IMG_6322There is something special about reading in a familiar space, on a familiar platform – home turf, if I may.

My reading this Saturday at Kitab Khana bookstore as a part of the Children’s Literature section of the Kala Ghodha Arts Festival was one such. With the excitement of limited edition early release copies of my fourth History Mystery, Razia and the Pesky Presents and accompanied by a very tall, very crazy fellow writer, Parinita Shetty as the Wazir and my enthusiastic daughter as a stable hand as we enacted one scene, it was a session I thoroughly enjoyed.Stuck in the palanquin

From the efficient trio of Lubaina, Parinita and Rukhsar there with hugs of encouragement to knowing my space for the next hour – where I need to leap off an elephant back (a chair stood in for it), the placement of the makeshift palki, where partners in crime need to run to in order to pinch my nose… the stage is familiar ground.

HM11There are usually a few known faces amongst the children and new ones who bring much joy with an opportunity to introduce them to my books.

From Mr.Jagat and other sales staff who wave out and tell me which books are moving well, always encouraging, always supportive, to the promise of cheese toasts and sweet and sour apple tea as a reward to self at the cafe, Kitab Khana and the Kala Ghodha Arts Fest brings much joy, year on year.

I’m hoping to have another juicy book to tempt them into inviting me again next year.

And while non-Mumbaikars need to wait till June for Razia and the Pesky Presents to reach bookstores, you can get your hands on other History Mystery books here.