Over the years, I have come to meet some interesting people in Bangalore`s coffee houses. some of these people are celebs, others quasi-celebs and still others, confirmed eccentrics. I have come away feeling quite enriched by these ncounters. Once home, however, Iwonder if I have left quite the same impression on the other party as it were.
Take the case of the eminent political journalist. I`d been reading him and admiring his easy fluency, the way he demystified all the intricacies of the games people played in the corridors of power. Well, the man came to town and he left a note at the office saying he`d like to meet me. Over endless cups of coffee, we talked of everything under the sun. He was a fascinating raconteur, our tasttes ran somewhat parallel in cinema and cities, he reccomended a score of new authors he was sure I`d like. The meeting went way past lunch, and then, suddenly he said he had to catch a flight back to Delhi, and left. I never heard from the man again. Maybe it was the way I`d accidentally dropped a bowl of greasy masala potatoes on him. Somehow, when you do a thing like that, it ruins the prospects of a lifelong friendship.
Then there was the time, as a rather devout disiple of the philosophy of Objectivism, the doctrine of individualism propagated by Ayn Rand, I went to meet a like-minded soul. Somewhat lacking in humour, he was nonetheless, a genuine intellectual. Once again, a promising frienship loomed. And was cut short when I blithely confessed my addiction for Robert Ludlum thrillers. A pained look crossed the man`s face and yes, I never heard from him again.
A few weeks ago, I met a city-based author whose works I quite like. While our literary preferences were quite dissimilar, we found a lot of topics to shoot the breeze with, and all was proceeding swimmingly. Up until, while placing our order for coffee and cakes, I was asksed my name. Upon which, I queried stiffly of the soul behind the service counter, if giving my name was a prerequisite for eating there. The author had to gently remind me that my name was necessary for them to alert us when the order was plated. I wasn`t too surprised when she suddenly remembered a pressing engagement elsewhere and bid me a hasty goodbye.
I guess I leave an indelible impression on the people I meet. One way or the other.