Remember my name

Apparently I’m famous.  You’d have thought someone would have mentioned this to me; perhaps an taught-faced agent or a cumbersome bodyguard, maybe even an aging mentor but no, I was left to discover my new-found fame alone, unprotected and unsupervised.  In India, of all places.

I should point out that I spent most of my time there in and around Delhi, the country’s capital city, where there were far fewer Western tourists than I’d initially imagined.  There the streets are filled with horns, bustling crowds and – on occasion – monkeys, all of which is a far cry from the sedate streets of London’s Crystal Palace on even the sunniest of Saturdays.  Tall, curvy redheads are a site not often seen on those streets and as such are likely to be on the receiving end of more than a few stares.  I can’t say I ever got to the stage of ignoring all of this unexpected attention but I learned to go about my way regardless for much of my time out there.  There were a couple of occasions though where even that became impossible.

I could sort of understand why people asked me to pose for photographs with them.  I have crazy red hair and pale skin.  Not to mention the fact that I was almost entirely shiny owing to the fact it was 37 degrees in the shade.  The aforementioned red hair and pale skin should give you an indication that this is an environment I was never built to deal with.  Families of Indian tourists asked me to pose with them and their children for pictures outside some of the main tourist sites so I grinned and bared the surreal experiences as best I could, made particularly happy when some of the children started talking to me in near-flawless English.  I’ve yet to work out exactly how they explained these pictures away to their friends and family back home though.  “Sooo, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Dilli Haat oh and here’s a random shiny lady with fire hair” sounds about right.

What I really couldn’t understand was why some of those groups asked me for my autograph.  As far as I’m aware, I don’t look like anyone famous.  One exceptionally drunken comparison has been made between my hair colour and that of Kate Winslet in Titanic, but that’s as far as it went.  Oh and there was a less-than-favourable comment about me bearing a slight resemblance to Catherine Tate but the less said about that, the better.  So I was at a bit of a loss as to why eight people asked me to sign random pieces of paper, ticket stubs and – in one case – a Delhi guide book.  For the first two, I did try to point out that I worked in an office and therefore could not be in any way famous but they chose to ignore me, instead thanking me very kindly for the autograph and ambling off in a pleased manner.

For days, it baffled me.  Was it some sort of elaborate identity fraud?  Did I in fact have a secret identical twin sister who’d made a name for herself in Hindi soap operas?  Had I been secretly filmed knitting 100% wool in my air-conditioned hotel room before becoming an overnight internet sensation for being a complete nutcase?

Only today did I discover the truth.  On December 16th, my non-knitting alter ego captaincaz was named Qype‘s Qyper of the Week in their weekly newsletter.  In the run up to Christmas, I’d missed that issue in my festive inbox and so didn’t realise my moment in the weak, wintry sun had finally arrived.  Today though I received a note from Qype asking me for my real name and address so they could send out some goodies as part of the deal (about which I’m very excited by the way) and was initially skeptical before going back through the archived issues and seeing my awesome fame for myself.  It was made even better by the fact that my photo and quote appear directly above a paragraph about London yarn stores Loop and All the Fun of the Fair.  This was – of course – the reason for my fame amongst the Indian public.  It’s so very obvious now and it’s all thanks to a sixty word review of a pub (and its sweeties) in central London.

Captaincaz: massive in India.  Who’d have thought, eh?

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