I will go now, he said as he snapped to attention. Much to be done. Duty calls and all that. It was wonderful seeing you again, Gideon. And Marla, I still wish to take you away and make you my princess. Are you sure you … ?
Marla interrupted,Not this time, Kamal. But keep trying; I like it.
I bid you good evening, John, he said. Then he looked at Pandayji and continued, It was good to see you, Pandayji. Let us get together in Trivandrum soon. There is a quaint tavern across from the main market. Ill meet you there.
He bowed to Marla, took her hand, kissed it gently, turned to Gideon, saluted and with a flourish, walked straight out with his companions following close behind.It took a few seconds for all that had just happened to sink in. I looked around and saw the few remaining patrons of the restaurant sitting quietly, enjoying their meals as if nothing had happened.I glanced at Pandayji who sat smiling, as if such occurrences were commonplace. I looked at Gideon and asked,Whats the meaning of all that?
Meaning? How you love to analyze. Does everything have to have an obvious meaning? he countered.
Well, yes, I replied, I think so.
Sometimes meanings are not apparent for along time, he said. Of course, its the tendency of some people to try to read all sorts of interpretations into every event. There are times, my dear John, when its best to enjoy or endure an event for its own sake. A friend of mine, Sigmund, once had a discussion with Marla and me about just such an occurrence. The conclusion was, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
So all this brouhaha was just for nothing? Just a lot of smoke and no fire?
No, he replied emphatically, it was not a lot of noise, not without substance. He was an old, loyal friend just visiting in his own way. That, in itself, was very touching. Do you have to totally analyze everything you do, John? When you eat an apple, do you weigh it,check its color and the texture of its skin? Do you have it sent to a lab for an analysis of nutrients? Sometimes an apple is just an apple. Enjoy it. Kamal and I go way back. He always had an eye for Marla and she could play the flirt, too, when she felt like it. But hes been doing a wonderful work. Many have been helped and given a new lease on life because the Terror of Trivandrum intervened. Dont judge him by the way he looks or how he speaks. People tend to judge by appearances. Learn, as Jesus said, to judge not by appearances.
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