Archive for February 1st, 2020

Reminisces of a “Punter” – A Thrilling Race – My Favorite Indian Derby

February 1, 2020

Tomorrow – the first Sunday of February – is Derby Day 2020.

The prestigious Indian Derby – the “Blue Riband” Event of Indian Horse Racing – will be run on Sunday, the 2nd of February 2020 – at the premier Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai.

Derby Day evokes memories of the most thrilling Derby Race I ever witnessed – 40 years ago – on the 3rd of February 1980.

Dear Reader: Let me tell you about it…

PROLOGUE

“What if…?”

“What if – I hadn’t joined the Navy…?”

Well – if I hadn’t joined the Navy – four things wouldn’t have happened: 

1. I wouldn’t have grown a beard. 

2. I wouldn’t have become a “drunkard”

3. I wouldn’t have become a “writer”

4. I wouldn’t have become “punter” 

Yes – if I had not joined the Navy – maybe – I would have never visited a Race Course – and – I would have never seen a Derby.  

During my glorious “Navy Mumbai Bachelor Days” in the 1970’s/1980’s – as a avid “punter” – I did not miss my date with the Indian Derby at the premier Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai

Many years later when I was posted to Mumbai again – though I stopped frequenting the racecourse regularly – I made it a point not to miss the Indian Derby held annually on the first Sunday afternoon of February.


I have fond memories of my “Punter Days” in the 1970’s/1980’s – and – the many exciting races I witnessed – especially the Derby Races.


Of these – the most memorable, exciting and thrilling Indian Derby I witnessed was the unforgettable Indian Derby Horse Race run in 1980. 


Dear Reader: Let me tell you about my favorite Derby Race. 

(By the way – Betting on Horse Racing is legal. It is the only Sport in India where betting is allowed as it has been considered a “Game of Skill” and not a “Game of Chance”…)

THE INDIAN DERBY 1980

My Most Memorable Indian Derby – An Unforgettable Race

Reminisces of a “Punter” by Vikram Karve 

It’s been a long time since I visited the racecourse to watch horse racing – the King of Sport and the Sport of Kings.

But – Derby Day is fast approaching (2nd of February 2020) – and – I am quite excited as to who is going to win the greatest classic of the season at the Mahalakshmi Race Course the Indian Derby on the coming Sunday.

Let me go back 40 years down memory lane to the year 1980 and tell you about my favorite Derby Race.

I can never forget that exciting afternoon on my very first day at the races – Sunday – the 3rd of February 1980 – when I was so lucky to witness the crème de la crème of Horse Races in India – The Indian Derby – which is run on the first Sunday of February every year since 1943.

I still have vivid memories of that wonderful afternoon – though 40 years have passed since that delightful Derby Day.

I lived in Mumbai then and a number of my colleagues were avid “punters” – as race-goers are called.

The excitement started on Wednesday when the declarations appeared in the newspapers and the conversations were abuzz with heated discussions as to would win the Indian Derby – Aristocrat or Everynsky…?

Well – Aristocrat and Everynsky were both favourites to win the Derby and each had their passionate followers.

But there were other good horses in the fray too – notably a horse called Mohawk.

By Friday – the papers – both the newspapers and the race tabloids – were full of predictions, speculations and tips.

Both Aristocrat and Everynsky had top following – but Mohawk too was tipped to win by a few tipsters.

Come Saturday evening – and we duly picked up our Cole Race Cards from a bookstall at Churchgate.

My punter friends were in a frenzy, calculating, computing, deciding – what they were going to wager – in the Derby – and in the other races too – at the bookmakers – and at the tote – for the Jackpot, the Treble Pool, the Tanala Pool etc.

The topic of conversation during our Sunday morning walk on the Marine Drive was the “Indian Derby” – with “expert opinions” being freely aired.

We returned to our ship – had breakfast – and got ready to go to the races.

We walked down to Churchgate – and – after a hearty brunch of Kheema Pav and Chai at our favourite Stadium Restaurant next to Churchgate Railway Station – we took off by local train to Mahalaxmi.

We made it a point to purchase “return tickets” – just in case we had a bad day…!!!

Almost everyone got off at Mahalaxmi Railway Station and the atmosphere in the race course was electrifying.

There was a festive air at the Royal Western India Turf Club RWITC Race Course at Mahalaxmi.

It was like a carnival – with there were so many “two-legged birds” in the most fashionable dresses and exotic hats.

I wondered whether I should focus on the Horses or the “Beauties”.

To a novice like me – the whole experience was mind-boggling.

First – to see the horses parade in the paddock.

Then – rush to the bookmakers’ ring – which was surcharged with excitement.

You had to look at the bookmakers’ “odds” – then look at your own calculations in your Cole –also listen to “tips” – then – run once more to the paddock to see the jockeys mount their horses – and the horses being led off to the starting dates.

And then – you rushed back to the bookmakers betting ring to place your bet.

After that – you ran up the stairs to get a good seat in the stands – to watch the Indian Derby Race.

For me – it was fun to watch this spectacle – because – for most of the races – I was only placing modest bets of five and ten rupees on the tote – for forecast pool, jackpot, treble, tanala etc.

I had decided to just place one bet in the Indian Derby Race of Rs. 100 (a hundred rupees) for a win at the bookmakers – though I had not decided on the horse yet.

It was going to be either Aristocrat or Everynsky – whoever offered better odds.

Just before the Indian Derby – I watched the horses parade in the paddock.

I felt a premonition – a hunch – so – I followed my “sixth sense” – I placed my “win” bet on Mohawk.

Most of my punter friends were betting heavily on Everynsky

It seemed that they had got a last minute “tip”.

But – some die-hard punters were backing Aristocrat.

Aristocrat and Everynsky were the two horses who were the “favourites” to win the Indian Derby 1980.

But – there was a frenzy of betting on other horses too – especially on Mohawk – as the odds fluctuated wildly.

In the bookmakers’ betting ring – I observed a “pretty lady” observing me – as I placed my bet on Mohawk.

She looked quite young – she looked “chic”.

I guessed that the “pretty lady” was in her early 20’s.

Suddenly – the “pretty lady” asked me:

“Who do you “Like”…?”

I was about to say:

“I “Like” You…”

But – I controlled myself – and – true to racing form – I said:

“I “Like” Mohawk…”

So – the pretty young lady placed her bet on Mohawk too – like I had done.

Having placed my bet – I rushed out of the bookmakers’ betting ring – climbed up the stairs – and managed to get a good seat in the stands – to get a good ringside view of the Indian Derby Race.

It was a fantastic race.

All eyes were on Aristocrat – with renowned jockey Jagdish astride.

Aristocrat also had a stable-mate horse as “pacemaker”.

And – I think it was the famous Vasant Shinde who was riding Everynsky 

But – Wally Swinburn magnificently steered Mohawk to fantastic victory.

This result caused a stunning upset.

Mohawk had won the race from a fast finishing Everynsky – with Aristocrat left far behind – out of the reckoning.

My punter colleagues – most of whom had backed Everynsky were disappointed.

The few who had put their money on Aristocrat – were quite dejected.

When they realized that I had bet on Mohawk – they were quite surprised at my good fortune.

As I went to collect my win dividends – I noticed the “pretty lady” looking at me.

She too had come to the bookmaker to collect her winnings.

She was smiling with joy – as if we shared some secret.

She had followed my “expert tip” – she too had bet on Mohawk – and won a sizeable amount.

The “pretty lady” was delighted that she had outwitted her Dad – a “dyed-in-the-wool” punter – who had bet on Aristocrat.

The pretty young girl smiled sweetly as she said goodbye to me.

Then – she walked towards the members’ enclosure.

But – before she walked away – she spoke to me.

She said that she hoped that I would be coming to the Races next Sunday.

And – she told me – that she looked forward to some “expert” tips from me.

Well – Dear Reader – that was the beginning of a long and lovely friendship – and I was punctually present at the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai on every Sunday afternoon for the rest of the racing season.

Do you want to know what happened to our beautiful “Punters’ Romance”…?

Well – that’s another story.

In due course – I would have to move out of Mumbai on transfer – but whenever I was in Mumbai – I never missed the Indian Derby – or any of the other classics.

I have enjoyed the horse races at the magnificent race course at Kolkata – where “lady luck” favoured me greatly – at Bangalore – where too I was quite lucky – and at Mysore – the most picturesque racecourse nestling under the Chamundi Hills – at Ooty – and – of course – at the cute little race course at Pune – my home town.

I witnessed many memorable derby races – at Mumbai – and elsewhere – but the most extraordinary Indian Derby I remember was in 2003 – when a relatively unknown horse called Noble Eagle – who was supposed to be a pacemaker – flew off from the starting gates – kept galloping at top speed – and the horse won the race in a “start to finish” swift run – causing the biggest upset ever in the Indian Derby.

Guess what…?

Believe it or not…!!!

The same “pretty lady” – who had now metamorphosed into a beautiful woman – she thanked me once again for the racing “tip” – and this time – her winnings were quite substantial.

I wonder why I “liked” Noble Eagle.

I looked at the horses parading in the paddock – and while they were being led off to the starter gates.

Suddenly – it was my “sixth sense” that made me wager a “Place” bet on Noble Eagle.

My beautiful friend – the same “pretty lady” – she seemed to have more confidence in me – than I myself had in my own “punting” skills.

I had cautiously wagered a “Place” bet on Noble Eagle.

But – on my “tip” – she had placed a “Win” bet on Noble Eagle at excellent odds – and she made a small fortune.

I wish I had been more adventurous and  “daring” like her.

ART OF “PUNTING” 

Dear Reader – “sixth sense“ doesn’t always work – so it is better to follow the conventional way of Punting when you go to the racecourse.

Here are some Tips for the novice “Punter”:

  1. Study the Cole Race Book and Racing Columns in Newspapers and on the Internet
  1. Do your homework
  1. Listen to “tips”and advice
  1. Have a look at the horses in the paddock parade
  1. Observe the goings-on in the bookmakers’ betting ring and tote boards –especially the movement of the odds
  1. Watch the “big guns” and their betting patterns
  1. Then – make your own judgement and place your bet

That – in a nutshell – is the “Art of Punting”.

I used to love going to the races.

There is so much to enjoy – the thrill of punting – the air of excitement – the festive atmosphere – the sight of strong, swift and handsome horses galloping at their best – the beautiful people dressed in their “Sunday Best” – and – the delicious snacks in between the races.

Is there a reason why you should go for the races…?

A quote from my favorite philosophical book The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang probably says it all:

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner – you have learned how to live…”

Happy Punting…!!!

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2018/02/derby-day-memories-of-erstwhile-punter.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This a revised repost of my story posted by me online in my blogs earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/12/indian-derby-1980.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/01/unforgettable-indian-derby-punter-walks.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/indian-derby-king-of-sport-and-sport-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/derby-day-punters-romance.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/memories-of-my-punter-days-indian-derby.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/12/30/sunday-musings-memories-of-my-punter-days/ and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/derby-day-memories-the-indian-derby-february-3-1980/  etc

Story – A Lazy Hot Afternoon in Mumbai

February 1, 2020

“A Lazy Hot Afternoon in Mumbai” is a romance story I wrote during my unforgettable Mumbai days – the six best years of my life – my last stint in Mumbai – from 2000 to 2006.

Many of my readers think this is the best short story that I have ever written.

So – let me delve deep into my Creative Writing Archives and pull out this story for you.

I wrote this story more than 14 years ago, in January 2006, when I lived in Mumbai.

This short story features in my book COCKTAIL my anthology of short fiction

Like I said earlier – many of my friends say that this is the best short story I have ever written.

So – here is the story – abridged, revised and suitably edited for reading on the digital screen.

Dear Reader:

Please read this rather old-fashioned leisurely romance – and do tell me if you liked the story.

Remember – I wrote this story more than 14 years ago in January 2006 – during the days of the “IT Boom” – when “Techies” were pampered – and – things may have changed now – and – maybe – the IT Sector is experiencing a slowdown – and “Techies” may not be pampered as much as they were then.

Even Mumbai has changed now – and – some of the places mentioned may not exist today – and – some may have relocated.

At the time of this story the British (UK) Visa Office was in Churchgate and Khyber and Samovar Restaurants still existed.

So – you will have to go back in time more than 14 years to the year 2006 – when you read the story…

STORY OF A LAZY HOT AFTERNOON IN MUMBAI

A Leisurely Romance By Vikram Karve

Mumbai (Circa 2006)

What is the best way to kill a lazy hot afternoon in Mumbai…?

Or – to be specific – what is the best way to spend a lazy hot afternoon in South Mumbai…?

You can go window-shopping on Colaba Causeway.

Or – you can enjoy a movie at Eros or Regal.

Or – you can loaf aimlessly around Churchgate, Flora Fountain, Gateway of India or on the Marine Drive.

Or – you can leisurely sip chilled beer at Gaylord, Leopold, Sundance or Mondegar.

Or – you can browse books at the Oxford Book Store or in the Mumbai University Library under the Rajabai clock-tower or see secondhand books on the pavements near Flora Fountain (now known as Hutatma Chowk)

Or – you can watch cricket sitting under the shade of a tree at the Oval Maidan.

Or – you can visit the Museum.

Or – if you are an art lover – you can admire the works of budding artists on display in the numerous art galleries in the Kala Ghoda art district.

That’s what I decide to do.

At 11 o’clock in the morning I stand at the entrance of the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda in Mumbai.

I walk into the exhibition hall to my right.

The art gallery has just opened and I am the first visitor.

Standing all alone in placid relaxing hall, in peaceful silence, surrounded by paintings adorning the pristine white walls – I experience a feeling of soothing tranquillity – a serene relaxing calm – and for the first time after many hectic, harried and stressed days – I experience an inner peace and comforting silence within me – and – at that moment – I know what it feels like to be in harmony with yourself.

I leisurely look around at the paintings.

I see a familiar face in a portrait.

An uncanny resemblance to someone I know.

The face on the canvas stares back at me.

Comprehension strikes like a thunderbolt.

It’s me…

Yes – it’s me…

Yes – it is my face in the painting.

I look once again – carefully – just to make sure.

No doubt about it – it is ME in the painting…

Yes – it is my face in the painting.

Someone has painted my portrait – my own face.

I look at myself on the canvas.

I like what I see.

It is a striking painting, crafted to the point of the most eloquent perfection.

I am amazed at the painter’s precise attention to detail – my flowing luxuriant black hair, delicate nose, large expressive eyes, even my beauty spot, the tiny mole on my left cheek – the painter has got everything right.

Never before have I looked so beautiful – even in a photograph.

In the painting – my face looks so eye-catching that I can’t help admiring myself – like Narcissus.

I look at the title of the painting on a brass tally below – “My Lovely Muse

Muse…?

I have never modelled for anyone in my life.

So – who is the woman in the painting – the woman who looks just like me…?

Suddenly – I notice a wizened old man staring at me.

He looks at the painting – and then he looks at me – and he gives me a knowing smile.

“Excuse me, Sir…” I ask him, “do you know the artist who painted this…?”

“I am the painter…” a gruff voice says behind me.

I turn around – and I look at the man.

With his flowing beard, unkempt hair and dishevelled appearance – he looks like a scruffy scarecrow.

At first sight – he is totally unrecognizable.

But – the yearning look of frank admiration in his eyes gives him away.

No one else has ever looked at me in that way – and I know that he is still desperately in love with me.

“Do I see the naughty boy I once knew hiding behind that horrible shaggy beard…?” I say to him.

“Do I see the bubbly and vivacious girl I once knew hiding inside the beautiful woman standing in front of me…?” he responds.

“You look terrible…” I say.

“You look lovely – like a flower in full bloom…” he says.

I feel good.

Aditya may be in love with me – but there is no pretence about him.

I know the compliment is genuine.

“Come, Anu…” he says taking my arm, “let me show you my work.”

And – as we walk around – he explains the themes, nuances and finer points of each painting.

Here – in the art gallery – I feel a sense of timelessness – a state of supreme bliss.

I wish this were my world – sublime, harmonious, creative.

I wish I had stayed on.

I wish I had not burnt my bridges.

Or have I…?

“Let’s eat – I am hungry…” Aditya interrupts my train of thoughts.

“Khyber…?” I ask.

“No. I can’t afford it…” he says.

“I can afford it…” I tease.

“The treat is on me…” he asserts.

Aditya pulls me gently – and he says to me:

“Let’s go next door to Samovar and have the stuffed parathas you loved once upon a time.”

“I still do…” I say to him.

And soon – we sit in Café Samovar – enjoying a lazy unhurried lunch – relishing delicious stuffed parathas.

“What time do you have to go…?”

“I’ll collect the visa from Churchgate at four and then catch the flight at night.”

“Churchgate…? I thought the visa office was at Breach Candy…”

“That’s the American visa. It’s already done. The British visa office is at Churchgate.”

“Wow…!!! You are going to England too…?”

“Of course. US, UK, Europe, Singapore. Globetrotting. The next few months are going to be really hectic. It’s a huge software development project.”

“Lucky you… It must be so exciting. You must love it…”

“I hate it…!”

“What…?”

“It’s unimaginable agony. Sitting in front of a computer for hours and hours doing something I don’t like.”

“You don’t like it…? Then why do you do it…?”

“I don’t know,” I say, “Aditya, do you know what the tragedy of my life is…?”

“What…?”

“My biggest misfortune is that I am good at things I don’t like…”

“Come on, be serious! Don’t tell me all that.”

“I hated Maths – but I was so good at Maths – that I landed up in IIT – doing Engineering – and that too – Computer Engineering.”

“But you are damn good. A genius at computers. That’s why they are sending abroad aren’t they…? The youngest and brightest project manager…! You told me that.”

“Being good at work is different from liking it. You know – the thing I despise the most – sitting like a Zombie in front of the monitor for hours – discussing tedious technical mumbo jumbo with nerds who I find insufferable. It’s painful – but then – I am the best software expert in the company – the IT whiz-kid…!”

“Yes. I know. It’s true. It is indeed a great tragedy to be so good at something you hate doing. That’s why I quit practice – and I am doing my first love – painting. I don’t know how good I am but I certainly love doing it.”

“But you are so good. You must be minting money, isn’t it…?”

“Not at all. I told you I couldn’t even afford Khyber… I barely make my ends meet…”

“I thought artists make a lot of money. The art market is booming.”

“Only the established ones – not struggling types like me.”

“Come on, Aditya. Don’t joke. Tell me – how can you afford to have your exhibition here in Jehangir Art Gallery…?”

“There is a patron. An old lady. She encourages budding artists like me. She’s given me a place for my studio.”

“Just like that…?” I ask, quite curious.

“Yes. There are still a few such people left in this world. I present her a painting once in a while,” Aditya pauses – and then – he says to me, “But today I am going to be lucky. Looks like my painting “My Lovely Muse” is going to fetch me a good price. Thanks to you.”

“Thanks to me…?”

“You were the model for this painting. My inspiration. My Muse…!”

“Me…? Your Muse…? But I never modelled for you…!”

“You don’t have to. You image is so exquisitely etched in my mind’s eye that I can even paint you in the nude.”

“Stop it…” I say angrily – but inside me I blush – and I feel a kind of stirring sensation.

“Tell me about yourself, Anu…” Aditya says, changing the subject.

“I told you. About my painfully boring work. And you won’t understand much about computer software. Spare me the agony. I just don’t want to talk about it.”

“You still paint…?”

“No. I stopped long ago. At IIT.”

“Why…?”

“No time. Too much study, I guess. And – the “Techie” crowd.”

“You should start painting again. You are a creative person. You have got a natural talent.”

“It’s too late. That part of me is dead. Now – it’s work and meeting deadlines. An intellectual sweatshop.”

“Come on Anu, cheer up. Tell me about your love life…?”

“The company is taking care of that too…! They are trying to get me hooked to some “high flier” Project Manager in my team.”

“Really…? What’s his name…?”

“Anand.”

“Wow…! Anu and Anand…! Made for each other…!”

“You know – they set us up as per their convenience – they facilitate working together all the time – they encourage office romance – and – thet even give us a “dating allowance”…”

“Dating allowance…? Office romance…! It’s crazy…! Just imagine – Paying people money to fall in love…!”

“Marriage of co-workers helps reduce attrition – that’s what they probably feel – that it makes people stay on in the company. Nerds understand each other better – they can cope better together – at work and at home. That’s what they say. Smart fellows – those guys in HR – they try and team us up as it suits them. They are dangling carrots too – like this trip abroad. They have even promised us a posting together to Singapore on a two year contract – if things work out between us.”

“It’s great…!”

“Great…? Are you crazy…? Just imagine living full-time with a boring number crunching “IT Nerd” all my life – doing nothing but being buried in software – day in and day out. I shiver at the very thought.”

“Tell me – who would you like to marry…?”

“I don’t know.”

“How about marrying me…?”

“Come on – be serious.”

“I’m serious. We could paint together – we could do all the creative stuff you always wanted to do. We could live a good life together.”

“Let’s go…” I say, changing the topic.

“Anu. Remember. If you love flowers – become a gardener. Why are you curbing your creativity…? I read somewhere: “A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought often culminates in one losing one’s ability to express”…”

I think about what Aditya has just said.

It’s true:

“If you love flowers – you should become a gardener…”

Then – suddenly – I break out of my trance – I look at my watch – and – I say to Aditya:

“I have got to go, Aditya. It’s almost 4 PM. The visa should be ready by now.”

“Wait. Let me give you a “parting gift” to remember me by.”

Aditya calls the curator and tells him to gift wrap and pack the painting titled “My Lovely Muse”.

“Sir – we will get a good price for it. I have already got a very good offer for this painting…” the curator says.

“Well – now – this painting “My Lovely Muse” is not for sale…” Aditya says, “This painting is a gift from an Artist to his Muse.”

I am overcome by emotion at his loving gesture.

I look at Aditya.

It is clearly evident that Aditya is really deeply in love with me.

And me…?

Am I in love with Aditya…?

Tears well up in my eyes.

My throat chokes.

My heart aches.

I find myself imprisoned in the chasm between the two different worlds – Aditya’s creative world – and my material world.

But soon – the rational side of me takes charge – and – as we part – Aditya says to me:

“Bye, Anu. Remember – if you can do something well, if you enjoy doing it and you feel proud of doing it – then – that’s your perfect métier. There’s no point living a lie. You have got to discover yourself…”

I hold out my hand to him.

Aditya presses my hand fondly – and he says to me:

“Start painting. You must always do what you love to do. That’s the highest value use of time – time spent on doing what you want to do.”

“And – what is the lowest value of time…?” I ask.

“The lowest value of time is doing what you don’t like – just because others want you to do it…”

“Or maybe – doing something for money…?”

“Money…?” Aditya asks.

“Yes. Doing something you don’t like – for money – that’s what I am doing – isn’t it…? The lowest “value” of time…?” I say.

Aditya looks lovingly into my eyes and says to me:

“Anu – please don’t destroy your talent by not using it.”

I get into a taxi.

I drive away from his world.

I drive away from my “dream-world” – into the material world of harsh reality.

In the evening – I sit by the sea – at the southern tip of Marine Drive – and I watch the glorious spectacle of sunset.

As I watch the orange sun being gobbled up the calm blue sea – and crimson petals forming in the sky – my mobile phone rings.

It is Anand  my Project Manager with whom my romance is being “contrived”.

He is speaking from the airport.

“Hey, Anuradha. The flight is at 10 PM – check in begins at 8 PM – you make sure you are there on time. Terminal 2A…” Anand says.

“I am not coming…” I say.

“What do you mean you are not coming…?” Anand shouts from the other end.

“I mean that I am not coming…” I say calmly.

“Why…? What’s wrong…? Did someone made you a better offer…?”

“It’s nothing like that. I have discovered my métier. I am going back to the world where I really belong…” I say.

“Where are you…? How can you ditch us like this at the last moment…?” he pleads.

I know that this is the defining moment of my life.

It’s now or never.

I have to burn my bridges now – so I take a deep breath and I say to Anand:

“I have made my decision, Anand.

I am not coming back.

I have to discover my true self – I have to do what I want to do – I want to be happy from the inside.

I am sorry, Anand.

I am sure you will find someone else – your “soul-mate” – at work and for yourself.

Best of luck…!!!”

I switch off my mobile phone.

Then – I look at my mobile phone.

My mobile phone – the last of the manacles…!!!

Deliberately – I throw my mobile phone into the Arabian Sea.

Then – I begin walking towards the place where I know I will find Aditya.

And once I find him there – I will return to the world where I really belong – to realize my true metier.

I want to be my own Muse.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/09/my-lovely-muse-story-of-lazy-hot.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

I wrote this story more than 14 years ago in January 2006 and I have posted it online a number of times, in my various academic, fiction and creative writing blogs, like here in my Creative Writing Blog in the year 2006 at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/a-lazy-hot-afternoon-in-mumbai-a-leisurely-story_62673_blog and http://creative.sulekha.com/a-leisurely-romance-a-lazy-hot-afternoon-in-mumbai_488150_blog and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/a-lazy-hot-afternoon-in-mumbai.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/lazy-hot-afternoon-in-mumbai.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/a-lazy-hot-afternoon-in-mumbai-leisurely-romance/  etc

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