Archives for posts with tag: Love Story

Haresh Shah 

How Can You Not Fall In Love With Them?

parachute

‘And now ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching the home of one of the most colorful characters of our country: Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, the adventurer and the author of the Republic of Venice and the autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (Story of  My Life), which is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. But as many of you certainly know, he is mostly known as the great lover of women. Yes, the great lover and the great liar.’ We are on a gondola site seeing tour navigating through the narrow canals of Venice. On our right is a long curving three story flaming rust colored brick building with elaborate balconies protruding out of the walls and huge windows overlooking the the canals down below.

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Haresh Shah

Leaving On A Jet Plane

amsterdamwindowcafe2

The captain has already announced for the crew to prepare for the departure. The aircraft door is already pulled in and slammed shut, when  I notice one of the flight attendants picking up the receiver from the wall phone and in turn calling the cockpit. The plane comes to a halt and then very slowly inches back to meet the jetway. The door opens and in comes trotting  a young woman, weighed down on her right by a fairly large and what seems like a heavy blue duffle bag. The flight attendant helps her with the bag. Looking frazzled and out of breath, she gives a feeling of being distraught and disoriented . She is tall and pretty, but looks a bit haggard with no visible makeup on her face and her unkempt, unwashed shoulder length blond locks. She has a chiseled angular face, a small but proportional nose and the dull grey eyes. She is dressed in a beat up pair of blue jeans and a long sleeved well fitting deep purple T-shirt, under black leather jacket. Her frame carries a shapely figure. She is being escorted to the empty seat next to mine. She throws her bulky purse under the seat in the front and plumps herself down next to me, hurriedly snapping together her seat belt.

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Haresh Shah

Every Picture Tells A Story

bythetrunkb

Its crispy cold December morning. The sun is shining bright outside and I am having my usual  Sunday breakfast of Shahmolette – so christened by Jan Heemskerk – our friend and at the time editor-in-chief of Playboy’s Dutch edition. Because in addition to mushrooms and onions, my recipe includes finely chopped, insanely hot Thai peppers and cilantro. Also our Sunday morning feast included freshly baked bagels from Skokie’s famous and the best in the world, Bagels & Bialys, and their home made cream cheese with chives. Carolyn is futzing around the kitchen when the phone rings. I hear her making a perfunctory but pleasant conversation with the caller. Not knowing or caring to know who she might be talking to, I flip the pages of that week’s Time.

‘Sure! He’s right here. Just a minute.’ She covers the mouthpiece of the receiver and mouths ‘Lee Hall.’

Lee Hall? That’s my boss. What is he doing calling me at home on a Sunday morning? It sure couldn’t be good news. I take the receiver and lean against the credenza by the phone.

‘Mr. Shah!’ I hear him say. Once in a while he would call me that endearingly. But still…

‘Sorry to bother you at home on Sunday morning – but as you know I’ve just returned from my far east trip and thought I fill you in on Hong Kong before things get crazy tomorrow morning at the office.’

A sigh of relief! ‘Sure. You want me to come over?’ I offer.

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Haresh Shah

Eres Tu, Eres Tu, Asi, Asi, Eres Tu…

between_the_fountain

Premonition? Up until this very moment, I had never thought of it that way. But there are times when you can’t help but wonder and end up giving things the benefit of the doubt!  During the trip I took from Chicago to Mexico City, I met with Francisco Sadurni, the local attorney hired by Playboy to help me get a long term multiple  entry visa.  Knowing that I didn’t have any plans for the evening, he tagged me along to a party at his uncle’s house – also an attorney.

From the outside, the house looked quite unpretentious. Ordinary even. But what I encountered behind the closed street-side gate was nothing like anything I had seen inside a private home. It opened into a vast courtyard running into a spacious living room. The centerpiece about which the people milled around was a real fountain, like in a small garden of a Shinto shrine. There were ornate columns buttressing the slanted skylight roof. The palm, cactus and other tropical plants gave you a feeling of being in a rain forest. Five piece strolling Mariachi band  serenaded while the guests made trips back and forth between the individually canopied food and drink stands, set up  like in a traditional Mexican mercado. Bottles of French champagne popped open and emptied every few minutes. Men were all dressed like  lawyers in their dark pinstripe suites, which many of them probably were.  There were scores of beautiful young women dressed so provocatively and yet elegantly in their clingingly skin tight outfits with revealing tops. I felt like Alex in the wonderland.  What I had thought to be a party  containing of about twenty people, turned out to be a hundred or more guests.

Francisco takes me by the hand and introduces me to many of the guests with his good humored effervescent Mexican manner with an abrazo here, a back slapping there.. As everywhere else, the name Playboy evokes an awe as people shake hands with me and make small talk.

Seeing that I am eyeing the approaching morena in her dark and shiny burgundy-on-burgundy striped satin jumpsuit, he stops her in her tracks.

‘Let me introduce you to my cousin Luis’ daughter Patricia.

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