The trappings of fame

In one of my ‘unbusied hours,’ I read about Blob, the fish. It was about the trappings of fame. It was about Blob’s unrelenting quest to win the world’s premier ugliness pageant.

Blob is unbeautiful because of his unshapely flesh. Every year Blob participates in the contest for the world’s ugliest animal. So far every year Blob lost. Once upstaged by a frog, another time by a Parakeet, then by

a Sea Pig. Blob was unhappy that he was unfairly not recognized for his true worth. In one of the contests, a member of the jury even called him “more darling and adorable than ugly and repulsive.” He felt ‘horrifying’ and ‘shameful’ because of the recognition he was not looking forward to. Blob was a creature of contradictions — full of determination yet easily given to dejection, a living fable of ego and insecurity, easy to a fault but also easy to love. Finally, due to his fierce determination, Blob wins the pageant; he beats a Monkey, a Rat, a Bat. He becomes the “Ugliest Animal in the World.” The animal world greets him with thunderous applause and expensive gifts. In no time he becomes a global celebrity. He becomes a spokesperson of ugly animals. Famous designers dress him. All of this attention begins to spoil Blob — he begins to make outrageous demands and throws legendary tantrums. At the same time, he is becoming aware that his fame is fleeting. Next year there will be another winner. He will no longer be a celebrity. He doesn’t know, having lost the essence of his self, how he will face life. A different kind of realization dawns on Blog - very little of actual substance separates the most fortunate from the least fortunate. Blob sinks into a deep depression. One day his reign comes to an end. He is uncrowned. He heads home. No one recognizes him. Blob’s ugliness remains his own even without the world’s prized distinction. He realizes the trappings of fame.

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© 2017 by Dr Purnendu Ghosh