Being a nose and quite a prominent one at that has its downsides. Especially when you are sitting right in the middle of the face of UP’s newest and youngest chief minister designate and the media’s latest blue eyed boy,and you’re getting all the attention, hogging the limelight, and getting most of the credit for his electoral success.
I can tell Akhilesh-bhai doesn’t like my prominence one bit.
Trust Door-knob Goswami to sense the conflict right away. “Aha” he said pointing his finger at me in his characteristic accusatory manner on prime time news. “You’re the one who made Rahul’s ambitions nose-dive!”
Before the newly-minted Chief Minister designate of India’s most populous state could give him a bloody nose thinking he was singling me out for the praise, Door-knob, the nosey parker that he is, followed this up with, “But how on earth did you steal Mayawati’s mantle from right under her nose?”
‘Er, easy on the nose references’ I wanted to whisper, but I was whisked away before I could caution the august and shellacked anchor on Yadav’s Pinocchio complex.
Our next TV experience was hardly any better. Current Thappad was interviewing us for his evening slot and he got straight to the point. (The point between Akhilesh’s eyes – which only infuriated him further.)
“Is it true” said Thappad in that slightly sinister way he has of circling around his target before going in to the kill. “Is it true that you sniffed out the failings in your own party because of your legendary olfactory device, and then put your nose to the wheel and came up with an all new face for the Samajwadi party?”
‘Easy boy,’ I wanted to signal, ‘AY’s s nose is his Achilles’ heel,’ but before we knew it, I was in another studio, being interviewed by another star anchor.
This time it was Large-deep Stardaytime who had my owner in the hot seat. Large-deep’s manner of an Oxford don who’s just won his first boat race was less menacing than Thappad’s, but that didn’t mean he turned up his nose at smelling a controversy and stirring up more trouble for me.
“Caste politics were expected to sway the electorate” he said in his professorial manner “but it looks like the incumbent’s reputation for corruption did her party in. Undoubtedly a nose by any other name is what mattered.”
Before AY could respond, there was a commotion in the studio and a short sweaty man with very tousled silver hair bounded in, grabbed an interviewee’s chair and proceeded to jab his finger into the camera as he talked nineteen to the dozen. “Jewel Ate is here” one of Akhileshji’s aides whispered to him in awe. “He’s a fixture on Large-deep’s shows and the country’s top spin doctor. Very opinionated, very flashy, and known to tweet his mind.”
“Mr Yadav, I see a problem” said Mr Ate, “jabbing his digit in to Akhileshji’s face like he was playing Hamlet. “You have a problem that’s large and obvious and right in front to you” he said with a flourish. It’s going to be your downfall and your nemesis Mr Yadav. It will drag you to the depths of despair and be the reason for your annihilation-unless you do something about it” he said theatrically. “Unless you do something very soon.”
‘And what is that?’ whispered my owner looking awed and very frightened.
“It’s simple Mr Yadav,” said Mr Ate, the country’s top spin-doctor and marketing guru “the answer is staring us all in the face: You’ll have to cut your nose to spite your face!”
And that folks is how my nascent career nose-dived.
Called a ‘chronicler for social mores’ by the New York Times, Malavika Sangghvi is a leading columnist who’s launched more print trends, newspapers, supplements, and columns than she can (or wants to) remember. Besides supporting a lifestyle she cannot afford by freelancing – she listens to the blues, hangs out by water bodies and watches human beings in hotel lobbies and on mean streets. She’s also an unabashed people-watcher and legendary eavesdropper on random conversations. Be careful around her or she’ll out your secrets.
(courtesy: News Laundry)