Some boxes still unopened, we set up my state of the art Fisher Quadrophonic sound system, spread out all the booze and my TWA set of cocktail glasses on the kitchen island – I pull out my Time Life book of Wines and Liquors which came with a small spiral bound booklet containing recipes for all the American cocktails – starting with basic Dry Martini to Manhattan to Whiskey Sour and Rob Roy. Dieter takes over the job of the bartender. Follows the recipes for a while, but for not too long. Now the Chicago skylined counter top looks more like a chemical lab than an in-house bar. He starts mixing them ad-lib, tastes them and then holds the mixing glass against the light to watch the kaleidoscope of colors they would create. Absolutely infatuated, he would try his concoction with different quantities of liquor the colors and the ice cubes.

The guests must have loved whatever concoction he is creating for them. The party is now in full swing and everybody is having good time. Every now and then when I am in the vicinity of Dieter, he would go guck mal Haresh, ist es nicht super? Probier mal doch! – look Haresh, isn’t that super? Here, try it! And then he would let out a hilarious laugh. And then stare at the swirling glass like an alchemist would at a test tube in awe of the clouds and colors and the taste he he has just created. I have never seen Dieter this giddy. He is having time of his life. And so am I.

The night is still young. It’s inching towards eleven and the party has just began to swing with the music and the dancing in the living room. There are people swarming every room and every corner of the apartment, experiencing various stages of happiness. Surrounded by all those people, mostly the friends of Dieter-Kamal-Monika trio and soon to be mine – suddenly I don’t feel lonely. From Playboy, I have invited Rainer and Renate (Wörtmann), and the photographer Jan Parik, who comes with his wife and some of his cool friends. Rainer is amazed at the fact that I have barely arrived in Munich and how quickly I have made so many friends?

As the night begins to wind down, there are still quite a few people scattered around the apartment while some of us are dancing in the living room. Jerry Butler is singing, Never gonna give you up. And I am dancing intimately with Hella, Dieter’s friends’ friends’ friend. We’re swaying ever so slowly in the middle of the floor and kissing, The lighting in the living room is already subdued, but Dieter decides to facilitate even more Hella and me getting into each other. He announces to the crowd: the host wants lights dimmed. Now we are left with only the light pouring in from the street and from the foyer. Dieter is thinking: What can be better for Haresh than for him to have a home town honey? Thanks Dieter! As it turns out, I never see Hella again, but in the real existential sense, that night we lived for the moment – the moment I still remember. As if in the spirit of the Munich fasching – and the carnival of Köln, both of which I would experience soon enough, during which one of the most oft played songs goes like:

Du darfst mich lieben für drei tolle tage      

Du muss mich küssen das ist deine pflicht    

Du kannst mir alles alles schöne sagen        

Nur nach dem name frag mich bitte bitte nicht        

●●●

You may love me for three mad days

You must kiss me – it’s your duty!

You can say all kinds of beautiful things to me

But please, please don’t ask my name!

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