Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun, fun, fun

(Ex-employees of The Week met for a get-together recently. A recap of the event)

By Shevlin Sebastian

And so, here we were, the ex-Weekers meeting after a long time at Litta’s place, at Rosemount Homes, on Kunjan Bawa Road on Saturday, August 30. The early birds were Anna and Sivaram, while I arrived on the dot at 5.30 p.m. Jacob got delayed, because a relative landed at his home at Kakkanad just as he was setting out. As for Sumi, the moving force of the group, well, she was laid low by a cranky daughter, Anindita, and, thus, was unable to come.

We missed you Sumi!

Apart from Litta, there was her daughter, Sneha, who is working as a designer in the kidswear section of Madura Coats at Bangalore. Litta runs a three-woman household. Her younger daughter, Sarah, is a features writer in The Economic Times and Litta, as you know, is holding court at The Hindu. She is doing desk work, but says that she has not yet come up with the classic headline that she gave for an interview with author Patrick French in The Week: ‘French Toast on the coast.’

“The Hindu wants staid headlines,” says an unstaid Litta.

And there was Anna, wearing a salwar kameez stitched by herself, fingers painted red, while toenails were black, brown streaks in her hair, and with a Cannes 2008 bag in tow. She is in a designer mood these days and was all set to party later in the night at nightclub Tandaav. Of course, we had to tease her about her famous photo with Mammooty, in which, while he looked straight ahead at the lens, Anna had her bum turned towards him and a “I wish I was with John Abraham” look.

She asked me, in all seriousness, like as if she was interviewing The Dalai Lama, “Do you think about sex ALL the time?”

Her face fell when I said, “Only 99 per cent of the time.”

Talk veered around to the sexual exploits of M.J. Akbar, Jacob’s former editor at The Deccan Chronicle, and how easy it was for attractive women to fast-forward their careers, if they slept with the boss.

Naturally I said, “When a woman approached Akbar, she had to do so vertically.”

A perceptive Anna said, “Not vertically, Shevlin, but horizontally!”

But I could not miss having the last word: “Sometimes, you have to be vertical also.”

Ha! Ha!

Wonder what Sneha made of all this. Mother and daughter had come to Kochi, on a flying visit, to clear the house, so that it could be given for rent.

As we talked, here was Siva taking shots so well and catching us off guard. God, I never knew I laughed with my eyes closed.

And, guess what, we spoke little about our time in The Week. Now of us feel weak. In fact, we feel quite strong.

Litta, young at heart, talked about her embarrassment, when Sarah’s friend, who is working with her, called out loudly, “Auntie!”

Chips and jalebis from Mattancherry were munched. Mirinda and Pepsi were drunk. Litta offered home-made sweet wine and whisky, but, alas, we are all boring teetotalers.

The rain fell in torrents; there was the usual half-an-hour power-cut. The inverter worked for 20 minutes and packed up. We sat in darkness for 10 minutes.

What else???

Those who were freelancing complained about the TDS. Jacob, the freelance master, professed surprise. He was only deducted 2.1 per cent for his assignments, while Sivaram and Anna spoke about 10 to 11 per cent. Arguments went back and forth, till Jacob called a tax consultant, who confirmed that those were on a contract were charged 2.1 per cent, while the rest were axed a minimum of 10 per cent. I hope I got the figures right, guys. I am writing this from memory.

But the good thing about this meeting was that we laughed a lot. We wished you guys were here: Sam, Sujit, and, of course, our dream girl, Sumi. Others said they would come but didn’t: Sreedevi the second, heavily pregnant, like Sreedevi the first, and Anandan. What happened guys?

Anyway, we should do this once in a while.

It was good fun!!!!


  1. I'm reading this after eight years, Shevlin. Great to recall and how sad we have drifted ...