With two humorous pieces in print, I was elated. Such was my joy that I seriously toyed with the idea of acquiring a suitable nom de plume. ‘Sharma’ was far too commonplace. And Satish? Even criminals wouldn’t have it as an alias. But the joy was short-lived. A senior colleague commented, “I read your piece. I always thought you were a serious person, though.”
Whatever did he mean? It’s the trouble with all attempts at humour writing. Even if you get past those dreaded rejection e-mails, people begin to take you for a clown. Worse is the drubbing at the hands of those who take humour at face value.
It was a painful realisation of how obtuse the common man can be. A couple of pieces on my expanding baldness saw the light of the day. People who never cared to grant me a second look began to pay extra attention to my thinning hair. Advice came pouring in on what I should do to save the precious strands that clung on in sheer hope of better days. Some even suggested ways to get back the full crop. That was, if I may say so, rather depressing.
One fellow, and I shudder at the thought, assured me that I looked pleasant enough despite my glowing pate. The crowning glory was when he effortlessly rattled off the names of some famous baldies.
I had barely got them all out of my hair when people started taking pity on my modest golfing skills. But how could I blame them? After all, I had written about it. There was a mad rush of fellow golfers ready to help me improve my game. People, who could never hole a sitter, began to give me tips on putting.
Did this response, I wondered, mean that I could hardly lay any claim to writing humour? For my issues were being taken up far more seriously than intended at any point in time.