Dear Mr Anand (Anup)
Seeing as you were drunk, it's possible you don't remember and therefore mention how for several minutes you bellowed a non-stop barrage of abuse at me in the street, with the sole intention of humiliating me in front of your many departing guests assembled outside the venue waiting for rides. It was during a short lull in your ranting and raving that a guest whom I'd sketched earlier on (I have the photo) explained to me that you'd been drinking heavily all night.
Apart from when it's impossible to gain access to them because they're so busy, and on the very rare occasions they've actually chosen to pass, I always draw the wedding couple. When you weren't giving speeches from up on the mezzanine, then showing videos for the entire first half of my booking, you were totally evasive. Whenever I approached, you "hid" by turning away and paying guests extra (formal) attention whilst averting your gaze & pretending I wasn't there. This charade reoccurred each time I came near you. I finally got you to agree to return with your wife but after waiting until past my end time I had to seek you out only to find you in the photo booth alone mucking about making faces at yourself.
When I first arrived you feigned not seeing me for some ten minutes even though I was sketching right in front of your table (which was loaded with bottles of spirits), then came up with an air of furtive paranoia and barked a few dismissive words at me. You turned to go, took a couple of steps, checked yourself, turned again, came back, and without my bringing the subject up, said that I should ask a such-and-such for my fee. You turned to go again, did another double-take, stopped, turned round and came back and announced you yourself were now going to pay me there & then. You tried to count some notes out in your hands several times before realising you couldn't do it, then turned away from me and looking confused began to slowly make little piles on the tablecloth of one of the now-cleared dining tables. There were guests around, and I was wishing you could hurry up - and wondering about you being "a few fries short of a happy meal". After that you darted off, and subsequently despite my best efforts you made it impossible to get near you, much less sketch you and your wife together.
Due to your shifty behaviour upon my arrival, I was on my guard and made sure not to put a foot wrong. There was zero friction of any sort with any of your guests throughout and I certainly wasn't alerted to anything to that effect. I'd just come from another booking and "my eye was in", so my drawings at yours were spot on - I have good photos of them.
It was well past my end time of 12:30am when I left and you rounded on me. Apart from random put-downs the only thing you railed about was not getting your own sketch; by then hardly any guests were still in the venue (the Canal Museum) and the staff were clearing up, so there was no question of us going back in and doing your portraits anyway.
In your "review" you relate a couple of events from another South Asian wedding altogether, that I'd worked at a few months earlier, and which your sister attended - she was overjoyed to see me again at your wedding & got me to draw her a second time. At that one, I was made the focus of a toxic attitude of de facto entitlement and assumed social superiority of the groom and his immediate entourage, then asked, or rather told, to stay on. I couldn't as I had another booking straight after that one - and a train to catch (I can prove this). This "contretemps" (or an attempt at bullying) would account for your insulting me in front of your guests, including cronies from the other wedding. I don't know quite what (peer pressure) led to your display, nor what you had in mind when littering the web with your disingenuous and manipulative "review" - it's certainly nothing to do with my performance...but know this: lying is incredibly hard work - brain imaging studies alone show that it takes far greater mental effort than telling the truth.
In fact what you say doesn't hold any water - since I perform among close-knit social groups, in practice it'd be disastrous if I conducted myself even a bit as incorrectly as you pretend. As things stand, in the past 19 years I've attended some 2,500 private parties, a third of them weddings, and they've practically all gone quite brilliantly.
Guests go to events "at their best", and want to have a pleasant time. Laughter is the best of ice-breakers, and by getting them to giggle and interact, I foster an even better time than they'd otherwise be having, and so they become truly great company, then suddenly another drawing comes together, bringing about yet more smiles and laughter...
Peace and love, and if you don't mind, as Lennon sang, just gimme some truth.
5/21/2018 2:24:27 PM