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Have you seen a jazz tune?

While you are reading this in Delhi, I’m on my way to Jaipur to attend the literary festival. Thrilling. In Jaipur, I’ll be seeing all those big time authors whose writing style I’m forever trying to steal, writes Mayank Austen Soofi.

entertainment Updated: Jan 19, 2010 20:32 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

While you are reading this in Delhi, I’m on my way to Jaipur to attend the literary festival. Thrilling. In Jaipur, I’ll be seeing all those big time authors whose writing style I’m forever trying to steal. There’ll be Hanif Kureishi, Vikram Chandra, Tina Brown, Steve Coll, Lawrence Wright, Alexander McCall Smith, Wole Soyinka, Roddy Doyle… but no Arundhati Roy! No tension.

Last year, one night, around a quarter past ten, I sighted my most beloved Delhiite in my most beloved Delhi neighbourhood. Roy was walking in the medieval era bylanes of Nizamuddin Basti. Dressed in salwar kurta, she was carrying magic secrets in her eyes. She was speaking to no one. A tiny diamond gleamed in her left nostril. Her arms were folded and there was a bright red bag slung on her right shoulder. Although her curly hair was covered in a red dupatta, there was something restless and untamed about her. Her demeanour suggested the recklessness of a suicide bomber. Everyone around looked a bit wary of her. She looked unapproachable… just beyond our grasp. It was best to just Let Her Be.

And then, while deep within herself, Roy suddenly smiled. Her luminous nut-brown skin shone as though it has been polished with a high-wax polish. At that moment, she was the most beautiful woman ever seen.

Soon, the smile faded and Roy kept walking straight; her gait suggesting that she’d a nice athletic run. After what seemed to be a lifetime, she came very close to me. Then Roy looked at me, looked away and walked past. Like a jazz tune.