Skirting the edge of open-air lawn at the summer house appareled in oaks growing at an angle, sat the participants.

Compère’s voice floated in the air: “This afternoon we’ll begin by quoting from memory most memorable lines from Classics. The mike is yours.”

None stirred. He got up—a painfully shy man, who befriended mirror more than mike. He chose excerpts from Vikram Seth’s Golden Gate and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Performance over, a dancer held his hand and said: “You must have suffered a lot in life. The quotes seemed your own, very own. I couldn’t help crying!”

First published in f3

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