Tuesday, December 02, 2008


You never know when and where your past may catch up with you. This morning, The Times of India informed me that (a) secret service folks from Australia, USA, UK and Israel were in Mumbai visiting the places attacked by the terrorists last week; and (b) Nariman House was a target because it was supposed to be a front for Israeli intelligence. In other words, Mossad. The reason it made me think of the past was that, when I was writing my Master of Commerce thesis http://digbig.com/4xxxk and living at 233 Khetwadi Main Road http://digbig.com/4xxxp I was also trying to make a bit of money on the side. For instance, I had done quite a lot of translation into English of dubious literature written in absolutely pathetic Hindi and dealing with sex education. The client was on Hornby Road near Handloom House. I cannot recall who put me in touch with him. Similarly, I had done some work for a publisher of study guides. Somebody had also asked me to try my luck at a travel agency opposite the New Empire Cinema. I think one of the employees there guided me to Kailas on Peddar Road (now Deshmukh Marg). This was in the days when India and Israel were not on too friendly terms. If memory serves, the Consulate and Trade Representative's office had opened in Mumbai in 1953 and was the only consular presence of that country in India. By the way, Israel was born just a year after India got independence, if you recall. Coming back to my story, I was allowed to go up to the office on the fourth or fifth floor after being thoroughly frisked at the entrance on the ground floor. That itself was an unusual experience in those days. I did not get the job although they interviewed me and made me fill up a lengthy application form. So, maybe, I was saved from a fate worse than death of serving Mossad. I'm being facetious, of course. Well, the other recent occasion when my past suddenly caught up with me was when I was reading Bernie Lee's Murder at Musket Beach. The chief protagonist called Tony, a mystery writer and a member of the Tony and Pat Pratt husband-and-wife team, also happens to be a copywriter who flies from Portland, Oregon, for a couple of days of creative work in Hollywood. The description of the meeting with the client and the creative and account service team as well as of the recording session brought back my past in advertising especially when I was in Clarion-McCann. ttp://digbig.com/4xxxn.