It is a truth acknowledged in social media that a woman possessing humour must actively seek trolls – Narayani V Manapadam
I replayed the video for the thirteenth time. I had spent thirteen days shooting the spoof on news anchors. So why did ‘Fifty Notes of Noise’ sound like a farrago of opera singers and fish markets masquerading as British humour?
“It lacks your trademark punch!”
I jumped like a cat which had spotted a cucumber. Invoking Maa Kali, I did Anulom Vilom thrice and turned around. My eyes must have popped out of my head, for I could feel their temporary journey outside my body.
With a deadpan expression, the man in the red turban was seated on the settee.
Gathering my wits, I broke the ice. “I knew my musings weren’t loud enough to wake the dead. But they brought one to my room.”
His face remained as blank as Bhai in his 100-crore movies. I extended my hand towards him and introduced myself.
Bhatti Saab waved it off. “No need for that. You’re the creator of that atrocious YouTube Channel Chronicles of Narayani.”
Two years of toil and the subsequent pride in garnering ninety-seven (and increasing) subscribers for my viral channel tumbled out and offered themselves to be punctured by his trademark wit.
Undeterred, Bhatti Saab continued. “I came back from the dead to recuscitate humour. Whatever happened to the good old days?”
“It’s the age of social media. You go to jail for even forwarding a cartoon,” I sprung to my defence.
“So you stop creating satires?” he asked, raising a bushy eyebrow. “Are you afraid, madame?”
“Who wants to invite trolls?”
Bhatti Saab leaned back against the wall with an exasperated sigh. “You should allow criticism to slide – you know, like water off a duck’s back.”
“Try directing one of your shows today, and then we’ll sing,” I retorted. I tried to conjure up images of him in Tihar jail, teaching the inmates the A-Z of satire. I burst into giggles.
As if reading my mind, Bhatti Saab replied, “Jests in Jail must have been on its way to the screens.”
“So you’re implying that I’m not bold enough,” I mumbled.
“Your blogs were so enjoyable. It’s sad you became conscious in front of the camera.”
I straightened up, wide-eyed. “What? You have read them? Really?”
Bhatti Saab nodded. “That’s why I decided to pay you a visit. My hands were itching to do something meaningful.”
“Even the dead itch, do they?” I smiled at him.
“The creative ones… yes.”
I turned to face my laptop. I opened the blog I had written in jest – about preferring Western wear. The article had garnered a thousand likes and sparked two trends that catapulted their originators to fifteen seconds of the limelight.
“You’re right, sir!” I turned again to face him, but he was gone.
Time to reshoot the video! Smiling broadly, I went to YouTube to rename my channel – The Not So Flop Show.