There is plenty to grumble about anyway. INTACH lost, the weather is bad, power cuts are rife, the traffic miserable…And then there are the small things that make life interesting.

This afternoon I had a long car journey to make. And as always, I listen to music while driving or being driven. Today I selected Kamala Murthy’s Kathakalakshepam on Neelakanta Nayanar from the three CD pack of Charsur. I love Kamala Murthy’s style. I have heard her live only once and have been a fan ever since. She does not perform now citing old age but then there is this 3 CD pack. I must have heard it a million times.

Anyway, we were 5 minutes into the journey when my driver asked as to who the old lady was. I explained. He then said her command over Tamil was stupendous. This from a young fellow who is probably a hardcore Thala/Thalapathy/Surya/Dhanush fan. He enjoyed her jokes and when we reached our destination, she was talking about Neelakanta Nayanar swearing off women. When I returned from the meeting and asked for the audio to be switched on, I found the story nearing its end. I was wondering about it when my driver explained that he found the story and Kamala Murthy’s style irresistible and so had heard it all out while I was away! We heard the rest and a goodish bit of Kannappa Nayanar on the way back.

Then I went to the Madras Cricket Club. Had an omlette and ordered a coffee. The latter when it arrived was top class. Not the usual tepid brown water. Enquiries were made and it transpired that the usual cook being away for some time, the coffee had been made by an untried assistant who rose to the occasion like Robert Clive at Trichinopoly. I barged into the kitchen and warmly thanked the chap (and rewarded him as well), much to the amusement of the rest of the staff. He was most embarrassed. But these are talents that deserve recognition. May he rise to become a world-class chef, do TV shows and write cookbooks.

Having read what I wrote, I realise that it reads exactly like the writing of an upper class snoot as one of my fan mails described me after the P Orr & Sons debacle. But I dont propose altering a line. So there.