Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Mad Birthday Party Dash - all for naught!

'I want to come look at the paintings in an hour', said the man on the phone, mentioning Mrs. Mewawala, one of Tara's key buyers as his friend. 'I fly back to the States tonight and I want to pick up a couple of pieces before I leave.'

'Sure', groaned Tara, glancing at her watch. She had promised Ro to take him to a birthday party. She needed to leave now to pick him up for the party. What with Gul away on travel, Tara was manning the gallery alone and Gul would go into an apoplectic fit if she heard that Tara had closed shop on a prospective client for an afternoon with sugar-high rapscallions.

Instead Tara phoned June, begging her to pick up Ro, guiltily explained the new arrangement to her five year old, and waited for the unknown art lover to arrive.

A broken-toothed lad in a sharp suit arrived an hour later, pledging support to the world of art, something he 'casually picked up' on journeys around the world on business. He toured the hall, admiring the works by the young Baroda school artists, and suddenly went into a lengthy quiz on returns on investment and art portfolios.

Tara sighed. ROI on art, a flaky concept at best was a total black box when considering a young unknown artist. Like betting your dosh on a lottery. Chances are pretty slim. The minute the man started speaking ROI and debating merits of Indonesian painters versus Indian painters, Tara knew it was a lost cause.

The clock on the wall suggested the party must have started. Time to cut the idle dialogue short. Tara hurriedly ended the conversation and madly dashed to her car. By the time she reached the party, after endless twists and turns along clogged lanes, the party was ending. Ro was still mad- that child held onto grudges! A promise broken, and for naught!

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