'So what do I do if I want to get my book published?'
It's been a tiring day and this is the fortieth time that I have answered this question in the last three years.
But she is currently travelling with me in the car and it is my mission to be unfailingly polite with regard to this particular question. Especially considering how mystified I was myself about the whole process just a short while ago.
'You make sure you're happy with what you've written, first. And maybe if you like, I can introduce you to my publisher.' I pause for a moment and then add, gently. 'Although you know, all publishers have their own websites with the email IDs that you have to send your manuscript to.'
'Okay.' She nods seriously. 'And what about an editor?'
'They will assign you an editor, of course.'
'Hmmm.' She bites her lip, looking like she's considering something. 'So do I have to wait?'
'Well, they make you wait a while.' I confess. 'It took me months the first time round, and...'
'No, no. I mean, will I have to wait till I'm fifteen to write it?'
'Oh.' I look at her. 'No, you can write it even now.'
'NOW?' She says, wide-eyed. 'They're allowed to publish my book even when I'm THIS small?'
'Sure.' I say. Her excitement is infectious and my mind is whirring already. 'Sure, you go ahead and write your book and I'll help you find a publisher, and...'
'Okay, Ma! And you know what? When I have a daughter, I'm going to name her Nayani and when I have a son, I'm going to name him Kojum-koja!'
I sit back and listen to Peanut chatter about the story of Kojum-koja that they heard in school today. It doesn't feel like the end of a tiring day anymore. Heck, I'm ready for a whole another day right now.