Two days outside the Tate
Spent just two days in London and there was a certain sweet decadence to it, a certain freedom.
Visits to other cities are always touched with a sense of the dutiful and the utilitarian. But the fact that I'd been to London several times before freed me. I was there for a thingie at the Tate Modern and they'd put us up in a hotel close by. I never really left the environs - just sat around by the river, walked around the exhibits, just let the time go by and the light slide on.
There was just one afternoon when we had to go to lunch at the Italian embassy. I took my friend Ruchir along and he duly photographed the food, giving me a holiday from my normally self embarrassing behaviour. I should add that this was completely his own craziness, not mine imposed on him. Husseyn, one of the artists from Istanbul, who owns some very fly shoes, and various flamboyant T-shirts and loves to drink as much as Ruchir, got along famously with him, although he kept calling him Richie. From now on my mental image of Ruchir will always inclulde a bow tie.
Later I went to see the Serpentine gallery with Husseyn and his wife Camilla and one more artist from Istanbul, Ousman. The art there was just ok, but I like the idea of a gallery in the middle of a public park. Imagine something like that in Azad Maidan. But no, we just get the darn cows.
It was perfect weather, so we came out of the gallery and sat around in the cool grass with the medium warm sun enveloping us. And indulged in a cab ride back. I don't know that I've ever taken a taxi in London!
On the last day I sat in a cafe with Ruchir and did a full day's adde baazi. We drank beer, ate pizza and olives and salad and finally a gigantic ice cream sundae. We gossipped and made faltu jokes and talked about books, friends, love, life and human failings (Ruchir's of course, I don't got any). Was a lovely day, with something of the agenda free innocence of our 20s, whiled away without anxiety, until it was time to take the flight home.