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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com

Lover, Poet, Indophile

A recipient of Octavio Paz's artistic generosity recalls the writer's love for India

Lover, Poet, Indophile
Lover, Poet, Indophile
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

MY first meeting with Octavio Paz was what may be called a disappointment. I had expected to encounter a man with a wheatish complexion and Mongolised eyes. It was an expectation that had helped me build my confidence when I entered the room where I was to be interviewed for a scholarship to study mural painting in Mexico. The year was 1952.

I spoke little English and this too with a pronunciation that was hard to comprehend. I expected less fussiness on this account from a non-White and one who himself may have had little knowledge of the English language. Disappointment did not come on the day of the interview, as on that day I had fancied another gentlemen with my presumed identities to be Octavio Paz.

This disillusionment came when I actually met him—several days later when I called on him at the Embassy. By then I was no longer the nervous freak who had entered the interview room on an earlier occasion, having already known the outcome of the interview as being in my favour. Still I was disappointed. The legacy of the...

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