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Will the 'real Salman Rushdie' please stand up?

books Updated: Sep 20, 2011 07:39 IST

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Days after author Salman Rushdie took to Twitter, he was accosted by users of the micro-blogging website in Pakistan keen on finding out whether he was the real deal or just someone operating a spoof account.

Using the handle "@SalmanRushdie1", the controversial novelist put out his first tweet on Thursday but was unable to get his account verified by administrators of the website.

As word spread of his arrival on Twitter and he began tweeting more frequently, users in Pakistan on Monday began questioning whether the account was genuine.

Omar Waraich, a British journalist based in Islamabad, decided to ask Rushdie that "would likely have eluded all but the shrewdest of impostors".

In a tweet, Waraich asked Rushdie where acclaimed Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz had sought refuge from a mob in 1947.

Rushdie promptly replied: "Under my aunt Begum Majeed Malik's carpet, in her cellar in Karachi. Now stop it everyone. It's becoming dull."

Another Twitter user, Ali Dayan Hasan of the Pakistan chapter of Human Rights Watch, decided to probe further. He asked Rushdie to give the middle name and nickname of a woman known to the author.

Rushdie again supplied the correct answers, describing Hasan as a "suspicious fellow".

Rushdie had a gift for his growing tribe of followers on Twitter - a new short story called "A Globe Of Heaven" - written in the micro-blogging site's messages of just 140 characters.

Rushdie tweeted that new parts of the story would be posted every day.

The author also took time to vent his ire at the person who had appropriated the handle "@salmanrushdie". He tweeted - "@salmanrushdie" who are you? why are you pretending to be me? Release this username. you are a phoney. all followers please note."

Though born in Mumbai to a family of Kashmiri origin in June 1947, Rushdie s family moved to Pakistan shortly after India's independence.

Several of his relatives lived in Karachi and Rushdie briefly worked as a television producer in Pakistan.