Dr. Sudha Murthy’s book ‘Here, There and Everywhere‘ was launched on 25 May 2018 in Sapna Book House, Bangalore.
In a striking contrast to the dimly-lit buildings and gloomy clouds on a rainy day in May, the white & blue balloons at the entrance of Sapna Book House were a welcome change. Sudha Murthy’s 29th book and 200th title, “Here, There and Everywhere” was being launched.
People realized that Dr. Sudha Murthy had arrived only after a crowd gathered around her holding bouquets. Once she thanked everyone for coming, the emcee for the evening apologized on behalf of the guest of honor, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who was stuck in traffic.
N.R. Narayana Murthy walked in with a cup of coffee, talking to a friend. A bunch of men sneakily stood behind him, taking selfies. Oblivious to the drama around him, Murthy grabbed his friend and occupied a seat in the last row. The organizers, who were quick to notice this, convinced him to move to the front. Murthy obliged.
Amidst the chaos of camera shutters going on and off and the blinding lights, the people sitting behind the photographers looked wildly irritated. All was forgotten for a moment when Dr. Shashi Tharoor walked in.
“I thank the organizers for not calling me Dr. ‘Late’ Tharoor”, he exclaimed and over cheers and hoots, everyone forgave him.
Tharoor began by raising a query about how Murthy’s stories sounded too perfect, ‘almost fictional’ in fact. Murthy explained that it was a deliberate decision to make her fiction sound that way because she wanted to emphasize the positive aspects of life. However, in due course of their conversation; Murthy established that her stories were definitely real even as a gentleman in the front row nudged his wife and whispered something to her and continued to do that every time Murthy repeated the point.
Sudha Murthy dedicated the book to her brother, publishers, translators and the editor. The crowd roared to life when she added “I don’t need Narayana Murthy or Rohan Murthy. I have my royalties,” to which Narayana Murthy was the first to begin clapping.
Later she said, “Never give a mike to a mother or a teacher or a writer, too bad I am all three.”
The Q&A session was fun with the writer reminiscing incidents from Infosys Foundation. Dr. Murthy requested only three questions from the audience. Few weren’t happy with the decision and were constantly asking for a chance while some began booking their cabs.
Soon after the book was officially launched, members of the audience rushed to get their copies signed. And here too, they first had to compete with photographers which made some people howl abuses at them.
Immediately after Dr. Murty left, Tharoor was mobbed. Some came running to him with books to be signed. A few others went running towards the counter to buy his books to be signed.
At the exit, the people thronging to him were assured that he wouldn’t leave soon. Some even managed to get pictures with him until a journalist decided to ask him questions about Rahul Gandhi and the elections.
Even after several ‘No comments,’ the journalists were persistent. So, Tharoor had to leave looking a little miffed.
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