So M rings me on my mobile this afternoon, just as I was in the midst of the busiest preparations for the Travelife India Night Gala Dinner. He'd been out of town and in absentia over the weekend, and I'd been left hanging about a dinner we were supposed to have this week. We had lots of work to discuss and I was keen to get it over with, but he hadn't gotten back to me about his schedule. So I'd gone ahead and made plans without him for the rest of the week.
"I guess you're preparing for India Night?" He asked. I was juggling three phone calls and two BBMs, and about 20 people still wanted seats in our fully-booked event. Of course I was preparing for Travelife India Night and extremely busy, but I replied as understatedly as possible, instead: "You might say that."
EXPECTATIONS FROM A LA SALLITE
Fortunately I was in a good mood as everything was going extremely well for the dinner, and we had the happy problem of trying to accommodate so many additional requests for reservations that I was happy to forgive him for keeping me on hold for days. Besides, he was going to Travelife India Night that evening anyway.
"Is it too much to ask a La Sallite to give me a straight answer?" I teased him, and I could hear him laughing on the other end. We have this running joke about Ateneo and La Salle, you see, and it's all in good fun -- especially for me, as La Salle lost the basketball game last Saturday. Then I added: "I can't put my life on hold for you, you know."
He knew I was joking -- or perhaps he hoped I was. He'd actually called twice earlier and I'd missed both calls because I was so busy; and when I'd finally noticed his name twice on my Blackberry call list, instead of calling him back I'd asked my secretary to call his, and to ask his secretary exactly what he wanted. I'll bet he thought I was mad and not taking calls, but actually I was just stressed and busy.
GOOD FOOD ON WEDNESDAY
Of course he had a bunch of excuses for keeping me on hold, some of which sounded plausible enough for me to make the whole thing a non-issue; and I agreed to cancel a previous appointment and meet him for dinner on Wednesday, to talk shop, at a restaurant he'd been wanting to try for ages. The food's good there and I'd actually been thinking about that same restaurant myself.
That's how today I started.
THE SUCCESSFUL TRAVELIFE INDIA NIGHTS
And tonight, I've just returned from Travelife India Night at the Dusit Thani Manila, which was really an amazing event. The performers left everyone speechless with delight -- it's not often world-class classical Indian dancers come to Manila; and, in fact, it's never happened yet -- and the food was simply wonderful. The latter was truly a labor of love from the Dusit Thani.
We had a stellar audience of dignitaries, as well, headed by Secretary of Tourism Alberto Lim and an entire phalanx of ambassadors and consul generals, plus so many big-name CEOs. I'd go on and on waxing rhapsodic about it, but I need to catch up on some sleep.
But I'll post a full account tomorrow, complete with photos, somewhere in the middle of a very busy day that involves ten thousand meetings and a very good dinner with a winemaker from Chile. I am so looking forward to the latter. It's time to drown my happiness over the success of the Travelife India Nights series in a couple of glasses of red wine.
Good night from Manila, for once. Although tonight, with the classical Indian dancers, the wonderful Indian dinner and all the dignitaries from the Indian community in the Philippines present, I could have been in India.