When i was in school i remember reading a short story called “Mr. Know All” by Somerset Maugham. It was an interesting story and i remember i even proposed that when Kanchanda wanted the twitterrati to propose a good short story. But that must have been in 2012 or so when the twitter was a different world. Twitter allowed 140 characters and was not divided into just two – the LW & Rw and each one constantly at the others’ throat.
Mr. Know all (Kaleda) was a story about a character who was irritatingly knowledgeable and was keen to flaunt it. If this reminds you of those “Right wing” on twitter I would think half my job is done. His room mate suffered him silently but was happy to see him meet his match when Kaleda got into a verbal duet with with a poor middle class passenger Mr. Ramsay.
But before that I will extract a passage from the story to explain to you how obnoxious Mr. Kaleda can be:
It was impossible to snub him. It never occurred to him that he was not wanted. He was certain that you were as glad to see him as he was to see you. In your own house you might have kicked him downstairs and slammed the door in his face without the suspicion dawning on him that he was not a welcome visitor. He was a good mixer, and in three days knew everyone on board. He ran everything. He managed the sweeps, conducted the auctions, collected money for prizes at the sports, got up quoit and golf matches, organized the concert and arranged the fancy-dress ball. He was everywhere and always. He was certainly the best hated man in the ship. We called him Mr. Know-All, even to his face. He took it as a compliment.
It this description reminds you of the many characters on twitter who call themselves proud hindu, right of center you are truly my long lost twin. But one day Mr. Kaleda meets his nemesis Mr. Ramsay during dinner. The topic drifts towards pearls and Mr. Kaleda as usual showed off his knowledge. But today was not his day. Ramsay challenged him to find the cost of the pearls his wife was wearing. Kaleda said 15,000 Pounds but some might even pay 30,000 pounds for it. Ramsay challenged him saying it cost just 18 pounds. The wager was 100 pounds.
But suddenly Kaleda accepted defeat and paid of his wager. The narrator his room mate was later surprised to see a 100 pound mysteriously appearing under the door of their room with a thank you note from who else but Mrs. Ramsay the unfaithful wife.
If the two timing wife reminds you of the left libs and the gullible husband the equally gullible public, who am i to question your wisdom.
The story in original can be read here.
Actually the story nicely sums up the current political scenario. Congress the unfaithful wife (Patni), BJP the Mr. Know All (Woe) who doesn’t want to rock the boat too much and the voters the gullible husband (Pati).