elusive spanish guitar

I remember how awestruck I was when I first heard this story.

… “ I am Che Guvera” and we shook hands. He had a beautiful smile. We spoke for few more minutes. Small talk mostly. I had to get back to my work and I excused myself. He went back to strumming his guitar. Back to the same tune which had lead me to him in the first place. I was drawn to the corridor to figure out what was the source of the haunting Spanish guitar. And there he was, reclining on the pillar with his leg straddling the boundary wall. An attractive man and it was but natural that I had to know more about him. I was the guest relations officer at the hotel. The grandest in town back then. Over the years I have met many of those who the world adored, loved and few despised too. This was a meeting I remember for other reasons. For one, the note he signed for me was appropriated by the hotel and later the Government as a national treasure. “….

This was one of my favorite story for a long time to come. She was pretty as old people could be now. A nervous and yet radiant smile. Mild noticeable tremors and a faint milky white screen on otherwise naughty black eyes. We spoke for a long time that day. Or rather, I listened engrossed, taken in by the vivacity of those stories. Of men and women of power and influence. Anecdotes gathered from close quarters. Heady as it was, it was almost impossible to be true. I did go back and check on the timelines. And it was true that Che was in the country then. This was a story I repeated to equally amazed new listeners.

Memory as it turns out, is often embellished by deep held beliefs, notions or make believes.

Age creeps up rather unknowingly. Few years rolled on and I met her again. Cheeky and jovial as ever. The conversation was candidly about her unreliable dietary system and flatulence. And she begin musing over the life gone by.

…. “ I watched the young man puffing away on his cigar. Curiosity got better of me and I looked up the guest list. Turned out he was Che Guvera. He had a great smile. Spoke sparsely to others. I wish I had a conversation with him. He did sign autographs for us and we promptly handed it over to the manager…..”

I remember the deep anguish of my favourite story not being entirely accurate. Or was the first one an accurate version and the second one tainted with age and memory ?. I would never know.


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