Monday, April 27, 2020

Another day in paradise

-- 500 words
-- Write a fictional/non-fictional piece about/ around/ a dinner party
-- Tone of a gossip column (Think Stardust and "Nita's natter" or Mayank Austen Soofi's Delhi-walla blog and "The Netherfield Ball")

Paradise Times, April 27th, 2150
Grand Hall, Paradise
By our Special Correspondent
It’s not just another day in paradise, folks. We are having a special evening hosted by The Delhiwallah, in which some of his favourite literary figures are special guests. If you have read his writing you will know that he has been enchanted by the writings of Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson. Since he lived in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the ladies belonged to earlier, different periods, across centuries, Paradise seems like a great place for these kindred souls to finally meet. Yes, dear readers, in paradise it has to be a meeting of souls. Who else can live here?
Just so that they can be recognized easily, all our souls appear clad in simulacrum of the garments they wore during their life time. Jane Austen appears in a high-waisted, Empire style gown, and The Delhiwallah bows deeply to her.
My dear Miss Austen, I have been so enchanted by your writing that I have taken your surname as my middle name, he says.
Jane Austen simpers. My dear young man, if I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.
Emily Dickinson floats in, and nods curtly at Jane Austen. Did you know, dear Jane, that he has read all my poems several times over, and carried them with him all the time?
My dear Miss Dickinson, your poems are now part of my very soul:  Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.
Miss Austen glares at Miss Dickinson, and picks up a glass of ambrosia, from a tray proffered by a  hovering cherub. The Delhiwallah tries to soothe ruffled feathers.
A grand feast is laid out in the annexe of the Grand Hall.
Many of The Delhiwallah’s contemporaries are in attendance too. The writer Arundhati Roy has just come in. He has, in his earthly life, taken some wonderful photographs of her and for her. Their matching grey curls gave them a twin-like vibe when they inhabited the earth. She is draped in a glorious handloom saree. Delhi denizens, Sadia Dehlvi, in a gorgeous gharara,and Nini K.D. Singh,in a quiet salwar kameez float in, followed closely by Rakhshanda Jalil and William Dalrymple. Laila Tyabji, and Ellen Tomaseo wonder about the dinner menu.                                                           I hope there’s a good biriyani, says Ellen.
The Delhi souls form a little clique, looking restlessly at their host trying to pay equal attention to both the senior guests.
He should have called just one today, mutters Sadia.
How could he have chosen only one? He worships both of them, says Nini.
That’s true, says Mayank Austen Soofi,The Delhiwallah, as he simultaneously manages to hug all his old friends. Let me introduce you all to the ladies, and then we will see what heavenly delights await us in the dining room.
He smiles happily: Now this is truly Heaven.

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