I was wondering ‘Should I go? Should I not go?’ Now, Churchgate is one hour drive from Bandra unless I decide to take a train of 30 minutes (but then we have to climb up/down bridges) they don’t allow active people to cross the tracks! (Only lazy people are allowed to cross the tracks that too, secretly.) But I was keen to meet Pragya and her Family and decided to hit the road.
The venue selected was Astoria Hotel. I enquired at the concierge and he directed me to go to Tea Centre. He asked the watchman to show me the route, he came with me all the way to the road and asked me to go the building next to subway (wrong directions) but when ever I ask for direction I don’t ask one person for directions before proceeding. When more than three people told me to take the subway and go to the other side of the street, I was convinced and reached the venue.
And it was worth it! It was nice meeting John Mathew, Archana Kombrambail, Jane Bhandari (who runs a poetry group called Loqations), Shilpa (a television script writer), Anil Siqueira, Prabhakar, Ravishankar C, Maya Sriram (My coach in writing), Raamesh Gowri Raghavan, Pallavi Bhattacharya and Pragya's husband Anil and her six-year-old daughter Anoushka. (Sorry, if I missed anyone).
The ambience was warm, group receptive and laughter with joy was a packaged deal. I was amused when they wanted to laugh aloud after I read my piece on ‘Laughter club’
“Small laugh please!”
“People are staring! “
So all we did was to postpone the laugh for an open space some other time.
Anoushka was a real treat and her chatter was music to me. (I love kids) Thirty years from now, I hope I am alive to see this famous writer-to-be.
I was glad I could make it.