The Academy canteen fully lived up to its reputation. Rushing in at 4.00 pm I had an excellent coffee. Then at 6.30 pm, I surfaced with wife for aloo paratha, adai avial, a cutlet and akkaravadisal. The cutlet was average but all others were v good. The paratha in particular a winner.

From the 22nd the Academy has been abuzz with the Nobel laureate putting in an appearance. I was in Sowmya’s concert when I got an sms from a scribe asking if “he was here”. I was duly enlightened that “he” meant “him”. I could not see from where I sat but on coming out at the end of the concert I was informed by a battery of press photographers that he was really in the auditorium. On being informed, the scribe rushed in and must have no doubt had an interview.

The next day the Nobel apparently came again, sans any fuss, stood in the canteen queue, bought a coupon, ate something and then attended a concert. This time no scribe(s) who must have gone after some other story. The standing in queue does not come naturally to several patrons of the Academy who think it is a matter of right to barge in. The Nobel’s behaviour must have been unfathomable to them.

“He is related to me you know” whispered a regular to me. He also offered to draw a detailed family tree. But I was not interested. I am quite sure there are many people going around Chennai claiming all kinds of connections with the Nobel. Reminds me of the time when Chennai suddenly woke up to Indira Nooyi.