So there are some developments. This is as personal as it can get. Sharing them with you here is the most appropriate and pertinent. You will realise why.
Several of you, going by the tenor of posts here, must have guessed that there is something brewing in my life with an accent on the future. Well, it is here!
A few weeks ago a stocky man with matching yellow teeth approached me with a proposal that was too good to be true. First of all, he claimed to have read all my intemperate writing on the blog. Now whenever someone says that, I am filled with a strange concoction of emotions. Of gratitude, surprise with an ‘are you for real’ kind of feel. Worse, he said the blog had a ‘lazy elegance to it’. ‘Lazy elegance’ is something that I reserve in reverence for the cover drives of David Gower. It perked my ears so much that my face had to work hard to keep the ears stitched to their place.
‘We must meet’ he said, on the phone.
So we did. At a five star hotel. ‘I’ll pay’, he said, even before we ordered anything. He gave subtlety such a stretch that it expanded its horizons considerably and got a new soul. His accent was impeccable, the perfume that he wore stood out and there were no creases on the cotton trousers. These things don’t matter much, you would think. Well, yes and no.
But what he had to offer, sure did. A job. A new swell job.
“You have to travel to parts of the world, talk to people source stories of their livelihood, click pictures to embellish the stories and tell it to the world”. On his magazine and website that is. ‘ You have a an uncanny knack of connecting strange dots’ he said, revealing teeth that suddenly seemed less yellow than they were half an hour before.
You could well imagine that my heart was at a different ebb. A fight to conceal the height of the ebb ensued. With a certain self effacing grim look, furrowing my brow, I asked, ‘why me?’
‘Oh. I need a fresh perspective. A bloggers perspective’ He said, resuming sipping his peach flavoured ice tea. That was that. His effortless eloquence was wafting in its brevity, when the questions were a tad important. Important to me, that is.
I told him that I had to think about it.
“Look”, he said, “The money is good. It will cover your home loan, pay for a world class education for your daughter and leave you with enough money for your missus to be happy.” And with a taciturn smile added, “and ofcourse, for your books. Unlimited purchases allowed on company account.” I felt my stomach churn. I seem to have shared way too much on the blog. Or he had been reading my mind. He knew the right buttons. Damn.
But more was coming. He was just warming up. “Your first assignment will be in the Nordic countries. You can start next week..I mean, as soon as you are ready. We’ll have the tickets arranged” He continued. In a span of time that can be safely called ‘very short’, he made me an offer and in another fifteen minutes, increased it by 50%.
I felt like a flower. Floating in the air and resting on a leaf.
Everything was perfect. The only let down was perhaps his sense of humour. Which swung from the sublime to the silly. I didn’t know which was worse. His sense of humour or his own impressions of his sense of humour. But that’s another unnecessary side-story. Let me not digress.
In another fifteen minutes, he had got me to tamely agree to his terms, making them seem like my terms. “So, see you next week. My secretary Cynthia will reach out to you with the other formalities. She is a lovely lady and you better be nice to her”, he said. Letting out a loud belching laughter, that caused every eyebrow in the vicinity to arch in annoyance. I couldn’t care less. The row of yellow teeth seemed to be glowing white.
My head spun in happiness. We were wrapping up. He was preparing to go his way and to fill in a brief interlude of silence, “Is there anything that you want me to work on immediately?” I asked. More as a matter of courtesy than anything else.
“Nothing at all” he said. In quarter of a second, he jumped with energy filled gusto “As a matter of fact there is. Change your blog. Get your own website. And what kind of a silly name is ‘Kavi’s Musings’? You are not Salman Rushdie, are you? Get a website in your name. It will be good for you.”
I couldn’t connect this bit about Salman Rushdie. But then, my heart was all over the place to pay heed to hideous logic. Plus my head was still unrelenting in its spin as I saw the cotton trousers disappear into what seemed like a horizon.
I don’t know for how long I continued sitting in the five star hotel. The next I knew the missus was shaking me up. As a strong filter kaapi began to shake each nerve and wake every ounce of blood that coursed the veins, reality struck that the short stocky man with the silly yellow teeth had played the most cruel trick on me by making the offer when the eyelids were firmly shut in slumber.
Of course, the missus laughed on hearing the story as I pranced about the balcony with poise. The silly dream was still sticking.
“So, the next time, you meet the short stocky man with shiny white teeth, who offers you a pot of gold in exchange of you having to visit the most exotic places on earth, carry a camera around and write about them all, negotiate a better deal”.
“Like?” I asked. In irritation, with a ‘whats wrong with you’ tone. How better can the deal get?
“Well, tell him that your stories come alive better when the family is around with you in your travel.” She said that with great poise and without bating an eyelid.
I gave her a grim steely glazed look that I reserve for those moments where I have been conscious enough to realise that whatever I say could be held against me later on.
With the reflex action of a kid who has lost an argument to the class bully and goes around kicking the cupboard, I decided to do away with the blog and launch this website in my name. www.kaviarasu.com !
I hope you like it. Please tell me you do.The next time the short stocky man arrives, I must be prepared. To negotiate a better deal, you see.