Time to summarise and sum up. Time to let go. Another break waits in the form of Kerala to which I am peregrinating the day after. There's a goodness about Bangalore which makes me proud even though I don't live in it. As Rushdie said I identify with the cities I have visited and lived in. These cities include: Bombay, Bangalore, Cochin and Jeddah. My trip comes to an end after two days and what I had come for has been achieved. Another one to my credit. The exhibition went off well. That's my job organising the corporate events of the place I work, a marketing kind of job. Marketing involves making a lot of effort so that that people are aware of our products and sales result. It can get frustrating at times with tight deadlines and lot of last minute preparations. I like it because it feeds me and my family, it's my daily bread. In Indian nobody – that includes writers – can live (Please to be pardoning Freudian slip, I typed love here.) without a day job. Love and Day Job, a great combination.
Time to go back. On the last day I have breakfast in the hotel's restaurant. There's only me in the eatery and the fresh and eager-faced Tamil waiter is very polite and asks a lot about my family and my native state of Kerala. I answer his questions as best as I could. Then a final round of the exhibition and I am off. I meet Vivek and John two people I have befriended over the years. They both are executives in a newspaper in which we advertise quite frequently. I like their guilelessness and sincerity. I was planning to have lunch with Vivek and somehow I was late after being held up in a project of the employer. Vivek assuaged my feelings – not that it was hurt in the first place – with a beautiful Diwali gift. People are nice if you get to know them well.
Then I have lunch with V in a restaurant which has exhausted all its food. It is managed by a kid who is hardly fifteen. He looks at us with eyes filled with hostility as if he has been forced to sit at the counter and look after the business. They are children with a great awareness as if they are on the brink of something great. "Wait people, see when I arrive," is written so clearly on their faces, I think as I am driven to the airport under a cloud-laden sky dark with the prospect of a sudden downpour.
At the airport I thrust a xxx rupee note in Raj's hand. I don't know if he will accept. But he does, that too with tears in his eyes. His fleet business failed and I know how he must feel driving people around. I wave to him and enter the airport to learn that my flight is late.
More anon, watch this space tomorrow when I go anon, and on, and on....