September 23, 2009

{Definitely Maybe: Perfect father daughter movie? Definitely maybe not.}

A few weeks back, when Raka had gone to a friend’s house, she started the movie Definitely Maybe but had to come back home before the movie finished. Since then, she has been asking me to get the DVD for her to watch, but somehow, somewhere, I have never remembered.

Today, Raka is not feeling in the best of health and did not go to school. This morning she asked me if I could get for her some dark chocolate and the movie Definitely Maybe. Feeling bad about her being sick, I stopped by at the local Target and WalMart before my meetings downtown. I found the dark chocolate, but not the movie and had to tell Raka that I tried, but could not get it.

All day during my meetings, the movie was bugging me. Hence on the way back, I stopped at Cheapo Disk on Colorado Blvd to look for the DVD. When I found a previously viewed copy I did not waste any time in grabbing it.

On the way back I kept thinking about my childhood. There were days when I would be sick and Maiji (my maternal grandmother) would make my favorite chicken stew and read books to me. Then there was that one instance when my dad brought me my favorite comic book. Somehow, during those sick days, a little bit of extra attention went along way in making me feel better.

Raka had a huge smile on her face as she saw the DVD. She grabbed it and then looked at me and said, “Dad, can we watch this together?”

I picked up the DVD and read the back cover. It is the story of a dad sharing his pre-divorce life with his daughter. Wow, a simply perfect story for Raka and I to watch this afternoon. I said “Definitely Yes.”


5:40 PM. Watched the first hour of the movie and could not take it. Raka was the first to raise her concern. “Dad, can you believe that the guy is saying all this to his eight year old daughter?” Yes, it is sad and embarrassing that the movie summary targets a father and a daughter, but is hardly a movie a father and daughter can watch together. Oh well! Even if the movie together plan did not work out, the thought was cute. May be we will stick with Disney.

September 16, 2009

{What do you do after you finish a book?}

Writing the book was the fun part.

It was fun to discuss with Oni (my brother who lives in Mumbai, India) the sequence of stories, and hearing from him over and over how I had no clue about what I was doing. It was fun to argue with Raka on what stories would be included in the book. Of course, I lost nearly all these arguments. It was fun to work with Cody and the team, and to see their excitement about the book. It made me feel that they are all better equipped to be better parents than I was at their age.

As I sit with a finished copy of the book in hand and re-read it, I try to find the most heart touching moments in the book.
  1. My all time favorite chapter: When Raka wanted to marry me.
  2. The two stories I would (most) like to reverse: Not being there when Raka was in her early childhood, and missing my brother’s wedding.
  3. The most uncomfortable moment: The gay incident.

I can bet that I will read the book many more times and find many more favorites in the book. I can see Raka at different ages walking around the book; reading it over and over is becoming kinda addictive.

But now comes the tough part. The tough part is to push the book, market the book, and make sales happen. Unfortunately that is necessary.

I would really love for someone to pick up the sales job and let me write on.

September 9, 2009

{A Tuesday Lunch with my Daughter}

What a Labor Day weekend it turned out to be! Even though Raka turns 16 on September 15th, I planned her sweet 16th birthday on September 5th, over the Labor Day weekend. Raka’s cousins Smita (from Miami) and Ajita (from Houston), and my cousin Sunuda and his family flew in from Houston for the weekend celebration.

Saturday evening, as we got ready for our dinner at Bistro Vendome in downtown Denver, Raka called me to see if she was dressed appropriately for the occasion. As I stared up from the bottom of the stairs, I saw the most enchanted scene yet in my life. Raka looked simply adorable. I breathed heavy to keep my emotions to myself and nodded as all her friends started pouring in. Initially, I made the reservation for 30 people for dinner, though we had invited nearly 45 people. (I was sure that this being a long weekend, not too many people would show up.) I underestimated Raka’s popularity; 41 out of 45 showed up, it was a good problem for dad to have.

As the evening progressed, I kept looking at Raka. Earlier she was my little princess, now she is a true princess enjoying every moment with her friends. In the middle of dinner, I surprised Raka with the first copy of the book. She smiled and gave me a big hug.

After Saturday’s celebration, the cousins went back home, and Raka and I reluctantly went back to our normal lives. When I was dropping Raka at school on Tuesday morning, she asked me if I could bring her home for lunch. At 11:20 AM I got a call from Raka to pick her from school. She and two other friends came home for lunch and I made grilled cheese sandwiches for them while they started a study group discussion over lunch.

Now I am in my home office, listening to Raka and friends in the dining room. They are studying, they are giggling and enjoying every moment.

As I am catching up on my emails and writing this blog, I feel fortunate (again), pleased, and truly appreciative to be able to be home on a Tuesday and listen to my daughter her friends giggle over lunch while I work.

Isn't life great?

September 2, 2009

{The Book is Printing!}

{The Book will be here September 15th!}

Publishing this book has been a learning experience. Even though the publishing team has been helpful, it was my ignorance about what it takes to publish a book that created a lot of frustration for me. Now all that is behind me, the book is at the printer’s, and it should be available for purchase in two weeks.

The publishing journey started in April. Initially the target launch date was June 21st, Father’s Day. As Father’s Day came and went, my frustration with the time line started to increase, but finally, the book is will be ready around September 15th. And September 15th is Raka’s Sweet 16th Birthday.

When I sit back and chill, I cannot think of a better time for the book release. I guess there are times destiny has a plan better than what we can plan ourselves.

For all those who have supported me in the last five months, I express my heartfelt gratitude to you. I look forward to your support, comments, advice, and thoughts as book takes its baby steps in the world of reality.