstores are my favourite place to hang out in!) We paid and left. We saw Chandrahas leaving in a car outside and waved goodbye.

Mercenary girl that I am, I found myself wondering whether a first edition of Arzee the Dwarf autographed by the author might be worth a fortune someday.

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