‘You have all your life ahead of you to rest and write and do whatever else you want to. But I have just the job for you. Go talk to them. What you’ve got to lose?’

John’s gentle but insistent prodding reminds me of how my mother and auntie Shukla had began to nudge me soon as I had turned barely eighteen. All they thought of was to hook me up with one girl or another at every opportunity they got.

‘Doesn’t cost you anything to see her. I bet you’ll fall in love with her. And she is from a family just like ours. Will fit right in. You’ll never find anyone as pretty and sweet. Longer you wait, the best ones will all be picked clean.’ And auntie Shukla, the poet as she is, would even recite a couplet or two to describe her beauty, as if she were a serious contender herself. Not to mention, how pretty she herself is.

Once it became clear that I was going to go abroad for further studies, they begin in earnest their campaign to convince me to at least get engaged before I left for London. Their crafty underlying logic being, once committed, I would have to come back and not be lost forever to the West as did most others. And the horror or all horrors, what if I were to succumb to the wicked charms of a gori – a white woman? But I was steadfast and so it came to pass. And then when fifteen years later I came home, indeed not only with a gori in tow, but also nine months old Anjuli perched atop my shoulders in a back pack, they couldn’t have been happier.

But John turns out to be more persistent than my mother and the aunt were. So I relent. As much time and energy he has put into finding me another job, I don’t have a heart to tell him with any more emphasis that I really wanted to take bit of a break for some months, give my first passion at least a chance and then decide if I want to go back being the color guy.  Not to mention that long ago, I had decided I didn’t want to work for a printing company in the same position as I would for publishers. Because I would rather be in a position to give shit than having to take it. Never mind, John has arranged an interview for me with the World Color in Louisville, Kentucky. As much to please him as with the thought, what have I got to lose? An airplane ride and bit of a diversion would do me good. Now it’s been six months since I had been on a plane last, something that had become practically a part of my daily routine, so to say. And I am beginning to miss it. It feels good to get on a jet and fly to Louisville.

First I meet with the production boss Grover Plaschke, who sounding serious, talks to me at length about the organizational details of the World Color and how the company is growing by leaps and bounds and how they are proud of their ultra modern equipment and the talented professionals who help them grow. Hopefully I could add to their pool of talents. I can tell I have positively impressed him. He enthusiastically turns me over to his press supervisor Bob Saxer. I like Bob. He is soft spoken and easy going no nonsense kind of a production guy like Ben Wendt  of Regensteiner. My would be boss if I took the job. I get a good feeling about him and I am sure, we would get along well. I spend a whole day walking the huge World Color plant and I am indeed impressed by their streamlined operation, the cleanliness and the efficiency of the plant and the quality of the signatures rolling off web presses. I make appropriate comments and compliment him on how impressed I was with the plant and the people. And doing so, I can see that I have impressed him too without really trying.

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