Last evening the wife and I had to rush off from the Music Academy to Kalarasana where Sanjay was singing. What with lingering over the aviyal and discussing the relative merits of the canteens run by Padmanabhan (Music Academy) and Jayaraman (NGS) with others at the table, we got delayed. Now, Jayarama, whatever happens, my heart will always belong to you, though my mind tells me that in Paddu you have a competitor if not in taste, definitely in hygiene. Still you dont have to think of me and mutter “Sakhuditu jesene”. I shall return, for the memory of the vazhaipoo vadai lingers.

To come back to the main story, I was unsure about the loo in Kalarasana and so decided to complete all calls before going there. The Academy gents’ is a huge room by itself and once inside you walk some distance before hitting the urinals. And a mama buttonholed me in the passage way itself. Having fixed me with a beady eye, he decided that this was the best place to discuss present day music. Rather like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner he would not allow me to proceed further and complete my business.

He held forth on Alathoor, waxed eloquent on MS, wept unabashedly about MLV and all the while me trying to dodge him and proceed further. The wife no doubt impatiently pacing up and down outside wondering what the hell. “Now when are you going to sing?” he asked me, this being based on a one line of Chintayama I sang in my last talk. To add force to the question he also poked me in the stomach with a firm finger, never a pleasant experience when you have not yet downloaded. All around us men walked in, relieved themselves and left and here I was, by now standing on one leg. The wife had taken to SMSing in the meanwhile.

After what appeared to be an eternity, the floor-cleaner arrived with a mop and suggested we move on. “Oh have you come to use the loo?” asked the Mariner (what else did he think I was there for?) and also promptly added that he would come along. Here I protested but the creature was impervious to it all and walked along and then (mercifully and much to my relief) parked himself in the adjacent urinal (I all along feared that we would share one). He continued to talk but I being younger and therefore quicker off the mark finished first and fled. Last heard he was speaking about how some musicians of today would soon fade away. Wonder if he is for real or just one of the ghosts that regularly haunt the place.