In a few days, “Why is my Hair Curly?” will officially be out in the world in paperback. In itself, this day will be no different from the day the Kindle or Audible versions were released. In the words of a wise friend, “the story is no longer yours, let it fly”.
Last year, after I sent the first draft of the manuscript out, I imagined this day play out in many ways. In all of them, I was in India. I was there in person, looking at stacks of my book in a bookstore. I was in a room, reading an excerpt surrounded by my friends from real life and the virtual world I inhabit so much. In all of them I was smiling so much my cheeks hurt. My amma was a permanent fixture everywhere I went.
Monday will dawn in India before it does for me. Most bookstores are closed or operating under limitations. Deliveries are curtailed in the red zones of the city I love a lot – Chennai.
Muted as it seems, I will cut a cake in the intimacy of my kitchen, surrounded by family and a handful of friends. I will be joined by (hopefully!) a few friends from my blog and Twitter on a live event here.
As the week rolls by and those who preordered receive the book, I hope they will send me pictures of the book in the wild, in the hands of their children, amid the stack of books on their bookshelf, and maybe the rare picture of my book in a store somewhere.
In 2016, we painted our home. I picked out colors and left to India with my children while Saathi coordinated with the painter who transformed our drab rooms into vibrant spaces. One of the first things I did after I returned was to find decals for the children’s rooms. While in the store, I picked out black plain writeable decals for our mudroom.
After I stuck them on the wall, I remember standing, chalk in hand mulling over what to write. It came to me then, the various inspirational things I have heard over my lifetime.
So, I wrote down the things I wanted to be. I wrote down all the big ambitions I harbored inside of me. I smiled as I wrote them because I realized how corny it was. I have always been this child who dreamed big. I was this girl who lay on the water tank on the terrace of our home in Chennai, looking at the stars and wishing myself in one of them planes that crisscrossed the airspace over our heads. There was absolutely nothing in my life in seventh grade that made it seem even a remote possibility. Yet, I dreamed. I wished and let those thoughts out into the universe.
This writing on the decal in a dinky corner of my home was akin to that. Giving shape to my wishes and setting them free. I passed those decals each morning and evening as my children trooped in and out of the home. I looked at it each time I sat on the cedar chest and slipped my socks and shoes on. The chalk marks faded with time.
I smiled each time knowing how impossible those words were.
Today, I dug out a chalk and wrote over the faded words and gave life to those old words that carry so much power. I smiled as I did it this time too.
Truth is, there is no point to this long rambling post other than to say, if you nurture dreams somewhere deep inside of you, give them words and set them free.
If you ordered the book and receive it sometime the next week, share a picture, you will make me happy. If you leave a review, please let me know. It means much. If you see the book in a store or in a library, do take a picture and share it with me. If the book meant something to you or your child, do write to me. I promise to write back.
These are things I will treasure. These are the things I will come back to in a few weeks and months after the euphoria of this week dies down.
Until then, celebrate with me.