I notice a bit of apprehension cross his face as he asks:
‘What makes it one of the best?’
‘The sheer excellence of its editorial content, and the professionalism and the care with which the magazine is put together.’
‘What about the nudes?’
‘If you are judging it for the nudes, have you ever given a thought to the fact that of an average 200 page issue, the nudes occupy only 36 some pages?’
‘How can it be?’ I imagine him thinking, because all he remembers are the nudes. Joe seems intrigued. So I continue.
‘What do you think rest of the pages are filled with?’ I give him a pointed look. And then answer it myself.
‘For the rest of the pages, Playboy competes for the same writers and the contributors as does The New Yorker.’
‘But isn’t New Yorker a serious literary magazine?’
‘Yes it is. And so is Playboy.’ As I say that, I am thinking of what Hefner (Hugh M.) once said to a bevy of Playmates during one of their reunions at his Los Angeles mansion: if not for you, I would be a literary magazine! ‘As a matter of fact, both of them are excellent general interest magazines.’ I add.
‘You mean also likes of Harpers and Atlantic?’
‘Precisely! Albeit more lifestyle and sexually oriented. And geared mainly towards men.’
‘Are you Muslim?’ asks Joe out of the clear blue sky. Stands to reason, because the majority of guests are.
‘Than what are you? A Hindu?’
‘I am surprised because I have never met a Hindu so nice.’ And then he goes on to tell me how his experience with Hindus has been not so positive. Strange, because that is certainly not so. We have our quirks, but by and large the Indians, Hindus or Muslims have a very good reputation in the USA. I tell him about Maria – the 93 year old Polish lady who I often run into on Division Street, up the street from St. Mary’s medical building, always raving about her Indian doctor, who she tells me treats her free of charge and how nice he has always been. And how majority of Indian doctors in the country are well regarded and respected.