A Non-sense Novelette
A Dizzy Conquest
With Paharida’s patronage Srirup’s ascendancy in the literary world was now fairly rapid. Would-be poets in book fairs talked about his obscurity and mysticism and some even commented on certain Russian influences.
Housed in the boarding lodge as a fleeting eye sore for the last few years, Chandu had turned into a respectable and displayable guest. His increasingly aggressive demands for endless cups of tea were duly honoured and in frontal view of other envious boarders who did not look kindly at his poem, he was given extra helping of potatoes in the fish curry.
Chandu now had a group of admirers, some of whom of the ‘she’ variety, to his immense satisfaction, flocked around him all the time. Arguably these ladies were nothing much to look at compared to his well-proportioned beloved Nanibala, particularly because Chandu did not care much for the skin and bone variety of the Bengal stock. But with the growing prominence in the literary circles, these were inevitable accompaniments adding to the glamour and the gossips. Of the flock one Menoka with more prominent authority and collar bones than the rest, guarded Chandu zealously round the clock.
After the publication of his first collection of poems ‘The Virgin Omelette’ which, to his intense dismay, received no critical acclaim, a few lines appeared in a daily newspaper questioning the virginity of everything associated with the collection, including the hapless chicken which laid the offending egg.
Srirup was now a household name and his area of work spread beyond poetry. He became a sports analyst in one weekly, though earlier he had avoided anything remotely related to sports after he was cheated in a game and consequently lost all his colourfull collection of marbles at a tender age. A suburban daily published his stamp size photograph with hair and all promoting an herbal liver tonic, though his liver grumbled and rumbled in protest.
But the best thing was his progress to a writer of detective stories for children. All he had to do was reading a lot of dusty moth eaten collected works of fairly incognito authors. The editors had to be overcautious of course, so that two or three budding authors did not reproduce the same detective story.
On Paharida’s stringent stricture Srirup avoided penning down anything remotely agricultural which had the potential of ushering in buffalos and cow dung.
(To be continued…)