Saturday, April 30, 2011

Being Talked About!

Here is a famous letter written by Oscar Wilde, who knew a lot about being talked about. Although poignant, knowing how terribly he was treated for being a homosexual, the phrase he uses is witty and so honest. I completely "get it" cause I am the one being talked about nowadays!

They threw garbage at me. They spit, cursed, and ranted. I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing my name preceded by a number of foul words. In fact, my dog received kinder treatment that I did. Figure that, my dog a step higher than me on the social ladder.

Then one day I woke up and they had all forgotten me. I could walk through streets without being physical harmed anymore. God, it was horrible.
The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
At least when they berated me I knew my existence affected them in some way.

Truly yours,
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde

I remember something similar narrated by my late mother-in-law, Jirina Shankar. Being a blond white European woman living in Delhi of 1960's and 70's, she had her share of stares and unwelcome attention from Delhites. When I first went out with her after I was married, I was driven to anger by the rude stares and comments from strangers, until she shared something with me. Once, a few of years ago, she was in Paris with her sister-in-law Leela, a dark-haired, dark-eyed Indian beauty. In that trip, she was totally rattled by the royal ignore she got from all Parisians, who had eyes (and compliments) only for Leela. It made Jirina feel like a nobody! According to her, since coming back from that trip, she had a sudden and certain appreciation of the comments and stares she receives from Delhites!

Yes I agree, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. So keep talking folks...I am listening!


  1. Dear Puja,
    my name is Libuse Haider, from Czech Republik. I Was living in New Delhi 30 years ago. Jirina was a really good friend of me. Please cold you give me contact. Phone number would be nice. I can find anything. Thank you so much, best regards Libuse

    1. Hi Libuse, my email is Write to me.