But even before that, I have a little ‘playboy story’ for you. The 2nd or 3rd time that Patricia and I were in Italy in the early ’90’s — so ’93 (probably 1994) would be my guess — I met Don and Louisa Stuart as well as the Mercurio’s. For a reason I no longer remember, I ended up being driven somewhere in the Lancio Mercedes 300E by their driver.

I spoke a small amount of Italian. He spoke no English. As we rode along, he asked me some questions that I stumbled through. When he figured out that I was with Playboy, the next question he asked was if I knew Haresh Shah.

I said yes. He rattled off a bunch of Italian that I didn’t get, but ended on a partial sentence that I understood to the effect that Haresh Shah was a wonderful man.

I did my best to acknowledge your wonderfulness in Italian when he said, in hesitant English, “When Haresh come… the best food, the best wine, the best girls.” He waved his hand in the air, and didn’t say another word.

Good old Mario. He really did like me:). Who am I to argue with his perception of me? Thanks Mario. True or false, it even impressed Arthur and he remembered to tell it to me almost twenty years later.

© Haresh Shah 2014

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

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Net Friday, November 21, 2014

THE NAIL THAT STUCK OUT

Deru kui wa utareru, literally means: The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down! This aptly defines the psychology of the group in the Japanese society. To be different is to be hammered down. In the society where individuality has no place, I knowingly decided to commit the ultimate social faux pas, at the risk of alienating my Japanese hosts.

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