That was the last I saw of Arthur up until three some years ago when Jan came to visit. We got together with some Playboy old-timers to reminisce the shared déjà vu. We meet up with Arthur at his favorite restaurant The Indian Garden on Chicago’s Devon Avenue. The best Indian restaurant on the strip! He proclaims. He is regular at the place and is made fuss over by the staff and the owner. He has now gone vegetarian and frowns at the sizzling Tandoori chicken being served. He has ordered Baingan Bharta which they specially prepare for him. Another proclamation comes: the best baingan bharta! I suppress the urge to say: have you tried the dish across the street at Udupi Palace? But I know better to keep my trap shut. With Arthur, it’s mostly him talking and you listening. And so it is during the lunch. Even so, if you pay attention to what he says, you are more likely than not to part with a feeling of having added something vital to your cache of knowledge. His very presence intimidated me, creating an atmosphere of speak only when spoken to. So it were Jan and Arthur conversing with me pushed in the background. But somewhere along the line, I got to interject and now having acquired distance of time, I confess, I was always intimidated by you.
‘You should have been.’ He answers and even though I would have liked to know precisely why, I leave it at that.
© Haresh Shah 2015
Illustration: Jordan Rutherford
PLAYBOY STORIES ARE FOREVER
This post marks the 100th Playboy Story. When I began blogging them in the fall of 2012, I thought I had about twenty five stories to tell, at the most. And here we are… I still have a list of about a dozen more and can’t tell how many unlisted would pop up along the way. But the stories that don’t compel me to write, are the stories that are not yet ready to be told. Basically, stories tell themselves, an author is just a medium – the facilitator. For now seems they are going on to an indefinite hiatus. But I am sure one or more of them would pop up and compel me to return to the screen. Hope you all will still be there to receive them. In the meanwhile, I have some other writings that I want to do and the stories that I want to tell. Stay tuned.
Can’t thank each one of you enough for your staying with me for almost three years and keeping me inspired and motivated to roll them out week after week. And you would agree with me that this blog wouldn’t have been as complete as I have tried to make it without my illustrative partners in crime, Celia and Jordan. I feel absolutely lucky to have stumbled upon them.
So long my friends until our wiedersehen.