Omigosh, where has the time gone???

I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow and it still hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going.

I keep remembering that first email conversation where my the lady at my Indian publisher Duckbill, first mentioned the possibility of my going to the Bookaroo festival, and now I’m actually packing for it!

Sat down upstairs on the brown leather sofas and thought, “Wow, what a year it’s been!” Was it really just a year ago that I was getting ready to go to the American school in Singapore for two weeks? Then Iran in February. Then touring Alaska in March, and oh yeah, there was a day trip to a school in Dallas in there somewhere.

And now India.

I’ll be visiting four cities on this tour insha Allah! Delhi, of course, then Bangalore, Amritsar and Pune.

Basically the Western half of the country. Amritsar is right across the border from Lahore, where I was born, and it feels like of bittersweet that I won’t be able to go there.

It looks to be quite exciting!

And now that the eighth grandchild has arrived and is settling into the competent hands of his parents, and all my family commitments have basically been taken care of, I can focus on this.

Funny how I was dreading the travel.

I used to yearn for it!

Back in the days when I was a stay at home mom, doing daycare to make ends meet, I dreamed of world travel and going to dinners and stuff like that!

And yes, I know once I get on the trip, it’ll probably be fun, but with all the experience behind me, and knowing all the hassles that can be incurred, I can’t help but worry.

Last night I had a hard time sleeping.

Not because I was worrying, but rather because I was basking. Just a little bit, in the glow of the media coverage I’ve received.

Am I really so pathetic that I craved the acknowledgement of the New York Library’s picking me for their 100 Greatest list?

The answer is, “I guess so.”

Because on Saturday night the CBC National aired this piece about me:

Yeah, this one contains the goofy moment when I’m laughing because the interviewer, Zulekha Nathoo points out that I’m on the same list as J.K. Rowling!

After hubby saw it, he came upstairs, sat down on the brown leather two-seater and just looked at me, smiling but while shaking his head.

And I knew right then he was thinking of my lack of decorum during the goofy laughing moment! Yes, I’ll admit it, I lost my decorum for a short while.

But hey, what the heck? I couldn’t help it.

Who wouldn’t get excited in those circumstances???

The point is they called me ‘acclaimed’!


And it felt so good!

Like it was an itch that’s been waiting forty years to be scratched!

I’m finally ‘acclaimed’ in the country I call home! I’d always felt so overlooked before, like Americans got me, Singaporeans got me, lots of places got me, but Canadians didn’t.

Yeah, pathetic, I know, but there it is.

I think the biggest fear I have regarding the India trip is that I’ll disappoint my publisher.

They’ve laid out such an investment to bring me there! I hope with all my heart that they are not disappointed with the returns.

I hope lots and lots of Indian children will fall in love with Wanting Mor as much as my publishers did!

She first read it in Singapore, where I met her in 2010 the first time I went to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, back when she was an editor with Scholastic India.

I handed her a copy.

She said she’d sat down in her hotel room and hadn’t gotten up again till she’d finished reading it!

When I saw her again in 2012 again at the AFCC, the first thing she said to me was that she had started her own imprint with some business partners and she wanted to buy Indian rights to Wanting Mor.

It felt so good to hear that!

It reaffirmed my faith in myself!

After I wrote my heart out, with Wanting Mor, and it didn’t get as much attention as I hoped it would here in Canada, I came very very close to just quitting writing altogether.

I thought, “wow, I write my heart out and it’s so good…”

And it was just dogged determination that kept me going.

I thought, “Okay, if they don’t get this one, then maybe I’m just deluding myself and I should just be happy with whatever success I do achieve.” I comforted myself with, “Hey, it’s not that bad. I’m making a living aren’t I? A pretty decent living too! Not many authors can say that!”

And I was resigned.

And now…I’m basking.

Subhan Allah!

And then tomorrow night, I’m off to the land where I all began (kind of), and I wonder if this trip is going to be as galvanizing as that early trip I took when I was thirty, that was 21 years ago!


Hopefully I’ll be able to blog along the way.

We’ll see.

Over and out.