Wonderful surprise in store for most of us when we learnt Lolly & Madhuri had come to town – with bells on – and no Inder. Missed the genial giant.
At a personal level, we had been neighbours at Golf Links in Jodhpur in ’77-’78, the kids were tots then. Had met Lolly at Bangalore and was a real pleasure to meet Madhuri, last seen when she was about 4 and now a graceful, poised, charming young lady – very interesting to talk to. Remembered her with an impish look and the impishness has now been transferred to her eyes – full of fun & dare I say mischief. Will come to that soon enough.
Thanks to Latika, the Pune Chapter of Marutfans decided to get together at the Turf Club to meet them – Keru, Tony, Sadhna, Sandy, Geeta, Elaine, Koch, Latika, Phiroze and us. Harish Masand too was in town and came along to say hi to everyone. A wonderful evening. Phiroze came in great style, as almost everyone remarked. He hasn’t changed one bit. Certainly hope he never does! Always in good humour and not fussy about his grammar either.
Lolly is as, charming as always, with a ready smile, soft spoken and gracious. Was happy to note has shed her habit of starting every sentence with “Oh! I’m sooo sorry.”
For the life of me I can’t explain how this happened, yet in twenty minutes flat the usual segregation took place.
Happily, after a bit everyone wanted to spend more time with everyone else and as the noise levels increased, club or no club, a general atmosphere of bonhomie prevailed. Seeing the group come to life I was most impressed with our two Marut brats – young ladies. They have both blossomed into remarkable individuals. Latika is an eager beaver landscape designer, much sought after and always on the move. Madhuri is more the corporate type and taking a little time off with her happy parents. At one point Madhuri came, sat across the table and very innocently asked “Uncle Dara, how about some inside gen on dad? Would love to see his face when I put it across to him” – one thing we must credit ourselves with, we have certainly brought our brats up well!
Coming back to her question, I was non plussed for a bit. Why did she have to bring him up? Why not any of the others? I could have talked all night about most of them – but Inder? What could I say about someone who I think was the only one of the whole lot of us who was more disciplined, correct, innocent and cheerful than even me? All I could offer her was how we stayed two or three rooms apart in Pathankot and generally played a lot of scrabble. I would have won far more often if he hadn’t kept producing words off the top of his head, which never existed. I kept challenging him to get a dictionary – he never did. Was only much later did I come to know he had one pocket-sized one hidden in his room. So ok, put the ‘innocent’ in italics please.
How times have changed! What would normally have gone on till way past mid-night, broke up at around 10.30. Well, that’s life for you. While driving back we were discussing how we seemed to have forgotten how friendly we all were and how smoothly the old magic came back instantly. If those were the good old days, these are no less so . We are fortunate in the very permanence of our bonds. As Koch mentioned to me this morning on the golf course, “I was telling Elaine how Dara said he wanted to go back early and how both of them were merrily chatting on and on.” So true.
A great evening!
Come back soon you two, and this time bring that innocent along and Premjit too.