I’ve been written about if you please. Under an alias of course, because it has nothing to do with my achievements [when they be, if and ever]. Well, okay, not in the cold cash-like material sense, or even in the Nobel contribution to humankind sense but more for the unwitting abuse I’ve heaped upon my self. Once upon a time.
So the writer of this piece, she interviewed me, charmed my toes off and got me to say all sorts of droll things until I realised that I was saying them about myself. You see it’s all very well to have my fifteen minutes of fame, but thank you very much, I’ll have them when the Pulitzer committee chances fortuitously by this page.
So after having partaken of a genteel cup of earl grey with me, when she left carrying her cloud of charm quite suddenly out of the room, I retrieved my senses rapidly and sent her a pathetic little text, clinging to as much dignity as the abbreviated lettering of sms allows, saying “pl, change name. thank u v much”
To which she replied “ok” after a gut wrenching, swear-vocabulary exhausting four and a half minutes.
So yesterday when the magazine man came with the latest edition of The Magazine, I raced through it to discover that I’d been quoted, under a not real name that’s shuddersomely close to my real name. It is that obscene mispronunciation of my name that sets my teeth on edge and makes me a very very tight-lipped person [in all its florid interpretations].
But what really caught my eye and stopped me in my track [which, given that even during my most lucid moments I’ve the attention span of a split lizard, isn’t saying much] was this: appended to my thinly masked not real first name, was the name that has become my secret nemesis.
Secret, because we like to pretend we don’t notice these things. Nemesis, because two successive boyfriends-with-the-same-surname down it’s become difficult not to notice; especially since, in one of those incestuous quirks of history or quirks of historical incest [we might never discover which] we’ve discovered that this particular clan of ‘said surname’ are ALL related to one another.
So, this surname that reeks of historical quirks and axed-Xs now has the dodgy distinction of being the ONLY surname our little writer could trawl up from the cacophony of Indian surnames that clutter one’s surname consciousness – that little corner devoted solely to remembering and slotting people by their surnames [something that we excel at so excellently in these parts] – to attach to my not real name.
Then I figured, breathing deeply, exhaling impurity, inhaling goodliness, that there are so many widely, gaily, uniquely different reasons in the world to get pissy. Why blame one’s emotional orientation on a lovely little girl who was only trying to do her job?
See that’s the thing about little girls and little boys who dimple their sunshine smiles at you, setting the room aglow with gay showers of charm and sweetness. It’s difficult to remain pissy, even if they show you up for a deluded loon, armed as they are with damning evidence that “you said so yourself”.
Reminds me of a recent episode in my soon-to-be short-lived career as a filmmaker, when I showered similar meteors of charm in the decadent drawing room of my English teacher from college, conning her into the most atrocious self-lampooning interview I have ever conducted, as I sipped on delicately brewed Darjeeling tea from her stodgy English teacups.
Obviously, there is some great karmic cycle at work here.