The day was dedicated solely to only my elder niece (remember the sweet angel?). I have to prepare her for exam in English. So my student comes all dressed and enthusiastic at 8.30 prompt. We do homonyms, articles; Russian Folk Tale…the magic of words is all around. I am happy; there is something about the English language, or language for that matter.
I was happier discussing EB White’s painting in words, Charlotte’s Web. It is a different story, depending upon how old you are; one of barn animals, of true friendship between a spider and a pig. Of growing up and distant from simpler pleasures of life, of sacrifice and giving without expectations, of my favorite theme…love, simple, all encompassing, love.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is when the dying Charlotte (the spider) explains why she went to great lengths to save Wilbur’s (the pig) life.
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
I love his description of the seasons, in fact his description of everything.
“The early summer days on a farm are the happiest and fairest days of the year. Lilacs bloom and make the air sweet, and then fade. Apple blossoms come with the lilacs, and the bees visit around among the apple trees. The days grow warm and soft. School ends, and children have time to play and to fish for routs in the brook. Avery often brought a trout home in his pocket, warm and stiff and ready to be fried for supper.”
The way he talks in the same breath about a human child and that of a bird’s
“In early summer there are plenty of things for a child to eat and drink and suck and chew. Dandelion stems are full of milk, clover heads are loaded with nectar, the Frigidaire is full of ice-cold drinks. Everywhere you look is life; even the little ball of spit on the weed stalk, if you poke it apart, has a green worm inside it. And on the underside of the leaf of the potato vine are the bright orange eggs of the potato bug.”
I think the best way to learn is, to teach a child. The key here, is to actually learn, a process that has to be as actively conscious as proof reading. As most of you must have noticed I so lack in it.
The day progressed; my scammer finally upped his game. Flashback: Well I was registered on this matrimonial website some time back, yes been there…So I find this person, rather this person found me…A fairly decent looking Caucasian, an American oil rig engineer , whatever that means. He got my number from there and messaged me about how he loved Indians, and all that.
The red herring was that he had no references….no family, no friends…no traces; even the job was a freelance one! How does one trust someone who does not leave a trail?
So I used our friendly neighborhood Google and whoa! Seems our friend here has multiple alibi, multiple locations, and hundreds of women victims. Anyway, why would I shy away from a potential story;) , so I played along. An affirmation of love came every now and then…and I was THE woman!!
So while my highbrows met my hairline; not once did I sound anything appropriately skeptical and ‘just enough’ interested. So when he hinted at being a little upset, it was my cue. I asked, “What’s wrong dear?” and along came the story of his equipment being stuck at the customs in UK, and how he needed a few thousand pounds. I offered to help, which he more than jumped at. I said I have no cash but a friend would come and pay him, in the UK. As predicted, the pride came around and he said if you can wire the money fine, else I don’t need from a friend.
I agreed, and said well I understood but I was an Indian princess and all my money was governed by a trust and how for his love, I would come down and pawn all my jewelry…I mean heirlooms at a Bond Street jeweler, but ‘honey’ please give me your address. Honey panicked and suddenly did not want the money…but I had made up my mind to help, so I was leaving all behind and coming! Oh and the carrot kept getting bigger, I upped the amount to a couple of million pounds, after all where would my inheritance go but to my love??
The conversation that ensued was a riot, the hunter did not still guess, he was now the hunted. While the lure of money kept getting bigger, so did the threat of me coming over. The princess from the exotic land of India…Poor Guy! He just sent me a message saying how much he cared, and how I needn’t inconvenience my dainty feet when a mere small little draft would do…aww!!
While EB White has his virtues, can’t deny the help that all those seedy novels, by obscure writers offer!. Pawning heirlooms at Bond Street indeed; or was it a loan against them?
I wonder why these scamsters don’t research better. Don’t give their story more lead time? Maybe they find gullible people who don’t think so much…seems his business model is working! And to think of it…I seemed susceptible enough, in some way, for him to have approached me…I am appalled.
Does it disturb me? No..I am nothing if not a writer by now, if not in reality then at least in my mind and heart…Good, bad, ugly…I love experiences, I love anything that has a story…
So my virtual Shahryārs wait for another tale tomorrow, this Scheherazade promises to bring you at least a one hundred and one.