I’ve been working on my book fairly seriously. That means I’ve been opening the file, reading the prologue (yes, it has a prologue now) and the first chapter and saying, ‘Not bad, you wrote all this when you were only 25, Bhumika. Not bad at all.’ And so I’ve convinced myself that some of the things I’ve said there are actually brilliant. At 25, I was a wise woman.
At 27, I lived through one of the most boring days of my life.
At 27, I met the Queen of Netherlands, Her Majesty, Queen Beatrix blah blah at my old place of work. The head chap, NRN, hand-picked a few of us because we were the Voice of the Youth in a company whose average age was 26. And we were told to shape up and arrive at a particular hour (7 am sharp – quite ungodly) on a weekend and some of us hadn’t eaten in the excitement of meeting the Queen. Not me, though. See, that’s the good thing about thinking you are a bloody Queen yourself – you seldom leave home on an empty stomach. You can’t possibly eat with the plebeians, you see.
So anyway there we were waiting and waiting and looking at all this gorgeously arranged food and going hungry but we couldn’t eat anything. Not even drink the coffee from silver coffee pots. Because we didn’t know when she would come out of that magnificent and opulent conference room and we didn’t want breadcrumbs on our clothes or lemon tart dripping down our chins. So we just sat there, polished, shining, bright, and young and waited. And we idly got photographer uncle to take our pictures while we bitched about colleagues and that sort of thing. Not at all a bad experience.
But alors, she finally came out at around 12 pm. And we were duly introduced. ‘Here, see, these are the future of our company, of India.’ And she shook hands with all of us.
She looked lovely for her age. Absolutely huge and high breasts. This was the age where I hadn’t bought wonder bras from foreign lands that make your breasts look positively edible, so I was rather envious. Good legs, and a hat!
It’s really sad that Indians look at you like you are off for a fancy dress party because you wear a hat. I love hats! I love turbans in silk better but I love hats! And I can’t wear them as long as I have friends and critics I care about. What a waste! I have a great black Stetson that’s just dying away in my cupboard!
And alors she spoke. And spoke. And spoke. I surreptitiously yawned about three hundred times. Look at picture below and see for yourself how disbelieving and bored I look!
And then I had the good sense to speak to the crown prince. Now he and his wife were hot. And the crown prince actually knew that conversation means people exchange views. So he got full points from me.
And while we were doing the hobnobbing with the royalty (except without the hobbing or the nobbing) they were served delicious finger food and coffee in exquisite cups. Lemon tarts. I’m rather partial to them, hence the obsession. And I swear it was best at The Bakery. And the waiters wouldn’t serve the Indians. Especially young Indians who were the future of the company and the country.
I felt like we were in the pre-independence era where you know Indians and Dogs not allowed/fed. That sort of thing. One stray waiter actually tried to offer us some food but was shooed away by the biggies – no, no, serve the Queen. And I was like, yes, please, that might just make her talk less.
So anyway it was over in half-an-hour. And we were left to wander the campus. Since we had clout, we made sure that at least some of the left-overs were served to the girls and boys who hadn’t even eaten breakfast.
I’m sure some of my friends were very awed and impressed that we’d just met a Queen, actual royalty. If we’d pricked her, she would have doubtless bled blue. Call me spoilt or irreverent, but it was the most boring morning of my entire life. And I’ve had plenty of those. The whole ordeal was mind-numbing. Even more mind-numbing than reading a Mills and Boon romance that has really bad writing and editing.
Now why this rambling post? You may well ask. Since today is also night of insomnia, I’ve been watching BBC Entertainment on TV and they had this show called Monarchy on. All about the Queen and how the opulent arrangements are made and how common folk are so excited to meet the Queen. And I was just thinking, ‘Really? Whatever for?’ Because you see real royalty is hardly exciting. They slog away all their lives to be seen as royal and distant and then pretend like they actually care about what’s going on in the common man’s life.
So that’s why The King’s Speech was brilliant. Can you believe I actually saw a movie on time? And not three hundred years after its release! Because it showed a would-be King who was terribly flawed and who was very aware about the entire ridiculousness of ceremony. But they do tell me that the truth was something different and it was just Colin Firth who was all self-deprecating and humble and hot in a sweet way.
I like English men. There’s something so proper about them. Bad teeth though. So no kissing, only looking. Shucks! How I digress! It’s only because I’ve been hanging around with Maharashtrians – a more rambling lot I’ve never met.
So anyway, being Queen is not easy – wearing crown – uneasy head and all that Shakespearean stuff. I should know. It’s so difficult to maintain just the right image.
And funnily enough that entire day Queen kept playing in my head. I remember vividly because I drove then shag and love-interest mad. He was under a lot of pressure because I wouldn’t move till I had blissfully listened to and sang Under Pressure. And this while we were really expected to rush to the opulent hall and wait endlessly for Queen Beatrix. The guy was really too tedious and staid. It’s funny how you realise these things only in the end.
But as I told him, if a Queen doesn’t make a Queen wait, then who in the buggering world would, sweetie darling, really?
Et maintenant, you guys be sure to enjoy this track. Also, experimenting with adding pictures on my blog. Tell me what you think, ye who never read my blog. Thank you.