Evening in fairyland

Surely not a dream that evening? I still cannot believe it. A feeling of thrill passes through me whenever I think of it. It happened like this.

One evening, a popular TV actress dropped in with a bevy of modern beauties on her heels, and came to the point without much ado. It seems the aim of their newly-built organisation was ‘encouraging empowerment of women’ by honouring those successful in their enterprises. Each field being given its due, I was the chosen one in the literary field.

Of course, I couldn’t believe it and tried my best to wriggle out of the embarrassing situation, but to no avail. It was the decision of their jury comprising worthy persons, and they had to abide by it. Driven there in a car, I just stood stunned by the picturesque resort before me. And the royal welcome! I had to pinch myself to be assured that I was not dreaming, and if not dreaming, that I was alive! A couple of empty wheelchairs trundled beside me since I refused to use it.

Many volunteers walked beside me, behind me and in front of me trying to help, while the staff of the resort saluted me with great respect. Media of all forms met us in between, and I parried off their questions with parrot-like answers (as instructed). “Press are dangerous people,” whispered my escort. “Adept at building spicy stories out of one reply!” I put on a frown to ward them off, but changed it like a chameleon into a charming smile whenever the TV crew appeared.

The opulent interiors and polished efficiency of the staff was mesmerising, while the beguiling beauty of the marble floor gleamed dangerously. “Nowadays, it seems the fashion to go for such floors imitating those of former palaces,” the escort enlightened me. That’s natural, but the royal families residing in palaces moved with their retinues who prevented them from falling, whereas we ordinary citizens, oft with no assistance, succumb easily.

Warm welcome by the hosts, glitzy entertainment, a fashion show, colourful audience, God — everyone seemed to have been churned out at a beauty parlour! (With the exception of me, of course). In a nutshell, it was glamorous, quite unlike our staid literary functions.

By the way, I must repeat a funny conversation overheard between two “seat-neighbours” there. First one: “God, how methodically the models walk, precisely measuring their footsteps! And the superb figure!” Second one: “They don’t eat like us; just fruits, juice and the like till youth passes.” Third one: “Poor things, they are missing the best of life. For afterwards, diabetes, gastritis etc waiting in the wings take over.” 

When my turn came, I decided to speak in our Kannada since I had been invited as a Kannada writer. Maybe the posh audience thought I did not know English, so had a humourous English joke up my sleeve. But barely had I begun when all those on the stage were urgently cleared to make way for a distinguished personage who had been invited to inaugurate the function but had to land perforce at the concluding ceremony.

Delicious dinner, mementos, garlands, minus the former paraphernalia of attendants, wheelchairs etc — the walk back was like that of a just-retired person. 

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Evening in fairyland

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