‘I had my pistols-atnoon moment, but no reasons to fire’
WHEN I was 15, I once went to collect my guitar, given for repair at the only musical instrument shop in Udaipur. Normally, the shop was a desolate place with various dusty instruments entombed in their plastic wrappings. That day it was abuzz with people.
A bearish assistant, who fixes the instruments, handed me my guitar. When I saw how bad a job he’d done, I was furious. The keys were askew, the neck had bent in a way that the higher notes came off muted, and he had drilled a few inexplicable holes to fasten the bridge. This job lay beyond salvation. It was like asking a burnt cake to unbake. Still, and unmindful of the prospective buyers around me, I gave him an earful, with instructions to undo everything. He was twitching nervously. Perhaps that was anger. He beckoned me to follow him to the basement.
Unscrewing the bolts from the guitar, he fumed: “Do you know how it feels to be insulted in front of your employers, that too by a small boy?” And before I could