Hi Miss India, the message popped up on my screen. On G talk window. Well, I am no Miss India so far as outer beauty or inner beauty is concerned. My role models are SRK and Sourav Ganguly. I respect Mother Teresa but the buck stops there. And I am no 32-22-32. Let me be immodest for a change. At one point of time, I had a figure to flaunt. Then I shifted to Ahmedabad and after being a snob (who looked at Gujarati food with disdain) for some years, I happily gave in to ganthias and Balaji theekha mitha, Bikaner sev bhujias. And it showed on me and now I dread standing on a weighing machine.
But this is not about me striving to be a beauty queen. This is about being on Gmail in the invisible mode.
Mr Shekhar Kapur, please forgive M as he’s the one who started calling me by this name after I told him I work in invisible mode. Please don’t think that I am a celebrity who’s trying hard to hide under his/her glares. Or wearing a dirty track pant or T shirt to avoid fans. My problem is simple: I manage a lifestyle supplement (though I must admit that now I have neither a life nor style. Every evening I go back home to eat a simple dinner cooked by Taraben even as my my lap-top cum music system gives me company. The only tragedy is that everybody thinks that I must be partying hard every night). Being a journo can be quite tiring too. Thanks to incorrigible PR persons, self-obsessed ‘creative’ souls from different fields and the oddballs and screwballs. The moment I log in and the green light shows up…. the chat windows pop up like missiles. Please don’t think that I am popular. I am not…. I am quite a ‘B’ but people have their nefarious designs to see their names in the newspapers. Or worse still their products, clients….. I am just a means to an end. But I have variety so far as chatting is concerned. Sample this CASE I : I will call him SB who works in the corporate sector.
SB: Hi how are you?
ME: Fine, thanks
SB: You didn’t read my book? I am waiting for your comments
ME: Wasn’t well (partly true but I think the book is lying somewhere in my drawer and I have no desire for self-improvement so I just kept it there and forgot about it)
SB: ohhhhhhh take care, btw, are you from Bhubaneswar?
SB: How nice (ME thinking: what’s so nice.. I would have preferred to be born in Paris and not in some capital city of a poor state). Do you stay in Forest Park?
ME: No, I am not Naveen Pattnaik’s cousin ( ME: Thinking Forest Park is the poshest locality in Bhubaneswar… and it’s the place where all political bigwigs and retired civil servants stay. My dad was a retired professor)
SB: lol (I hate this expression… I can murder people for expressing like this).. You have a funny sense of humour (Tell me something which I don’t know about myself)
SB: Let’s meet for coffee (ME Thinking: I am waiting for a day when somebody will say let’s make love over coffee)
ME: OK …. (Actually I m running out of steam)
I can’t be rude cause you never know when I need his quote for some story. I quietly slip into invisible mode.
She’s from my part of the country. She runs a PR agency. She always speaks as if she’s speaking from an earthquake ravaged place. When the event is really big, her voice sounds as if she’s having an orgasm. First she sends me email about the event. Then she smses me. And then she calls me up (I don’t pick up her calls because by that time I know the event details by heart. I hate to listen to her ‘I am so lost… distressed’ voice in the morning… And I leave the orgasm part to her equally drab husband). But she’s not the one to be satisfied. She catches me on Gtalk to ask me whether I have received her mails/smses and blah blah… God, what have I done to deserve this bombardment?
I saved her number under the code ‘danger.’ On a rainy August evening when I was recovering from a bad wrist injury, she called me up 16 times. First 3 calls I ignored. Then I smsed her telling “I am out with my friends for a dinner. Will get back to you.” The truth was I was lying on my bed and reading a novel. When the call reached No 9, I felt as if the underworld is after my life. Very soon, bhailog will light my pyre. In the
end, I got so sick that I picked up the phone and she told me “I love your caller tune. So I thought if you don’t pick up I will hear it for a long time.” Some innovative idea, I must say. The caller tune was a song from Love Aaj Kal and may be I should ask Imitiaz Ali for compensation. As if that was not enough, Miss Danger sent me a Tsunami like mails on her uncle who’s a healer. And then one day, she popped up on the chat:
DANGER: Hi when are you doing the story on uncle?
ME: Will see.
DANGER: Do it fast. He’s old (omg, he’s going to leave this world soon)
ME: OK (what can I say to this)
And then there are other people who pop up to ask me how’s your fractured leg (even after telling them I had a wrist fracture). They seem to be obsessed with my legs (well, I give no competition to Bipasha Basu). Thank God, they never asked me about my fractured head or something like that. Or those who know about mom’s illness through somebody and somebody pop up to say “We are praying for her (They have not even seen my mom’s photo). Don’t worry… we are telling you our prayers will work.” Man, if that’s what it’s in the end, my mom would have started playing a 20-20 cricket match by now instead of lying on the bed. I have no patience for ‘G’ sympathy. I am happy without it.
So, being Miss India (Read Miss invisible) actually helps me a lot. Ha ha I can see everybody and nobody can see me. I was obsessed with this idea of being invisible and yet seeing other people’s lives since childhood days. Blame it on my wild cancerian imagination. But now I can only see green, red dots with their status messages. But for the moment it will do………… And I can ping somebody if I want to. Happy to be Miss India. But ‘M’, where’s my crown?