Suhaani Raath being sung by a young Indian troubadour strumming on a guitar on the roof of our hotel in Pune…wow, pretty close to heavenly!

They had the Bookaroo Pune launch dinner last night and it was smaller than the one in Delhi, had a completely different feel to it, and it came with that perfect moment!

It’s funny but you can’t choreograph these things.

Perfect moments have to be spontaneous.

What happened was at someone’s request he had called his driver to bring his guitar in from the car. This young boy, probably still in his teens, and then he sat down and started singing some beautiful Indian songs.

People listened, rapt and then gradually returned to their conversations.

He had already put the guitar away and I was enjoying the dessert…I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t but I’m weak-willed this way, and I figure I’ll get back to dieting when I go home.

Three perfect little gulab jamuns the size of big red grapes and creamy vanilla ice cream and suddenly I had such a craving for this beautiful old song from my childhood, Suhaani Raath. Raath means night, and I think suhaani means beautiful. It’s about a young man who’s pining for his love and the chorus consists of “Na jaane, thum kub ougey.” Which means ‘don’t go, when will you come back again?’

So I asked him to sing it.

He had already put away his guitar. He said, “It’s so slow! It puts people to sleep.” I said no, it’s beautiful. Then he admitted it was his favourite song and I entreated him so he pulled it out the guitar again and sat down at our table, and just for me he started singing it.

It was so beautiful, that soon everyone on the rooftop stopped talking and listened.

And I took a bite of that creamy vanilla ice cream along with a smidge of gulab jamun and I thought, yup, doesn’t get much better than this!

Check out the original and you’ll get an idea of it: