It’s early days yet, but I thought I’d post an excerpt from my Nano novel, Mabel. It is a first draft, so please overlook any obvious errors!
Despite what people may think, I’ve never actually glimpsed a red carpet rolled out, at least not for me.
Ramu drops me outside the gate rather than driving into the parking lot through the entrance, where people will be. He slides to a stop outside the steel gates of Traxis. I make to open the door but before that he steps out, clad in his gleaming white chauffeur’s uniform, and opens the door for me. Already a cordon of jean-clad girls and boys has gathered at the door, some staring at Ramu and his glittering cap and others goggling at the car. All this after I convinced Ma to send me in the battered Opel Astra. If I’d barged in driving the BMW, I’d have hit Page 3 before you could say ‘Eureka’.
I set one foot out the door, but my new wedge heels trip me up. Ramu grips my elbow and helps me out.
‘Aaram se, madam.’
Straight away I can see I’ve overdressed for the occasion. My formal dark trousers and crisp white full-sleeve shirt cast me as a penguin in a sea of macaws. Thank goodness at least I’ve left my hair open. It sways gently as I stride over to the welcoming party.
‘Miss Anushree Bannerjee?’ says a hopeful-looking girl, no older than me probably.
‘Yes,’ I nod. The other people around her beam at me.
‘I am Sheena. It’s so nice to finally meet you. Please, follow me.’
I mutter ‘it’s good to meet you too’ as she leads me up the literal red carpet that has been rolled out all the way from the reception to the gate.
‘This is Ravi,’ she said, indicating a scrawny fellow in a lime-green tee. ‘He sits at the reception and he can show you around.’
‘I will try and get your seat as soon as possible but it may not be today you know because there are so many new employees from previous weeks who haven’t even got their machines or seats yet, so…’
The river of one-sided conversation flows unchecked as we walk to the reception.
‘- and for your caffeine fix, you can always make yourself a cup of coffee at any of the tea-rooms. Unfortunately we don’t keep tea-boys on our staff so you will have to prepare your own beverages,’ she says, offering me a look that Sita must’ve given when asking the ground to swallow her up.
So she imagines that I’ve never in my life poured my own coffee, tea or for that matter, cocktail. This is the kind of thing I’d like to have a word with Shetty Uncle about. The media rarely reports on me and when it does, it misrepresents me. Anyway, all that lies in the past. After yesterday’s debacle, I doubt Baba will allow me anywhere near Shetty Uncle and his office. For the time-being, though, it lies to my advantage to let them believe whatever’s written about me. Clearly they haven’t followed my Twitter account to get the lowdown.
‘Sheena, you didn’t really roll out the red carpet for me, did you?’
Hope you liked it! I hope to finish it soon come hell or high water.