Lately, an amazing news item has been circulating on WhatsApp. A live Mermaid was found in Ganga river at Bhagalpur a few days ago, and since then, every WhatsApp group has people screaming about it.
My mother was so astounded by the news piece that she kept waving her Oppo in front of my eyes for a few eons, till I could no longer take it.
“It’s a mermaid. How else would you explain it?”She demanded.
I peeled myself from the macroeconomics piece to glance at the urban legend.
It was a grotesque thing – the Mermaid. Normally, when you fantasise one, a Mermaid looks like the love child of Megan Fox and Arianna Grande. On the contrary, this thing looked more like an ugly descendant of Ripjaws, accidentally washed off to the shores of Ganga from the sewers of South Dakota. Instead of two glossy hentai-bosoms, it had 4 sacs hanging loose from its upper torso. Its belly suggested it was pregnant with Godzilla’s sextuplets.
The rest of the body was ugly as a nightmare. I had a hard time figuring out why they assumed it was a Mermaid. Then I saw the title, which swore it was a mermaid.
“The other way of explaining it”I said, “is that it’s a hoax. It’s something else. Artificially created to deceive people. For fame? ”
My mother didn’t seem to like that idea.
“Why would somebody make an effort to create a pointless object? “She quizzed.
“Well, people make nuclear bombs, and Ekta Kapoor makes serials, for example. “I said. “It’s still an amusing but a lot less dangerous invention. ”
My mother didn’t buy the idea.
“Okay. Here’s the thing. Nobody had seen a live mermaid before the whole concept of mermaid came. I mean it’s an invention, fabricated around a legend. The live mermaid has to conform to the standards set by folklores. Why else does that mermaid have to be what it is? ”
“You are not making sense. “My mother declared, after staring at me like I was a mermaid or something.
“I mean it’s a false story. ”
She just twisted her lips and went on to weave the rainbow-colored frock for my baby cousin. It’s a boy, but according to this weird family custom initiated by my mother, every one of us has to wear female clothing at least once in our baby days. I’ve spent weeks dressed as cindrella. Well, ours is a matriarchal clan, but the tragedy remains that we don’t have lots of female babies. So as the legends go, some Godman came in my mother’s dream and asked her to dress her children as baby girls. So here I was, wearing mascara and sequined one-piece dress with laces, my shoes proudly exhibiting rabbits at the toe caps. Now you know why I hate superstitions since childhood.
Anyway, in the evening as I was coming back from the stadium, I passed by a flock of ladies gathered by a lamppost at my street. They were discussing the Mermaid sighting incident, loud enough to reach a few blocks down.
“They live under water and puncture ships to drown sailors. “One wise woman said.
“Yes. What else would they live under water for? ”
I don’t know. Maybe to trim coral reefs. How would I know? How would they know? Jezz. What am I thinking?
“These are probably aliens. “The other one said.
“It is because of pollution that they are coming out. “The third one added.
I was wondering if their cumulative iq would reach 3 figures. I slipped away quickly to save my sanity.
On reaching home I found that my mother had shared the message in her WhatsApp family group and my uncles were busy devising theories to justify its existence. All my uncles are unemployed.
I slotted earpieces into my ears and played Blank Space in full volume. Then I thanked lord for giving me a group of intelligent friends who don’t spread shit on whatsapp.
Then I opened whatsapp.
“Do you know there’s a mermaid in Bhagalpur? “Popped a message. I switched off my phone and went back to reading about the commodity money system of German prisoners of war.