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In ’94, i got kicked out of the flat i was sharing with some guys and moved in with a friend’s uncle. Let us call him Chittappan.

He was a renaissance man, well read and worldly-wise, but a sentimentalist at the core. Loved mankind, but hated most men. Had a passion for drinking, driving and often drinking and driving. He had strong views on everything and articulated them for maximum bang.

He loved reading and books (there is a difference) and we had some great bashes discussing…books. I introduced him to Vonnegut (he never returned my copy of Vonnegut’s Fates Worse than Death), he guided me to Nabokov, Prisig and Prather.

Birdwatching was another shared interest of ours. I would literally swoon at every passing doe-eyed beaut and pant to Chittaps, “what eyes, man’ till the day he made that immortal pronouncement, “Babu, oru kannu kondu cheyyavunna valare korachu karyangale ollu” (rough translation: freak! watcha gonna do with e-y-e-s)

He was, to use the terminology of the era, belligerently Pro-Mandir & Anti-Mandal, but a closet secular and quite a big fan of integration.

I lived with him for only a few months and i count those days among my favourites in Chennai. Thanx Chittaps!

Yesterday i shared with my friends my plan to create a blog; a few of them warned of dire consequences and the rest, disowned me.

Guess a disclaimer is in order.

All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental,
and should not be construed.
No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent.
Angels protect the innocent as a matter of heavenly routine.

(Kurt Vonnegut, again)


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June 2007