One day an old Russian gentleman came to the Consulate and asked if we knew of any Indian poets. He happened to be a poet and he wanted to discuss literary subjects. My colleagues knew that I wrote poems and so they introduced him to me. We became friends.
The gentleman’s name was Mr. Gruber. Once he invited me to read out my poems at a restaurant in Manhattan. The name of the restaurant was Cavanti. The restaurant was very fancy but the patrons were behaving in a very undivine way. They were drinking and drinking. While they were drinking, we were supposed to read out our poems.
Mr. Gruber read out several of his poems and then he told me to stand up and read something. I read out two or three of my poems and then I said, “I am leaving this place! I am not going to stay.”
That was my first and last experience reading out in a restaurant. It was so noisy! Sometimes two or three poets stood up at once. They were ready to read out their poems at the same time.