And that’s how the happiest day of my life felt!

This is it!

In 2004, when I thought out loud with my dad’s wonderful friends, hardly did I know that a novel would come out of those thoughts. What started as a term paper for my creative writing class, was finished in 2008 and since then, Imperfect Mr. Right has been waiting for his moment in the limelight. After sitting in the dark corners of publishing house editors’ drawers and email accounts, Imperfect Mr Right was groomed into a readable book recently by Jayanthi Mahalingam and Preeti Singh at Popular Prakashan.

Finally, in March, the book shipped out to readers. It still didn’t sink in. As I printed out invitation cards, got two very special celebrities lined up to release the book, I still didn’t understand what was going on. There was no time.

The day was less than two days away. I still didn’t have a dress to wear. Wearing my hands-free, making calls to invite people, fighting off mini-breakdowns as I discovered the invites hadn’t reached people I made my way to Palladium. Nomad Wanderer was taking me dress-shopping. The hyper-ventilation reached another stage as I zipped up a pretty but ill-fitting dress. ‘You have to make a speech’ the woman in the mirror told me. The dress was rejected.

But the panic subsided when the golden zipper of the world’s most perfect black dress was zipped into place. I had found the right dress.


Hair rolled up in curlers, my dark circles tucked away under an elaborate layer of make-up, I waited for Ishita Thakkar to paint up my face. By the time I wore my dress, and trotted along to Crossword Juhu in high heels, it started to sink in. This was the evening I’d waited for my whole life. As I was told to walk to the podium from the waiting lounge, the food & drink aisle in the bookstore became my walk down the aisle, or walk down the red carpet. Passing by proud faces of my loved ones who had gathered to celebrate my book, I still wondered, is this how this is supposed to feel?

With Mr Bhatkal and Jayantrao Salgaokar

 

And then Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh arrived. What makes them special? Do you have to ask? Anyway, Riteish was one of the first few celebrities I interviewed when I started my career as a journalist for Bombay Times. And because the Deshmukhs are an inspiring couple!

"I love love stories, and the person on my right is the reason why," said Riteish

The wrapping paper was torn, and there it was, my book. Imperfect Mr Right was unveiled to the world… The restless nights, the anxiety and the thrill of reaching a break-through with the characters all came back to me as they held up my book.

The moment!

Rest of the evening is a happy daze… The kind words of Riteish, the lovely, articulate words of the gorgeous Genelia and the very encouraging words of Harsha Bhatkal, my publisher washed over me. I decided to junk my pre-written speech and speak as my heart wanted me to. And then my grandpa spoke.

My grandfather speaks

Now, for my grandfather, speaking English on a formal platform is a new experience, and for my sake, he said a few lines in English and continued in Marathi… It was one of the most emotional moments of my life. Moist eyed, I choked up. And then I spotted my dad and my mom in the audience, right next to my closest friends. And I saw the pride in their eyes. It was this, exact look that I wanted to see, I blinked back my tears, and smiled.

Surprise!

At that point there was nothing else I wanted from life. These people, who’ve made me who I am, were proud of the fact that I was their granddaughter, daughter, friend and that was all that mattered. Of course, my boys (read my guy friends) sported ‘I am Imperfect Mr Right’ t-shirts and my girls whispered, ‘I am proud of you’ in my ears, I felt like I was floating on some cloud. Yes, all of you who came, you filled my heart with love, gratitude and I will never ever forget how you made me feel… Thank you!

The magic bus!

And after all was wound up, I was taken home in an open-deck bus. Yes, all the way through Juhu, via Bandra Worli Sea-Link to Dadar and an all-night party followed… Yes, it was an unforgettable evening. Thank you, all of you, for making it so special!

all aboard!

Thanks Razzdino for the whack pics towards the end!

 

 

17 comments for “And that’s how the happiest day of my life felt!

  1. April 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Congrats Shakti

    • Shakti
      April 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      thank you 🙂

  2. April 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Most welcome. Congratulations once again! So proud of your achievements. We have come a long way since singing Gumshuda in your Santro on Marine Drive but I’m glad that we have managed to keep the madness alive. All hail OBN and always remember, whatever happens. TLKHM 🙂

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Dude…. Thanks! Yes, we’ve come a long way and here’s to the long road ahead. *hug* thanks for being there and I LOVE THE EARRINGS!

  3. April 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Congrats! 🙂 Your parents would be surely proud of you, even though, like many, they don’t express it. Your moist eyes wasn’t unexpected for you I guess, and that would have been the best moment, putting the celeb speeches aside. Wish you a good luck for the success of the book! 🙂

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      thanks so much 🙂

  4. Swapnil
    April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Congratulations! 🙂

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  5. Banoo
    April 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Looovely…love the pics, the dress, the shoes, the bus, the celebs, the speech (which I didn’t experience but know for sure was heart warming) n of course LOVE the book…sad i missed the launch but I hope you come to delhi to meet your fans here.
    CONGRATS!

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Banoo! I will snail mail you a DVD don’t worry 🙂
      I hope I have fans in Delhi when I get there 😀 Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  6. April 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    My eyes became wet as I was scrolling down this post. The picture in the end brought back my smile :)So happy for you, and much happier for your parents. They must be really proud. You have a lot of weight on your shoulders now, carry it well. Love you!

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Shweta… I hope the one above gives me strength to carry that weight with grace 🙂 Thanks a bunch *hug*

  7. Anu
    April 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Congrats!! looks like Imperfect Mr Right had the perfect launch!! and am so sorry that I was travelling and missed it!! cant wait to read the book!! all the very best!

  8. Aparna Shekhar
    April 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Congrats Shakti! This is an amazing achievement. You deserve all the praise and success in the world.
    P.S. Just bought the book on kindle. Can’t wait to read!

    • Shakti
      April 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Yaaay! can’t wait to know what you think of it :)And thanks so much 🙂

  9. Niu
    May 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Hello Shakti,

    First of all congratulations on your first book! Having read quite a few from great authors, I must honestly complement your attempt here.

    A friend gifted me this book and being a girl the first thing that got my attention was the catchy name.That is a cool name you got! The best part about your writing is the finesse with which the complexity of the protagonists emotions are tackled without getting boring and mundane.

    It is absolutely a fun read and would recommend it to my friend who gifted it to me 😉
    Thanks for a lovely short story, looking forward to many more from your end Shakti!
    Keep scribing 🙂

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