Revisiting A Classic: A Confederacy Of Dunces

My detractors tend to be shorter than me, but they also tend to have access to stronger goons.

My favorite blog post, A Confederacy Of Dunces was published on this day, a year back.

My office rant ran into twenty four pages. I wrote this when I had left my Magazine job—when I felt that every inch of energy was being drummed out of me. When I finished it, my eyes were blurred and my body weight had dropped. I had an infection that lasted six months. One day, I would find myself in a hospital bed hearing that my kidney functions are damaged. When I left the hospital, I did not hear back from someone I had known for seven years.

But, this is more beautiful, and more bitter than anything I have ever written. In a few days, it was shared more than four hundred times on Facebook.

The upside: One evening, after this was published, my ex-colleague Miss Michelle (Shiphony Pavithran Suri) would call me. What I heard was a silent cry. “You wrote it just to spoil me, isn’t it. I am so surprised that this is what you think about me?.” I said, “Yes. But, there is not a single word in it that you can deny. What is published in your Magazine—It is their prerogative. What I write on my blog, it is mine. Even if the clotting in your father’s brain turns into hemorrhage, I do not care. I want just that. Now, shall we debate the technical and stylistic imperfections of the piece? ”

I hanged the call, and wrote on my Facebook wall: “Teacher, Shanu called me Michelle.”

And then I remembered the day I shouted at the editors and walked out of the office. When I reached home, there was a deep pain in my chest. I had lost my keys, and my fingers were trembling. I looked at the Calendar and smiled, because it was my last day there. And because it was the 24th of March.

PS:There is not a word about Manu Joseph in this, though all this happened when he was playing with my editors. A serious omission. It is intentional. I had known it all along. I just wanted to be sure, and the ball to be in my court. The essay he claimed to be “academic and dense” got more twitter shares than that of an average column of his. Petty, contemptible creatures think that they can ruin a beautiful work by botching it up. They think that no one would know if they play intra-office politics or ask their minions to botch up my masterpieces. They think that they can make up lame excuses to stop a more talented man when virtually no Indian journalist knows how to write a decent sentence. The narrow-minded semi-literates in this third world country have no self-knowledge. They have no scruples about dragging their shameless women in to such political games. They do not even have the back bone to be straight to someone much younger. Ah, The struggle for survival.

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