BY Vani IN Guest post

A monkey bite gets you more followers, Ameesha Patel, than girly issues [DailyO]

Last evening I was watching TV, when I saw my aunt’s face pop up on the screen. Her henna-dyed hair and sari-clad stout frame was flashing on all the news channels. From being a submissive housewife, my aunt had suddenly become a darling of TV journalists who had gone to cover assembly polls in Bihar. My aunt had a knack of attracting all sorts of animal bites to herself; she had been bitten by a dog, stung by a bee and attacked by a cow, but who knew it’d be a monkey bite that’d make a celebrity out of her.

My aunt was back from the hospital when I called her in Patna. At first she took me to be a television journalist, and I could sense her disappointment when I told her it was me, her long lost niece from Chandigarh. By now she was so used to strangers dumping a flurry of questions at her, she didn’t even need a provocation to get started. “I’d gone to cast my vote at a polling booth near my house,” she began. “That was when I saw this monkey which was trying to attack everybody. I remembered Sallu bhai from Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and had bent my head in reverence in front of the animal, when it bit me.” She let out a low groan for extra effects.

My next question would have been how she was feeling now, when she second guessed me. “I am terrified. My whole family is terrified, including my three sons, two married, one unmarried, my daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. We even got a phone call from CM Nitish Kumar’s office and he promised us a decent compensation. Such a kind man he is! I’m now waiting for a call from Mr Asaduddin Owaisi.”

I was astounded by this reference to the AIMIM chief, but before I could ask her, she said, “This monkey was sent by members of the opposition and I know Mr Owaisi would agree to that.” That’s not possible, I wanted to say, after all, BJP must have better tricks up their sleeves than sending monkeys to polling booths, but my aunt was not ready to listen. In the meantime, she was getting restless by frequent beeps on her phone, probably a journalist wanting to take her interview, and so she hung up.

A little later, I googled her name and found out how the incident had been reported by all the top newspapers of the country. However, it was when I checked my Twitter account that I got the shock of my life. There, on the right hand side, where Twitter tells you who to follow, I saw her name: Titli Joshi. The last I had met my aunt, she didn’t even know how to open a computer, now she had a Twitter account? I clicked her name. Lo and behold! She had more followers than I had, and a hashtag dedicated to her cause trending on the left: #womanbittenbymonkey, with all sorts of people offering her donations.

Needless to say, I pitied Ameesha Patel and her likes. They could probably take a cue from my aunt and not resort to discussing girly issues on Twitter, when a monkey bite can do the needful!

To read this on DailyO, click here.

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