(Note: This is a work of satire)
(The Cut published a piece on Priyanka Chopra that likened her to a global scam artist, much to our chagrin. “This farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright bile being broadcast as journalism” was finally taken down with an apology that was noticeably missing.)
I just added yet another phrase to my vocabulary – ‘global scam artist’. Since it was not from the ‘Tharoor collection’ of the unpronounceable, perplexing and intimidating, I didn’t even have to roll my eyes, scratch my head before frantically reaching out for the dictionary. But instead of feeling chuffed about my newly expanded vocabulary, I was consumed by a terrible itch that no ointment could cure.
I wanted to become a ‘global scam artist’.
This was going to be my perfect opportunity for ‘when was the last time you did something for the first time,’ even if it meant having to do three different things at the same time! I had to be an artist, capable of committing a scam, at a global level.
No worries. My work is half done. I already have a ‘to do’ list, thanks to “Is Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s Love for Real?” penned by Marriah Smith.
Who Needs a Groom?
First, I’ll have to have to follow the great Indian tradition of a big ass wedding celebration spanning weeks, with an invitation card as big and roomy as a 1 BHK apartment in Mumbai. I think I’ll name my invite ‘Viraat Kholi.” Since nuptial ceremonies are extravagant spectacles meant to stun our million relatives and friends who we only meet during weddings, it’ll make no sense to the foreign media.
The poor things are used to frugal weddings, where the bride has only one gown to flaunt, and the guests have to contend with wine and whatever goes with it.
They will never be able to comprehend that for most women, getting married is a legitimate excuse to spend lakhs on their trousseau that she’ll only wear once, and then forget all about. The existence of a groom is purely coincidental.
This reminds me, to have a wedding that’ll empty all my offshore accounts, I will need a man willing to marry me. I don’t have one. It can’t be just any man. He has to be rich, successful, decent-looking and at least a decade and a half younger than me!
How to Become a Major Indian Crossover Star
I don’t think this is going to be easy. Right now, all I manage is catcalls from random men on the streets, and enthusiastic candidates from Nicaragua, Kyrgyzstan and Burkina Faso, serenading me with bad grammar and dishonourable intentions on Facebook. They are all far from young.
And when I look around I realise, men in their 20’s and 30’s these days look the same, thanks to their new-found love for facial hair. How will I ever know that the man I winked at suggestively is not the same one who let me place my head on his shoulder while I giggled hysterically at all his jokes! What if I end up seducing half a dozen and end up like Draupadi?
Imagine having five MILs to deal with. Yikes!
There’s another technical problem. To be able to land a successful man I’ll have to be successful myself. Unfortunately for me, I am not born into riches and cannot take the shortcut to success using the crutch of my influential family. I will have to work my ass off for decades to become one of the most successful leading ladies of Bollywood. Then I’ll have to be gusty enough to leave behind my hard-earned success and start afresh in a new industry as a rank newcomer. Because I am unreasonable AF, I will refuse to settle for the crumbs and manage the unimaginable of becoming the first major Indian crossover star in America.
A ‘Brown Woman’ Does the Unthinkable – And the World Loses it
While I am busy indulging myself with luxury yachts, diamonds the size of a pigeon’s egg, a home theatre in my New York apartment, all paid for with my hard-earned riches, I will have to cast my spell on a young white boy looking for a possible fling with Hollywood’s latest It Woman. Since I am a sorceress, I will wave my magic wand and convert this fling into a life-sentence also known as marriage in conventional circles.
Of course, the world will find it inconceivable that I can actually be happy with a boy so much younger and not as successful as me. They will get busy predicting doomsday for my relationship because they have nothing better to do.
A brown woman who is otherwise dismissed as an immigrant, has done the unthinkable. She has made it on her own steam, earned her millions and is enjoying it too. This is simply not done, because this is the prerogative of the privileged white men.
Not to worry. Someone will think really hard to come up with a clever phrase that will diminish my successes in an instant. I will now be known as a ‘global scam artist’ who conned a poor, helpless rich boy into marrying a ridiculously gorgeous woman who made it to Time’s list of 100 most influential way back in 2016.
Damn. This is too much hard work! I was hoping for a 2-minute recipe for success, and ended up with a Jiggs Kalra recipe that requires a zillion ingredients, and a million minutes to cook!
The True ‘Scam Artists’
Wait! It can’t be that bad. What if I take inspiration from our local scam artists with their global reach? Our country overflows with such talent. And each finds a way more creative than the other to hoodwink suckers like you and me. Lots of options. I can take a big fat loan, buy a second passport, pack 26 suitcases and hide in a mansion in London. I can “help” seal an arms deal, deposit my fee in Seychelles and have a blast ringing cow bells in Switzerland.
But my favourite is this.
Let me stand for office. I will promise I will remove poverty, obliterate filth from cities and rivers, remove joblessness, make our farmers happy again and implement administrative reforms.
Once elected, I will rename a bunch of cities and streets instead, tax people to death, build statues beyond the reach of pigeons and show my middle finger. For a sustained career in scam-craft, I can always point my finger at Nehru every time someone lands up at my doorstep looking for achhe din.
My God. I have finally found the winning formula to becoming a global scam artist! Hollywood, you better watch out, you are on your way to becoming HariRamDasPur.
(A teacher not so long ago, Purba Ray took to writing on a whim after leaving her job. Has an opinion on nearly everything, fact or fiction, beginnings or ends, light or heavy, long or short. She tweets at @Purba_Ray. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
. Read more on Opinion by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsArticle on Priyanka-Nick Makes Me Want to Be a Global Scam Artist . Read more on Opinion by The Quint.