(New Year Special #3)
For starters, 2011 is very unlike the mental image you probably have of him. He doesn’t wear spectacles but has an artist-like beard that keeps dripping into the cup of black coffee on the table. Though it was difficult to get him sit down to an interview, Saddi Delhi managed to bring the reclusive darling to the mike. In this exclusive interview, 2011 speaks about the year that was, his misgivings and musings and also shares thoughts on his impending goodbye from the wall-calendar. Here are snippets of the interview, quoted verbatim:
Q. Thank you for finally relenting to this conversation.
A. (grins) You are pretty persuasive that way. But no honestly, it was hard for me to squeeze in time for PR what with the year-end parties I have to get ready for.
Q. Anything special we can look forward to?
A. Of course. Like you know, I may not have a successor to the throne. 366 or so days later, this planet may be devoid of people. I am doing my best to make the end, or the beginning of the end, memorable. I have made it rain in Chennai for instance. People are staying back in their houses and getting to spend quality time with loved ones. Just the other day I got some people to get stranded in Andaman. Though that didn’t work out too well…
Q. What went wrong?
A. I saw these press reports that said the people weren’t taking it positively. They were apparently flustered and wanted to get out of the situation somehow… (sighs) People I tell you. You would think a rain shower of sorts on an island would be appreciated this holiday season.
Q. You sound put down. Are you sure this isn’t an attention seeking strategy now that people have started putting up 2012 calendars everywhere?
A. You amuse me. I am very happy with the way I have been celebrated all through. Now that New Year parties are kicking off, it feels like a lifetime achievement. There are certain things I am not too pleased about albeit… but I do not think 2012 will alter that stance much.
Q. Could we elaborate on that a bit?
A. See we lost out on so many good people. Where will we now find a man as handsome as Dev Saab? As melodious as Jagjit Ji? Oh there have been innumerable losses and listing them down only makes my heart go heavy. But trust me when I say there was little I had to do with it. I am sure that no year can ever take away from the wonder these people have evoked…It is just sad that I had to be the one to bear the brunt.
Q. That means you refuse to accept any of your misdeeds. Or you are saying there weren’t any on your part?
A. Of course there were. I feel sorry about one hundred and twenty things I have done. I have been silent through heartbreaks, house-breaks and breaches of trust. I have seen fires go untended, earthquakes have their kill. But then it is important to understand that natural disaster is something we can do little about. Except perhaps take those climate control people a bit more seriously. But these manmade catastrophes that you people cause, why should I shoulder responsibility for something so outrageous?
Q. Err…lets come to familial ties. And those with friends? Aren’t you upset about leaving them all behind?
A. We all come with an expiry date. Very soon those bottles of lotion and capsules you bought in January will have to go into the bin. On my part, I will leave a happy soul. My family and friends are all too willing to follow me to the closet…March was especially pleased. Said something about taking the Pune-departure a little too badly. All of us are hoping that grievances and unfinished tasks will reach their conclusion in good time. If only the closet is dusted once in a while, we don’t mind at all.
Q. Oh I am sure that will be done. And you will be alive and kicking in the cyber space anyway.
A. Oh yes. The good people who blog. I am thankful to all that has been written about me. Any publicity is good you see. I think you should also go ahead and thank all the wonderful readers this place has got. I remember several occasions when you would be smiling about an encouraging comment or gloating over some statistics. I have given you umpteen blogs to follow all this while and I can see you enjoy every one of them.
Q. Way to go. Now that we are getting personal, why don’t we also talk about what colour towel I use?
A. Okay I don’t know that one.
Q. (shakes head) So anyway 2011, we have now done a feature on you. This is the final part of our three stage New Year Special. Won’t there be goodies you’ll get for Saddi Delhi as a return-gift?
A. You always have my best wishes, Saddi Delhi. I hope that in coming times, there will be good tidings to wake up to. Bridge those distances with loved ones, smile more often and take this place to another city.
Q. Now we are being enigmatic.
(smiling and waving a goodbye) Happy new year darling!
2011 left me with an unrest in the throat. There were some more questions I wanted to ask, some more coffee I needed to brew with those thoughts… It has been a year of mixed feelings. Of moments I am scared to lose and goodbyes I never want to repeat…There have been days when the world has seemed beautiful to a fault and afternoons when it was too still for a single bird to venture out.
Now that a fresh year is almost here – wow, that rhymed – I hope it brings basketfuls of surprises and moments in the glorious sun. And when I sit down to unpack the goodies in the basket, I want the largest one to be R. In complete life-size.
Sheesh, I missed out on Saddi Delhi’s very heartfelt greeting for all its wonderful readers and potential readers out there…
A very Happy New Year!
God bless you all.