The Babu isn’t sure he likes being written about, being a nervous, shy, wilting wallflower in real life. On the other hand, it’s kinda nice being called “dashing” and learning that I offer cyberspace’s equivalent of an adda (self-contained and indulgent, damn right it’s both!).
Enough about me. Hung out with a few blogger friends one evening at the new abode; Samit, Jabberwock, Peter Multifaceted Griffin, Putu. The Marginalien didn’t show, but since she’d trotted around before we moved house and thoughtfully brought biscuits for all (the Babu is open to biscuit bribery, also cake) she’s forgiven. All of us were duly eclipsed by Ruchir Joshi who was In Form and How. But a few notes: my cats, faced with Putu the Cat and Jai Arjun The Cat Lover, indicated that both were welcome to return any time they wanted to. Jai and Samit are frighteningly Bright Young Men, so Young Turkish in their mien that they made the Babu feel like the Old Turkey he is. And they have to come back soon so that the Babu can get over the mortification of making everyone drink rum and whisky from (heavens above) plastic glasses. (Couldn’t find the glass glasses. They were in a crate marked Curtains. So much for my wonderful sense of organisation.)
The Griff, meanwhile, was great to have around. He began by doing good–his response to the tsunami crisis was to set up a blog called Tsunami Help which became the central forum for disaster relief, much to his surprise, the Griff being as modest as they come. Watched him in awe as he and a bunch of really cool people went about the task of streamlining Tsunami Help, moderating angst-ridden volunteers and putting up posts endlessly. At one point, when the house was swarming with photographers and the phones were ringing off the hook with reporters from the BBC, American media and the Indian press wanting to interview Griff, I asked him whether he wasn’t proud of what he and his friends had accomplished. He said he was taken aback at how fast Tsunami Help had grown and at how many people willingly put their lives on hold in order to help out. But, he added, he had never wanted to make his reputation “on the back of someone else’s misery”. For him, it was simple: he wanted to help. He wasn’t in a position to hop on a train and do relief work on the ground, so he did what he could–and when it grew to a worldwide movement, he did his best to grow with it. And he did.
In between, he helped the Babu and partner pack up house, shift, and unpack. Now you know why we think of him as one of nature’s sweethearts.
So we were delighted to hear that he’d won the Orange-Crossword SMS Poetry Competition with this SMS haiku:
now part of my D.N.A.
gladden my heart: beep.”