Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Trophy Wife (Short Story)

What the ...! He just walked into me, He almost dislocated my shoulder.

He says he didn’t see me but I’m kind of hard to miss, standing in front of the dresser, putting on my make-up. And I’m wearing my little red dress. I can think of several ways to describe this dress and invisible isn’t one of them. “Tight” maybe, “revealing” probably, “unsuitable for a married woman” for sure, but definitely not “invisible”.

He’d just come out of the shower. Maybe he was worried about all the hair he lost in there, the bathtub must be full of it as usual. It’s disgusting. Thank God I declared myself a career woman early on and never had to do the domestic wifey bullshit. I’ll ask Ranjani to scrub it again. The poor woman has had to clean several times today; I can’t stand the thought of using the bathroom after him.

Anyway, I won’t bother thinking about it, my shoulder isn’t really hurting and we have a party to go to. Four hundred of Samir’s closest friends, an exclusive guest list and tight security at the gate of his mansion in the mountains; this is going to be fun. I’m sure Samir will ask the DJ to play my favourite hip-hop, he always does. They know how to get me going, they like to get all their guests going because that’s the way to ensure the who’s who of society talks about nothing but their party for the rest of the week. Of course we could have all gone to a night club instead of clamouring to be on Samir’s guest list, but the clubs are full of tourists and prostitutes.

So now he’s almost running to the car. Well, he’ll have to wait, there’s no way in hell I’m walking any faster than this. It’s at least thirty-five degrees and I don’t want to break out in sweat, not to mention my heels will crack.

I just hope he doesn’t take off without me. Maybe he won’t even notice that I’m not in the car yet. Funny we’ve ended up like this. I remember the day he said I was the perfect girl for his convertible. I was wearing oversized sun glasses and let my hair fly in the wind. We had our first kiss that day. I often think that’s why he married me: I made the ideal accessory for his Benz. He’s got a sedan now; maybe that explains it.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Some thoughts on the latest Paolo Coelho

You know there’s something wrong in the world when someone like me, an aspiring writer, gets to comment of the greats of our time such as Paolo Coelho. But hey, long live the internet for giving everyone a voice :).

In the preface of “The Winner Stands Alone” Coelho explains that this book reflects his observations on today’s world. From the first minute, the reader can tell that these must be built on Coelho’s interaction with the uber rich and mega famous or the “Superclass” as he calls them throughout the book. Set in Cannes during the film festival, what could have been a predictable cast of characters: the aspiring actress, rising model, international fashion designer, high powered film executive, is spiced up by interesting back stories. The model is a lesbian Rwandan refugee, the fashion designer a Bedouin from the Arabian desert whose sheikh set him up for success to become his cultural ambassador to the world, etc. The main plot is driven by Igor, a Russian billionaire with a shady past who’s trying to get his ex-wife back by murdering people or “destroying” worlds as he puts it.

I liked structure of the book where the stories run in parallel within 24 hours. Yet, with so many characters and a long back story for each, my main take on the book is that the sudden drop in pace: e.g. we go from a murder scene to a long backstory about a police officer’s life can make the book a little jarring. Like any other reader, I love the suspense, but the sudden slowdowns eventually got to me and made me put the book down much more often than I should have.

Initially, I loved the observations about the fickleness of our world and the darkness of the superclass but these were reiterated so many times that they became redundant. Also, we never really know why Igor thinks that killing people would make his wife get back to him. It would have been great to get a deeper glimpse into his psyche to make the plot about more than a class-A murderer who succeeds perfectly with every hit.

Overall, I thought the book missed the insight and depth of previous Coelho works. I hope the next one won't let his fans down.