‘Hey, how are you doing?’ Lulu, the parrot, suddenly arrived in the balcony. ‘I am fine, how are you? You have travelled a long distance from Mumbai to Durban, that’s really remarkable’ I said.
‘Oh Thanks’ Lulu said, ‘So you are taking the meme suggested by Ugich Konitari forward’ he said. ‘What are you going to write about four places I’d like to go to or things I’d like to do?’
‘That’s really easy one. I had a fascination for New Zealand ever since my childhood. That is because a New Zealander was a close friend of my father and we were very fond of each other. He used to teach me nursery rhymes which I used to sing like a parrot. Oh, I’m sorry Lulu!’
‘That’s okay’ Lulu said, ‘The fact is that all parrots can sing well. Unfortunately not all human beings can do that, just sing a few lines, you will provide evidence in my support!’
‘And the other three places are Venezuela, Norway and Malta’ I said ignoring the invectives. ‘Ever since I read Papillion and Banco, I wanted to visit Venezuela. Reading about adventurers who went to North and South poles made me feel that Norway is the country to visit. And Malta, that lovely country too.
‘I remember you have read the Marathi translations of Papillion and Banco! If Raj Thackeray comes to know this, he will felicitate you!’ Lulu said.
‘Leave him alone’ I said, ‘His children are studying in English medium school’. ‘These I’d like to …. Sentences draw out the child in you. And a child often day-dreams, does not understand or deliberately ignores reality’. I said.
‘Yes indeed! When you told me that you would like to write a book, hold n exhibition of your landscape paintings although you have not held a brush in hand in the last 50 years, learn to play flute and cut a CD of your classical compositions and reduce your weight by 15 Kgs, I knew that the child in you has completely conquered you!’ Lulu said laughing aloud. ‘The next point is also very easy to answer – Four places where I have lived’.
‘Yes and you know them. Born at Khopoli which is situated on Mumbai Pune highway, then at Chembur for thirteen years [those were the days when Nutan, Tanuja with their mother Shobhana Samarth and the entire Kapoor clan including Raj, Shammi etc. and Ashok Kumar, all film actors used to stay in Chembur], then at Kalyan for twenty-five years and now at Thane. I really loved these places and have fond memories of people there’ I said with nostalgia gripping me.
‘Maan! You got it wrong, do people there remember you? Have you made any difference to their lives?’ Lulu asked.
‘Must you always discourage me?’ I protested.
‘Ok, Ok Let us move on….Four places where I have been on vacation’
‘Hmmm…Kanyakumari, the southern most point of India with its Vivekananda Rock, Switzerland – Mount Titlis, Hyderabad and Singapore’ I said, ‘these vacations were very memorable’.
‘Memorable, yes!’ Lulu said, ‘I heard that you got up in London at 12.30am and got ready with shave and shower to go out only to realize that you had set alarm according to Indian Standard Time which is 5hrs and 30 min ahead of GMT’ Lulu was laughing again.
‘And how Sulabha, my wife, would not stop laughing! She has told this story to all my friends!!’ I continued.
‘But let us stop here and continue this story later’ Lulu said dancing on my head.