Fair put the idea into Mona’s head. India’s Suitable Boy fuelled the flames.
how Mona became a state-of-the-art writer. She acquired a permanent ink smudge
on her retrousse nose and tucked a gold-embossed pen behind one shell-shaped
The day I
went to see her, she was sitting a rosewood desk cooing at a dictaphone.
for the banal q, I asked her what she was doing. ``Trying to write a book,
darling, that is, if you will let me,`` she replied with careless charm.
“Oh,” I said blankly, “What is it about?”
``That I have
not decided yet,`` she told me loftily. ``When inspiration comes, it comes. You
don’t look for plot, theme, or substance,`` she informed me sweetly.
``But Mona,`` I
protested, ``you must have some idea.``
``Of course I
do, sweetie,`` she trilled. ``It is set in Saidapet, moves to Somwarpet, and from
there to Surat. It’s about a maami in
search of a suitable…``
boy?`` I gasped. Nothing about Mona usually surprises me but this blatant
plagiarism was too much, even for her.
Vikram Seth has already done that,`` she told me kindly. ``This is all about the
search for a suitable suite. It’s kind of a thriller,`` she said vaguely.
of thriller,`` I asked with a straight face. ``Well,`` she lilted, ``there will be a maami, a swami, a film star with an AK-420 and a politician who breeds
dazzled by the ingenuity of such a story-line. ``They love my book, darling,`` she
``Who,`` I asked, startled.
publishers, the talk-show hosts, everyone. Do you know, Salman called it a
clear she took that as a compliment. But I was impressed, despite myself. ``Salman Rushdie?`` I asked in awed tones.
Khan,`` she chided me, in reply.
A thought struck me. ``How can everyone love your
book, Mona, it’s not out yet, is it,`` I asked naively.
She gave me
a pitying look. ``Where have you been, honey? Reams and reams have been written
about me, my literary influences and the colour of my doggie’s leash. I’m
appearing soon on a TV panel discussion on writer’s block. And a deal for film
rights is in the offing. God, it’s a hectic life, that of an author.``
rang just then. Mona fixed an appointment for a photo shoot by the poolside of
a local luxury hotel.
``So when is
your book due for release Mona,`` I queried eagerly.
haven’t started writing it yet. Before I set down the words, I’ve got to decide
whether it will be a long poem in prose or prose in rhyme. Or maybe proesy…
poetry in prose. Or…``
crept away, leaving the celebrated author wresting with these monumental
Labels: book, Humour, writing