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Hello, my name is Roanna Gonsalves and today I’m going to read an edited extract from a short story in progress called The Skit. Lynette, is an Indian student in Sydney and has written a skit. She’s just mustered up the courage to read it out to her group of friends:
After a minute’s awkward silence Lynette felt compelled to ask, “So, what did you all think?” In reply Roslyn immediately said, “Oh that was, that was, God! You poor thing, why didn’t you tell us you were going through all this!”
Lynette was surprised. She had envisioned many possibilities regarding the comments she would receive after this reading. But the assumption that the skit was autobiographical made her sick. “No No, it’s not, I didn’t…”
“You mean that you made it all up? It’s what … what’s it called … fiction or something?”
“Yes”, she said, unsure if admitting this would mean she was more skilled as a writer or less skilled.
Paul, who had not even taken one sip of his whisky during the entire reading now drained his glass and said, “Lynette, Lynette! Who would have thought the little two year old girl I saw running around in her panties in Bombay would one day write like Salman Rushdie! Read it to John Greenaway, he’ll be very impressed”.
His wife Roslyn said, “You know me, I don’t beat around the bushes. The play is great, you are a great writer, but when you talk about the Student Welfare Officer, the villain, he’s Australian?”
“Yes”, said Lynette
“White, you know, Anglo?”
“Yes”, said Lynette
“Like John Greenaway”, said Roslyn, “We don’t want to offend John Greenaway. He’s also Australian. What if he thinks you were writing about him? He’s coming here to enjoy my vindaloo after all”.
Paul added, “Poor fellow just got divorced”.
“Wife left him”, Roslyn interrupted, “Don’t want to offend him. You’ll just have to cut out the Student Services Officer”, said Rosyln, as a matter of fact.
“And another thing, small thing, but I think I should mention it, don’t want you to get into trouble”, said Sanjay, “but in the court room scene, you actually mock the judge! That’s a bit risky don’t you think? I mean, you want the judiciary on your side right? It is a good speech she makes, no doubt, the victim; you’re a superb writer, what emotions you have captured! But why risk it? So much time and money you have spent here, why risk your application being rejected?”
“That’s true”, Lisbert said. “You really deserve to get Permanent Residency Lynette”.
“Just take out the judge”, Roslyn said, “you don’t need all that drama in the court room.”
ABOUT ROANNA GONSALVES:
Roanna Gonsalves is an Indian Australian writer. Her unpublished novel Salvation Apartments was longlisted for the Australian Vogel Literary Awards in 2009. As a PhD candidate at UNSW she is writing a collection of short stories, as well as conducting an empirical study of the globalized literary field. Recent work includes the play Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime for which she and her colleagues won an Australian Writers Guild Award 2011. Her work has been performed/published across various media in India and Australia
“Varuna has been, and continues to be, the Berocca for my writing. I have always felt nurtured and empowered as a writer in that gorgeous house, by that generous community of writers that is Varuna.” Roanna Gonsalves
- Curry Muncher: short fiction published in Eureka Street June 23, 2009
- Doosra: The life and times of an Indian student in Australia. An illustrated essay/radio documentary for ABC Radio National’s 360 program
- O Other Where Art Thou: an article published on The ABC’s The Drum/Unleashed website on Mar 19, 2010
- Multiculturalism and Mainstage Australian Theatre, a refereed academic journal article published in the Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia, Vol.2. No.2, 2011
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