A thrill ran down my spine. I had got what would have been called a fatwa. I am not sure whether there was prize money offered for my head or something else but it sure sounded like an edict. It came from Blogger, which gave it international appeal and made me feel like I had crossed all barriers. As some of you might be aware, I have a special affinity towards this fatwa thingie.
At first I thought it was fake but the fatwa-hungry part of me took it seriously. I awaited the time when I’d be martyred. Salman Rushdie would pen The Boor’s Last Sigh; Taslima Nasreen would finally discover a Bengali ghetto in Sweden and live happily ever after in that free country. No one would care about those drawing Danish cartoons or doing things to holy books. All the world’s attention would be on me and my rantings about holes in ceilings and skies with feelings. My poems would be deconstructed even as it is known that they were never constructed in the first place.
Media houses would have debates on the freedom to express sexual desires towards oneself. I’d have mikes thrust near my mouth to emphasise the point just made.
The mullahs, sadhus, priests and transvestites would come on one forum to agree. Some literary giants would join in the chants because I was assaulting their idea of prosaic prosody and had transformed the iambic pentameter into an octometer only because I like things big.
Blogger was going to make me big. Next day I looked suitably rebellious and ready for e-martyrdom. The dashboard had a few lines written in red (I think. Yes, dammit, sometimes I do.) It said, “Your blog will be deleted in 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and your readers will see a warning page during this time. After we receive your request, we'll review your blog and unlock it within two business days.”
Business days? Readers? They knew I had readers? I did? It gave me other details which are not suitable for people planning families. Isn’t stuff that is unsuitable that goes into Spam? I wanted to cry my heart out and give a little speech about how I had given my blood (A+), toil (never mind), sweat (with expensive unisex deodorant), tears (the real McCoy and not crocodile) to this little space.
This could not be happening to me. I had not reproduced salacious pictures, and I cannot help it if Modigliani and company did nudes. I had not written anything that adults under 30 have not experienced and those over that age might desire. I did write about politics, but who does not? I wrote about religion, but everyone prays. I even exposed my soul because our culture talks of the atman/rooh as though it is something tangible. I did it without any expectations or benefit to self.
I have suffered, uff, I have! Yet, I put on a brave face and sallied forth, thinking that those few people who Blogger assumes read me would take me for what I am.
Those words in red stared at me as though I were a common criminal. And, mind you, the red was ordinary font, not even embossed or engraved. I smiled the shaheed smile, the one which looks like you are carrying cyanide pellets in your head. I would be in hiding and imagined being exiled in some country where the temperature dips to an inelegant low; how would I look in faux fur and mannequin mink? And why should I not alliterate, after all it would be F’s Fatwa? I started thinking about the bodyguards who would one day pen a book about what all I did not do.
It must have taken 15 minutes of my useless time for such cogitations. By then I had read all the dos and don’ts of the Blogger Das Kapital, and nothing that I had written crossed any limits.
Yes, do what you want, I muttered. I did a cocky head nod and my mouth curled into a sneer. I was mid-way into my ‘hah’ when my test post went through. I had entered the den as a tigress and ended up chasing a ball of wool. I clicked on request to unlock. Okay, it was 20 days away before I was told to clean up and move the hell out. Then I checked the dashboard and those red words had disappeared. Did they do their checking already? Was it some Ku Klux Klan doing its underground research and waiting for me to bite the bait? Or did they believe that I wasn’t worth the fatwa spewed from the mouths of greater believers?
I knew it. This fatwa desire shall remain unfulfilled. It is entirely possible that in this holy month, it is god’s idea of doing zakat towards me.
So, friends, desperate housewives, gigolos and whoever else I have offended, do remember to keep up the vigil and all. Meanwhile, I am assuming this may just fizzle out. But if you see a note that does not let you access this blog and you really want to access it, then remember to write a nice little obit.
In my next birth I will be a blog.
PS: My other blogs here have no writing in red. Yet.