No sign of poise anywhere in sight so apologies. People, the Zubaan book is out in bookshops now.

We had our first launch thingy yesterday at The Bookshop in Jor Bagh. A shop so small they had to take out two book racks to make space for the twenty odd people who turned up. But it had many juicy books that  I wanted to buy and the nicest owners.

I met some of the other contributers and was thrilled to bits. A little discussion followed, moderated by our lovely editor Anita Roy, who was her usual sharp and loony self. I said several unneccessary things about my short story The Broadband and the Bookslut and was allowed to.  Of the 25 copies on display 23 were bought. Six of us authors madly autographed everything in sight, ate brownies and looked smug.

(Except when I was gawking at Urvashi Butalia. Who thankfully does not remember that the first time I met her at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, I talked to her for 15 minutes and asked her what her name was when I was leaving. I was kicking myself all the way to Bangalore.) I also was super excited to meet Madhulika Liddle who contributed the lovely Mughal murder mystery to the anthology. She says that she does a lot of research herself and has a sister who is a historian too.

I had seen the book for the first time the previous evening. I actually took it out of my bag to look at 10 pm at the metro station. There were three people in the whole train when I looked up again. It was spooky to see two men staring at me because they had nothing else to do (People should read more!) and to realise that I wanted to say even to them. ‘Hey, this is no ordinary book that I am reading. This book has my name in it. Several times. It has my name in it. And it’s very cool.

There are other launches coming up. Please come and please buy the book if you can.

22nd March, Crossword Bookstore, Bangalore

Meena Kandasamy, Anjum Hasan, Ruchika Chanana, Adithi Rao, reading short exerpts from their work, followed by a discussion (moderator: Anita Roy)

 27th March, Habitat Centre, New Delhi. 7 pm

Shahnaz Habib, Nisha Susan, Anita Roy and Jeet Thayil discuss the topic “What’s ‘New’, Pussycat?” (!!!) – The discussion will centre around the new forms, styles, genres of writing which young writers from the subcontinent are using. Whether there is, in fact, a ‘sea-change’ in literature by the younger generation or whether this ‘newness’ is merely driven by the media-hungry, publishing industry. How does gender affect one’s sensibility, either as a writer or as a reader? What does the future hold for literature in South Asia – and internationally?

I am looking forward to meeting Shahnaz (who lives in New York) and whose story about bride hunting in Kerala is hilarious.

And if you live elsewhere then I am not sure which bookstores are stocking it but you can buy it online from the Zubaan site here. And the cover is no longer so muttai pink! Its muttai green now.

Almost forgot. There is an old CNN IBN newsclip about the book here. The video link is on the left and features two very interesting women, Susan Koshy (who writes under the name of Mridula Koshy) and Annie Zaidie.