The far wall is a palette of greys. Picture window, framing clouds sky sea rain air road. All grey. Shades. Crows like scraps in the wind, trying to land in a tree with clumps of large vivid green leaves. Rain in the air, glimmering on the ground, on the newly paved sea-walk along
The previous night, in the Sports Bar at Phoenix Mills, was a stark contrast. Well, perhaps not stark. Mellow, more like. In the room people came and went, but I didn't hear anybody discussing Michelangelo. Demands centred round beer and sixes. I sat in a corner with sundry Bright Young People whose numbers ebbed and flowed.
· The intricacies of marital and extra-marital fidelity, with special attention to shameless flirting. ('Shameless', apparently, applies only when the flirting is Directed at Men because the only fidelity worth the name exists between females. Don't ask. I didn't.)
· The natural orbits of B-school graduates. With and without lungis.
· How weird is jute? (This was repeated at intervals despite a Ban on Talking Shop.)
· How exactly does a vada cut? (By the time we left, there was a common consensus among the girl-children that the vada did cut it, thank you very much.)
· Marxism crept in, from echoes of his opening line to T.S. Eliot – 'Tom, I had no idea you were so handsome!' - to 'I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have ME as a member.' (We refer, of course, to Groucho, not Karl.)
· The Most Formidable Girl-Child was very silent. One feared the Lull before the Storm, but apparently it was just exhaustion. (On three wheels, presumably)
· Whether Rama’s (yes, the famous bridge-builder’s) first name was Aiyyo. And whether he had an unknown brother named Aiyyiyyo. (We have no claims to serious research. Well, research perhaps, but serious?)
· The Ubiquity of Udupi. And thayeer sadam as comfort food, also why it is not available in
· How men are like blogs, insofar as they can be put up (or put up with) and shut down.
· Having to produce ‘virginal certificates’ for vaarrfikayishun at Anna Univaaiirrsitee.
· Who had the raspberry vodka? Umm OK, that wasn't really a TOPIC, more like a revelation. The other realisations were that A Man is as funny in person as on his blog. And that one should not comment on people who stop at nothing e.g. throw truck-loads of popcorn.
My first meeting was at 11. We reached early, went through Trial by Negativism, packed up and were out by quarter past. Back in my room, I should have sorted my papers and packed my bag. Instead, I sat by the window with more coffee and watched a wan sun soak into the sea-scape. Then checked out with a wistful backward look and joined the rush towards the airport. Onwards and upwards, so to speak, but with a pit-stop at the site of the previous night's carouse to make the acquaintance of a tender cow (cf: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe).