Tuesday, July 20, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

Did my first reading from my novel "A Beautiful Love Story" in a meet organized by the Bombay Writer's Cafe, led by author Sunil Nair, a friend. Only eleven people turned up though more had promised to come and all except me got cold feet when they saw the venue!

Seeing the venue must have been a shock to most of us. Called the "Mountainside Amphitheatre" it was an amphitheatre all right but an amphitheatre of a different sort. There weren't any plays being peformed there but a lot of foreplay was being done with couples huddled in all sorts of "compromising" positions.

So we daren't go there and disturb them for fear of being attacked by violent lovers in what could be called "crime of passion." So off we (Sunil, Hema, Vijay, Ratna, Annie, Fiza, joined later by Peter, Meera and Ankur) went slinking to an alcove by the sea, beside a pulullating coconut tree, to listen to my literary oeuvre.

I bravely stood before my audience and read a chapter from my novel... all the time ignoring the onlookers who might have thought of us as some bunch of nuts who sit and listen to another nut, considering we were sitting just beside a coconut tree.

Ratna felt I write too much and should rewrite the whole stuff... Meera objected to "tea water" that appeared somewhere in the chapter... Annie's escort felt I should be more positive about my protagonist... Sunil said the days of "exoticism" was over... Hema wanted to know what exactly I meant by "hypocrazy"... Vijay... Vijay said something which didn't register....

After the reading we had tea and a concerned citizen came and strictly forbade Peter from smoking... poor chap sheepishly put back his cigarettes. Our "tea vendor" kept his kettle nearby and the concerned citizen took it with the tea, and to our astonishment and hilarity, walked away.

The place was swarming with lovers of all types and shapes... a treat for the eye... one of the girls was on my bus to the venue... I had wondered briefly where such specimens go... and discovered... perhaps serendipitously where they go on a sunday afternoon... to lover's point at Bandra near Taj Land's End! Ahem!

Annie volunteered... so sweetly... to organize our next meet on August eighth. We all had lots of suggestions and comments to offer about how our next meeting should be. Which is nice... considering a beginning was made... though we had to sit beside the sea... and the rain threatened to drench us any moment... and there wasn't a freaking shelter within a hundred metres....

In the ultimate analysis, as the cliche goes... it was a great experience!

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