An old windbag, after waxing on about what a genius at embroidery her daughter was, once asked me what my talent was. I blinked, stuttered a bit, and then weakly said, “I like writing”. She snorted. “No, don’t you have any real talent?”
No. I don’t actually, coming to think of it.
I could sketch decently once. That is now limited to doodling during telecons or drawing boxes for KO. My singing attracts amorous camels. I’ve done one stint of Salsa fairly recently, but my dancing isn’t going to be impressing any rain gods any time soon.
I am not really musically challenged, seeing as I can tell an A Minor from a G-string, but I have never really taken to a musical instrument. Some people are born to play, and others are born to be played for. I can cook and bake in a non-Michelin-starred-chef kind of way. That’s more likely to add weight to a matrimonial resumé.
I can bring my feet up to my face. But I don’t think that qualifies as a talent. Anyway, it’s not as cool as Bunny’s ability to skip using his arms. He once asked me what I thought he could do with it; I suggested he do it at the traffic lights to make some money. May be I’m good at making nonsense suggestions. Does that qualify as a talent? I morph and create rude pictures of BC to be sent out on every festive occasion. That’s nonsense again.
The written word. It’s pretty much all I’ve really got. I think.
As I think back over the years, my attempts at writing have always gotten me into trouble. Well, trouble with the wrong sort, anyway – the sort without a sense of humour. The kind of people not really worth knowing or tolerating as far as I am concerned.
Writing and trouble – oh, yes, we go back a long way.
Reading just sort of goes hand-in-hand with writing. And so I learned of the birds and the bees slightly earlier than those around me. Consequently, at around the age of 7 or 8, I found myself being chased around the playground by an incensed Fightercock Lakshmi, who was yelling, “You said babies come from the bottom!” “Not bottom,” I shot back over my shoulder as I scooted ahead, “I said ******, stupid!” “You called me a stupid!”, she squealed still galloping behind me. “No, I said ‘stop it’, you idiot!” I shouted back as I tried to put more distance between us while avoiding an obstacle course some kindly diarrheic cow had laid out earlier that day.
Then there was that matter of that Garden of Eden depiction with my pal Mushroom a while later.
When I was all of 10 or 11, a handful of us were hauled up for penning fake letters to a classmate as a joke. Well, the rest were contributors while I did the actual penning. Unfortunately, the said victim did not have a sense of humour. She ratted us out to the Maths teacher, who took it upon herself to lecture us on immorality, the wages of sin being death, the “foolishness of virgins” and how she would like to “hung her head in shame” for our wicked deed. It’s a different matter that I might have wanted to “hung my head” at the grammar.
Nonetheless, she must have been fairly convincing. For she had me praying fervently to the Lord for forgiveness when I was beckoned to the principal’s office soon after. I was certain I would be expelled. As it turned out, it had nothing to do with those letters. Oo, KO’s sister who now traipses around Ireland with a butterfly net trying to catch leprechauns, had chosen that week to faint at the breakfast table. I was the sole witness when she flopped face-first into a bowl of icky wheat porridge. I can’t really blame her. You should have seen that cess-pool matter they called porridge. The principal, for reasons best known to her, simply wanted to know how long Oo had been comatose. She’d regained conscious right about the time I yanked her head out of the bowl. I left the office with a commendation for having saved Oo from drowning in porridge.
Anyhow, I digress. Again.
Cut to 2010. I was in trouble again. This time for penning a post that supposedly showed my community in a bad light and insulted Ducky’s “lineage” in front of “the whole world” (I love that they thought my readership was that huge). A post that most people chuckled at. Except the ones that lacked a sense of humour and figured the piece was all about them. I was given lectures on tradition, “respecting elders”, how no Brits would touch me with a barge pole (which would prove a tad ironic later), how I churned out no material of “journalistic excellence” (who’s going for a Pulitzer anyway?) and so forth. Plenty of drama that would put an Indian soap opera to shame later, the offending post stayed. The non-funny-boned, sons-of-our-soil, last-standing-bastions-of-tradition people did not. Nonetheless, when people are more hypocritical than they are critical, it’s easy to cut your so-called losses and blog on.
So, yes. You can take the blah out of my writing. But you cannot take writing out of Blah.
What absolute piffle. It sounded a tad better in my head. Then again, this is my blog. I can put whatever the hell I want in here.
That’s right. For the whole world to see.