In one of those sessions where they discuss me, someone asked, “Who is Farzana Versey?” (Why are people so blah and blah about her and so forth…)
She is Nobody. I mean, she does not appear in any tangible form all that often. Therefore, she could be deemed a ghost. How do people react to ghosts? They get spooked out, or they are fascinated, or they create stories.
I shall talk about the last…
The story begins often with a straight narration of the person who was. The words she spoke/wrote…in the course of the retelling, people add their own bits. A mythology is created around stray sentences. Mythologies are not based on context; they need not be. Now, without a context, the ghost can appear really evil.
The advantage when you create such a spook is you can give it several nuances and accuse it of double standards. This is precious. The ‘subject’ has said clearly what she believes in, she has provided her version of facts, she has not gone back on anything. Where are the double standards? And on what grounds do those making the accusations believe that their versions of the facts are right? They assume she has created ‘villains’. It is really adding Bollywood masala to a good ole ghost story.
The spectre needs that whistling wind sound, flickering candles…it also needs a ‘hook’.
This is where the other issue of elitism comes in. That is really difficult to digest. It makes even a joke attempt ‘humour’. So the ghost appears in her outsize Chanel shades. Anyone with a quarter of a brain will know that if one is to portray someone as posh, then you do not place her standing near a paanwalla asking for tambakoo. But, and this is the crucial BUT, this is the paradigm the individuals concerned are accustomed to. They probably pronounced Chanel as “Channel”, which was earlier enunciated as “Chaa-null” during the times they got excited when some aunt brought home “Chaa-null number paanch” (Chanel No.5), which is where they get to the paanwalla… “arre bhai, jaraa choona-tambakoo maarna paanch sau bees par”.
These people are now settled in the US, have done well, and are lauded for their lifestyle (which means Shaan masala sprinkled over the Brie)…they are investment bankers, software engineers. They first learned to knot their ties like salesmen; then they got to the US where they whistled at anyone with freckles imagining she was a gori.
Can you blame them if they are stuck in the groove?