Bachelor to bachelor
Dear Mr Rushdie,
I have just finished reading your latest novel with great interest. As a history buff, I am enchanted by the incisive historical-cum-psychological portraits you have done of the Emperor Akbar, his family and the important members of his court. The task of capturing the zeitgeist of Akbar’s era has been accomplished by you as none other could have done. As a worthy inheritor of India’s pluralism and the West’s liberalism you have produced a work of fiction par excellence.
Along with the book, your magnetic personality drew the press towards you like bees to honey. Your most innocuous actions have been in the limelight and the popping flashbulbs announce your celebrity status loud and clear. Your four beautiful celebrity ex-wives have also been a testimony to the ease with which you move about in your social circuit. But not everybody can pull it off. We, the rabble, unlike a much-married and chastened you actually look forward to marry and live happily ever after from the day we attain marriageable age (which, as you know, still varies in India).
It is my humble request on behalf of all unmarried souls not to dissuade us from tying the knot. Unlike you, a wedding is our only chance to be the centre of attention, if only for one day. We respect your untimely advice on matrimony but I have no shame in telling you outright that I won’t be following it. One can sympathise — and even empathise — with you when you had to part with hefty cheques each time you got alimonous. Thank the lord that you could afford them.
As an avid fan of your writing, I am awaiting your next book which you say will be a children’s book dedicated to your son. And talking about children, that’s one thing that we, the rabble, can look forward to having in this country only after getting married. And not to an imaginary wife like Emperor Akbar has in your latest book.
Yours in admiration,
A Bachelor Not From Florence