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   The wife was saying this morning... (September 21, 1990)

The wife was saying this morning: "Why don't we also buy some paintings at auctions! It would be so nice."

"What do we want to buy paintings for," I said. "We get Air India's calendar every year to put on the wall."

The wife said: "Jhaveri Bazar jewelers don't think like's that, and Taj Mahal shoe shop owners. The trouble with you is that you just cannot think beyond calendars."

"Let us not talk about jewellers and shoe-sellers," I said. "Do you know how much money they make! They don't mind bidding a few lakhs. For them it is just the price of a necklace or a shoe. Mine is all hard-earned money, if I work a whole lifetime I will jot make enough money to busy a painting."

"Work and money, that is all you think of," the wife said. "What about art, music, the finer things of life. Don't they mean anything to you."

"Of course, they do," I said. "But I like to see them in an art gallery, I can't afford to buy them."

"What is the point in seeing them in an art gallery. Every person who goes to Samovar, peeps into the Jehangi Art Gallery for a look at the paintings. You don't want to be like all those people, you want to be like the people who go to auctions and bid for paintings."

"I don't like to be like those people, please," I said. "I would much rather go to an auction, stand in a corner and watch others make an exhibition of themselves."

"Nobody is making an exhibition of himself, only you are," the wife said. "What must people be saying, you go to every auction and sit there wuiet like a mouse, scared to even taise you hand. Not every time, but at least one in a while you should participate in an auction."

"Those who participate in auctions, end up buying the pantings. I know all the tricks of the trade," I said. "Mr. pritish Nandy cannot fool me."

"For all the auctions we have gone to let us buy just one panting," the wife said. "That is not asking for too much."

"Very well," I said. "Provided we can get it within Rs. 5 lakh, I will bid for it."

"Fine," the wife said. "But make sure that the painting you buy matches the colours of my curtains."

 
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