Volume 1 Issue 37: Famous Character

Sworn Guardian

Jose Varghese

My eyes are fixed on you and all those moving around you. I can’t afford to fail in this task. You are in short sleeves and slacks, and sport flashy sunglasses that accentuate your characteristic smirk.

You seem to look in my direction, but I can be mistaken. If I wanted you to see me, I would have come dressed up like one of your characters. That would have made me a spectacle.

You have your bodyguards. So sweet of the organizers to take that much precaution, but they have no idea what’s in wait for you. The college professor who’s going to introduce and interview you is a jerk. Trust me, I sat in his class for two whole years. He claims to be an expert, talks about your oeuvre, but he’s a liar. His arguments are all plagiarized from research papers abroad. Some are stolen even from online reviews and discussion forums. You know what I mean? He’s going to take you for a ride, Mr. Quentin Tarantino, with his fake accent and recycled ideas. You would get it after the first few minutes. I know you would, you aren’t dumb. Go ahead and snub him.

The real danger lies elsewhere. Part of it comes from a group of researchers who are hell bent on exposing you. They say they won’t let you evade them with your arrogance and well- practiced dismissals. I saw them prepare a list of questions about the real scene of sex and violence in Hollywood. The trap is that forty percent of the session is for your interaction with us. It’s a closed group, and all those who attend this have paid for it. That’s serious game then – not like making fun of some half-educated naive journo struggling with ill-formed questions.

And then, there are the wannabe film makers who, in their own words, celebrate you, or better still, pay their tributes to you, by copying you in their mindless, artless ways. They juxtapose a murder scene with a retro romantic song; remixed, of course. They make the desi villains crawl out of their chawls in cowboy attire. They make them drive endlessly, aimlessly, through dusty roads, with more guns than people in dented vintage cars.

But Mr. Tarantino, you need to know that there are people who really understand your work in this distant land where movies are mostly songs and dances around the trees, or truckloads of tears shed when the plot hits its melodramatic low point. There are people like me, who know that you can be our savior, if we truly understand your craft. Don’t be upset by the chocolate-faced heroes who say they love your craft to just defeat their less fortunate, uneducated fraternity in a spell-game of sorts.

Look at me, I’m not dressed like one of your characters. But I carry the violence deep within me. And, not one but two guns, real ones, in my pockets. See what I do if they try to touch you.

Bio:

Jose Varghese is the author of ‘Silver Painted Gandhi and Other Poems’ and his short story collection ‘In/Sane’ was a finalist in the Beverly Prize, UK. His poems and short stories have appeared in journals/anthologies like The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, Unthology 5, Reflex Fiction, Mulberry Fork Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The River Muse, Chandrabhaga, Kavya Bharati, Postcolonial Text, Dusun, I Am Not A Silent Poet and Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis. He was the winner of The River Muse Spring Poetry Contest, a runner-up in the Salt Flash Fiction Prize and Faber QuickFic, and a second prize winner in the Wordweavers Flash Fiction Prize. He was shortlisted in Hourglass Short Story Contest and two of the Eyewear Fortnight Poetry Prize competitions, and was commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. He is the founder and chief editor of Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts and Strands Publishers.

http://aswinjose.wixsite.com/josevarghese


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