Post Script

Kate Middleton: Pretty As a Picture

Kate Middleton playing cricket in Mumbai
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Kate, to you we say, ‘You go girl’

Dear Will and Kate,
Are we Indians allowed to address you with such familiarity? Or must we stick to your royal titles—Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—which sounds like the daaknaam for a codpiece. And in all honesty does no justice to your ebullient selves. Considering how smiley and shiny you look, you seem much more Will-and-Katey than Duke and Duchessy.

India, of course, provides the requisite picturesque backdrops for your travels and tours. And you’ve foregrounded yourselves against all the cliché ones—Oval maidan in Mumbai, Gandhi Smriti in Delhi, Kaziranga in Assam. No points for imagination. But many points for never breaking into a sweat. It’s 40 degrees out there.

Kate, my sympathies lie with you. The billowing of your skirt makes front page news. Inches of column space are devoted to your ‘un-pedicured toes,’. All I can say to you is; you go girl. Considering you can swing a bat, make Sachin Tendulkar applaud you, and leap in wedge shoes, who gives a hoot about whether your toenails are scarlet or nude?

Is un-pedicured even a word? Are we ladies to be shamed by ‘un-lipsticked’ pouts, ‘un-waxed’ arms and ‘un-eyelined’ lids? Objectification is one thing, but that at least deals with the ‘whole’ and not parts of a part. This is making a mountain of a molehill, or a toenail, might we say. And really, dear tabloid, was it such a vapid news days that you had to stoop to royal podiatry?

In India, we do have a fascination with royalty and white skin. When both come together, as in your case, we are besides ourselves with excitement. William you are second in line for the throne (meaning you are never going to make it), and with age you are starting to resemble your father more and more, and your mother less and less. That as you well know, does not bode well. The interest in you has increased only because Kate is unusually photogenic, with her elegant, never eclectic or edgy, sense of style. She seems quick to laugh and you both seem to share many giggles. As a couple this makes you both eminently click-bait-worthy. The public is interested in you because you are pretty. It is that simple.

The whole of Bollywood came out to greet you in their best ballroom attire as if they were playing Princess-Princess. Aishwarya Rai tried to grab the Duchess’s waist, but then seems to have remembered that this probably violated protocol. She had to make do with Shiamak Davar’s elbow for the rest of the night. It would be surprising if you recognised more than a couple of faces at the charity event, and we wonder how the PR team briefed you in advance—“mention music, dance and never utter the word ‘politics’”.

You will soon meet King Jigme Wangchuck and his wife Jetsun Pema in Bhutan. You can exchange notes on being young royal couples with babies. I guess there aren’t too many of those around. The dearth of nannies is unlikely to crop up in your conversations. But infant outfits for photo shoots will probably figure prominently.

It’s been fun having you around. Happy travels.

(Post Script is a letter addressed to the person, place or thing usurping the headlines)