“The Penniless Pensioner: Misaligned, Maligned but Marvellous” : Chapter 22: My Stint in New York Begins with a John Lennon Friendship

I arrived in New York off my Greyhound bus from Toronto. US immigration tossed off at least half of the Amish on the bus sending them back to Canada. I proceeded to the United Mutations headquarters near the corner of 43rd and Third very close to the United Nations where I met United Mutations representative Melanie Stumps. Stumps was kind enough to put me up at the International Hostel for Mutants way up in the 90’s in Harlem. Stumps said to me you have two weeks to find an apartment before you start your assignment. I would have preferred the Ritz-Carlton Central Park South but wanting to appear “part of the team” I took the bus up to Harlem. Being a bit sick of lodging in luxury hotels I bought a two-bedroom condo in a charming Gothic building called “The Dakota” very close to Central Park. I was having some trouble with my keys entering my condo and a long-haired fellow with glasses helped me. Being a neighbourly fellow, he invited the newby to tea at his “pad”.

What a jolly fellow with a British accent. I felt like I was back home in Bombay. Upon entering his pad he introduced me to his “old lady” Poko Tonyroma I believe her name was. His name was John Lennon. It had a familiar ring to it. We had a lovely pot of tea and some pot brownies and chatted for an hour or so.

I asked Mr. Lennon about all the guitars he had all over his “pad” and he explained he was a musician. I explained I was half Welsh and half Indian. My late mom was Juanita Wallabong a well-known singer of Bombay Blues and my dad was Paneer Gupta an entrepreneur. Well to my surprise Mr. Lennon was a fan of my mom and knew my father! How could that be! Well Mr. Lennon was John Lennon of that British group “The Beatles”! Damn it I knew that band. He told me he had just recorded one of my mom’s songs “Give Peace a Chance”! And when the Beatles were in India my dad had supplied them with lots of ganja! What a small world!

Poko Tonyrama sat by herself writing poetry and said nary a word. Mr. Lennon insisted I call him John. John invited me to take a long walk with him in Central Park the next day.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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