What do you do when you get such a nice compliment that it kind of floors you?

I spend a lot of time reminding myself to not take myself so darn seriously! And I am really fortunate that I have a family who keeps me grounded. I don’t want to ever become one of those ‘la dee da’ types!

But when something you’ve been working and working towards actually happens…what do you do?

For years I wanted to basically get to the point where I developed an audience. Where by word of mouth people would come to see me, and this seems to be exactly what happened in India last November, when I was fortunate enough to tour for my Indian publisher Duckbill, who’d bought the rights to Wanting Mor.

The interesting thing about that Indian tour of Delhi, Bangalore, Amritsar and Pune, was that I could not do my normal Wanting Mor presentation. I’d developed a powerpoint! And then the presentations were taking place in parks, with trees and grass!

But that’s where being a storyteller really comes in handy! I improvised, changed the whole presentation so it was me storytelling how I’d come to write Wanting Mor and funny thing is it worked out to be better, WAY better, than the powerpoint, and I’ve changed the presentation ever since.

Well… this is what Duckbill said about me recently:

We had never quite believed the Julius Caesar came-saw-conquered thing until we saw Rukhsana Khan in action. Julius Caesar, of course, had the support of a rather large army, while Rukhsana was armed only with her warmth, her charm and her stories.

At her first event in India, in Bookaroo last year, a substantial crowd gathered. People event hopping stopped to look and stayed till the end. At the second event, the same people were back and they came with their friends, families and neighbours. By the third event, the buzz had started long before the event did.

Rukhsana tells her stories with such conviction and such passion that to listen to her is to love her, and to feel that we too can take on whatever the world throws our way and come out stronger and happier.

Wow! Just wow!

It’s a bit overwhelming.

Kind of makes me wonder how I’m going to live up to such kind words!

On another note, today I started my first workshop at Fairview Public library for my residency. It was a workshop I called Seniors: Your Life As a Picture Book. And I was very dejected to find out that only one person had signed up for it.

One person!

I wasn’t sure how to proceed, so I contacted the librarians and she said we’d go ahead with the first session and see how it went, perhaps merge it into another workshop I was doing along the same lines for Adults in the evenings.

Well, two people showed up! Two very very dedicated people and I thought the two hours would drag, but not at all!

It was lovely!

And the funny thing was, while I was conducting the workshop, getting them to write out their thoughts about their births and their lives so far, looking for themes and meaning, I couldn’t help thinking “Gee, if I were them, I’d LOVE this!” and the older lady said to me, “We’re so fortunate, we get such individual attention!” And I have to agree.

They loved it and are firmly committed to coming for the other two sessions on Thursdays!

So up and down, these things happen.

But still, I feel fortunate.