The frenzy started a week before the launch when the Chief Guest confirmed availability. The realisation struck me that my book launch was just a week away. And there was still a lot to do.
My son came to me, “Mom, can we please have a match of chess?” I said, “please, can it wait till after the launch?” My 5 year old came and asked me sweetly, “mom can you please make my favourite sweet?” I hugged her but just had to say, “babe, can it wait for a week, you know mom is busy for the launch, right?” and she complied.
It was all about the launch. The moment was building up. A week to go. ‘To do’ list was never ending. Invites done, Nourooz table done, speech prepared, days just flew… Backdrop was yet to be done. A night before, I realised, we had not finalised a photographer. The day finally arrived and I had no MC. A friend came to the rescue….last minute changes….. adrenaline rush… my mind went blank. Guests arrived, and I just floated… friends, more friends, relatives, guests, press and VIPs all came almost simultaneously. I couldn’t keep control of people I greeted. I got into an autopilot mode. Our brains are programmed to operate in such a mode in an event of an emergency. I experienced it. The next moment, I found myself sitting with the chief guest discussing Iran and blink, I was on stage. It all happened in super fast forward motion. And within a flash, it was all over. Speeches over. Book unveiled. Friends flocked for autographed copies. TV interviews. And then, just as the ballroom had filled with people it got empty again…. and it hit me, what rises to the brim depletes again…. and with that awareness, my BP plummeted…. but with a relief, it was all over and all went off well.
Now I needed myself back, back from that autopilot mode. But couldn’t yet. I couldn’t afford to. Not yet. As the launch got over, my 5 year old came up to me and asked, “mama is your launch now over?” I said, “yes baby.” She smiled and said, “so now can you make my favourite sweet for me?” I couldn’t help my tears. I knew everyone around me had taken a toll at my hands. I put an end to it when the event gets over. But till then, nothing can defocus me. Obsession, perfection, focus, you can call it whatever you want. But as the event or task at hand comes closer, my focus gets on the target, and surroundings get blurred. A task may be as minor as completing a self imposed deadline of 500 words, yet, it’s a commitment. So, at that time, I hugged her tight and told her. “Yes babe. I can!” and her eyes widened, and a bright smile sparkled her naughty eyes and spread from one corner of her face to another brightening me too and squeezing all my exhaustion away. That’s my energiser smile. My destress hug and a destress kiss from my 5 yr old.
So the next two days, I belonged only to my kids. No meetings, no interviews, just nothing. A well deserved time together. The much awaited chess matches between me and my son and girls cheering me up. A much requested sweet for my baby. A quite dinner – just me and my kids. Aah that drained me and I had to head back to my MacBook to write. So having spent time together, I have earned two hours of writing time. And a day to lock myself off from the world. To find my words again. To focus on my next book.