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Saturday, August 11, 2012

NYC 2012 (3)

'Goodbye Time' was drawing near & I was to leave for Karachi.


Just in case you haven't read the first two parts, go here:

NYC 2012 (1)

Let's start a week earlier: It was Sunday, 15th July. Ragni had asked some friends to come to Pillow Café for a brunch so that I could meet them. I've always loved the drinks there and, probably, drank too much.

There were some old friends that I had met on my last trip and some new ones. They were wonderful to talk to and we had some rather interesting conversations — but mainly about Law (and Comics). A few were from Hampshire while others came from the CUNY Law School. There was a beautifully pregnant Nell. Here they all are:

From the Right: Ragni, Molly, Andrea, Lindsay, Lisa

From the Left: Ben, Julián, Thanu, Tharanga

Ragni, Nell, Andrea, Molly

Ragni, Adam

By the way, the word 'Pillows' also reminded me of what I got to sleep with in my bed in the spare room which used to be Ragni's room for studying.


A few days later we were supposed to go to Thanu's house for dinner but Ragni had a backache so we asked her to come over. A friend from Ragni's first college, Thanu is a regular part of their family. She's also a DJ, by the way. Thanu makes great tasting (spicy!!!) food and came over that night to cook for us. Her cooking was exotic (is that OK, Ragni?)
exotic |igˈzätik|


originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country
That's an Indo-Pakistani me, eating with Pakistani Ragni and her Mexican-American husband, lovely Italian food cooked by a Malaysian-SriLankan girl. Almost a UN dinner!

Despite spices that I always stay away from, I ate an awful lot. Thanks, T! (Oh, she also takes good pictures, as you can see here from one on her Instagram set.)

One day we decided to go to a movie.
Went to see The Dark Night Rises — a fun film.
Here's J & me in the lounge.

(Photo by Ragni)

On the way to the movies we had a really good drink at Coco Rob's street stall. Ufff! Melons and Coconuts and Pineapples and Sugarcane … all were there and the drinks were really colossal stuff. 

You must have a drink if you ever see him on the road.
He's a great conversationalist, too.

Just look behind the drinking counter and you can see a bit of a little jewellery stall where Julián found a lovely piece for Nuzhat and sent it to her with me.

(Photo by Julián)

The 'fish' on the right was really gorgeous … but the drawing that Ragni made for J's card, just looking at the fish, was superb. I am glad she has maintained her talent despite her legal aims ;)


Ragni, Julián, and I had dinner at The Black Swan.
It was absolutely wonderful in that very British-styled restaurant.
Great food. Good cocktails. Wonderful waiters.

On my last day we also had breakfast at Ms. Dahlia's. The scrambled eggs were great, but the coffee wasn't good at all so I had to have another cup elsewhere.


The one breathtaking exhibit that I also forgot to mention in my last post was that of my seeing a show of Photographer Robert Doisneau (who worked for Life for a while). It was a small selection of his thousands of images. 

His delightful picture — The Kiss — got him into a law suit because two different girls 'sued him' for taking 'their picture'. Later, he brought two young actors whose picture it really was! The original pic, signed by Doisneau for the couple, was sold for a fabulous amount. I think about $200,000 was paid. It has been offered to be bought for $345,00 now, but hasn't been sold.

My favourite picture from him, however, was his fabulous shot, Pipi Pigeon, taken at a cinema toilet in Paris. The kids are great to watch, but Pipi takes the cake!


It was my last day, another Sunday. I was to leave that evening and Ragni went down to get the mail that had come yesterday. I was so-o-o-o thrilled. Three things had arrived.

A bag that Sabeen had ordered. (It's stupendous!) …


… and a Camera Strap for me (which keeps the lens cover away)


BUT – finally. finally, finally — the book that I have been dying to get!

No marks. Almost as good as new. Wowowowow!!!

I had bought three copies of The Rape of the A*P*E* when I first saw it in a shop in 1973 (when Nuzhat and I were at sea on the lovely "m.v. Bagh-e-Karachi"). I had one copy hardbound in Karachi (pity that beautiful small binding shop has closed down now). The other two were left in their soft-cover to give to people who could read and give it back. Nuzhat gave one to her eldest brother who says he can't remember where it was (and doesn't, in fact, remember having seen it) — so we lost that! One a 'friend' took (without my saying he can have it) and now 'states' that he has lost it, too — though I am sure he has it!

Since the days that Amazon started doing business on the net I kept looking for it and have occasionally found somebody willing to sell a copy, often poorly kept, for anything between $74 to $205. There has never been a reprint of it (the original was by Playboy Press). At one time I did find one copy of it for $24 through an Amazon dealer but it had no cover and, even though I really wanted it, I decided not to get that one.

This time, two days days after reaching NY, I looked for it again and found one at an e-shop that sells old books. They'd bought it off in a set from someone whose husband had died … I called them up and they said they had it and were going to send it to me by post for (wait a minute …) $6.21 only. I ordered it, without telling them that Amazon had two copies that day on their site for $110 and $94, and received it just before I left. 


New York was a lovely trip after all!



(Union Square)

Goodbye Weeds … and everything else I enjoyed.

(Photo near Madison Park)


Ragni and Julian
for the beautiful time I had with both of you.

Hope there'll be time to see each other again!

And … Good Morning, Pakistan (or should that be Allah Hafiz?)

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Anonymous Nuzhat Kidvai said...

All three posts were good.

13 August, 2012 19:22

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 August, 2012 19:25

Blogger Unknown said...

i love you and hope you feel better. of course, the fact that you keep pushing this "exotic" thing drives me bananas. but i'm so glad you came! xx.

15 August, 2012 19:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved all three posts! I didn't even know you had done half the things you mentioned! Glad you had a great trip. Come again soon! Love, Julian

25 August, 2012 04:09


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