I was up at 4:45 am and showered and in front of my computer, a cup of kaapi in hand, at 5:30 am. Today was the first of my virtual school visits to promote my book. My screen was filled with eager, hopeful seventh graders sitting half way across the world in New Delhi, India.
One little lady did the honor of introducing me to her class. I was blown away by how articulate she was. She paused, modulated her voice and injected energy into what would have been an otherwise monotonous reading of my meagre list of accomplishments.
I started off reading a passage from the middle of my book. I read, remembering to look at the camera every now and then and stopped at a logical point. We were off and running as soon as I opened up the floor for questions.
“Mam, can I ask a question?”
“Mam, I would like to ask you something.”
“Mam, can I go first?”
The clamoring of voices settled into a modicum of order in a while and I took questions from pint sized people. They ranged from where the inspiration of the book came from, why curly hair, did I draw from my life, did my children make their way into the book, was I writing another book.
I smiled a lot as I answered. I tried to keep my answers relevant and tried to use names as I spoke to each child. One hour sped past before I realized it and yet another young girl delivered a thank you speech that was just as articulate and energetic as the welcome speech. I almost teared up as I waved bye and left the meeting.
I felt incredibly hopeful being in the presence of the future India. They are smart, bright, intelligent and absolutely vocal.
I can’t wait for the next set of school visits that start next week. I think of all the bookish things I have done over the past few weeks and, visiting with children is the absolute best.