Everywhere we go it’s to a chorus of Baby, Baby. It makes me feel like an extra in dirty dancing. Like I need to be carrying a watermelon with me wherever I go and then maybe someone will tell John not to put me in the corner. I digress – that’s my thirteen year old self right there. The baby baby’s aren’t said to me. They’re said to Alula.
Alula’s response is to narrow her eyes, just out her chin and stomp off. If you know me, you’ll know exactly where she gets that from. But to be fair, I can’t blame her. Since she breezed through the arrivals doors on top of a mountain of bags she has been at the epicentre of an attention earthquake.
She has taken to wearing her shades everywhere, like a precocious version of Anna Wintour. Like Anna Wintour she has also dispensed with civilities to anyone unless they’re bringing her a juice or a sugar laced ciapatti (I guess Anna does the same except exchange the juice and ciapatti for a Chloe handbag and a glass of Bollinger).
I now appreciate why celebrities are sometimes rude to paparazzi. Because Alula has been papped at least 300 times since arriving in India. She’s had camera phones shoved in her face, she’s had zoom lenses trained on her from afar and she’s had several leery older men digging their knuckles into her cheeks which makes me want to karate chop them in the nuts.
Baby, baby they say.
Yeah. Hands off the baby, we say.
Now she buries her head in my leg every time she sees a camera.
‘Can we take her photo?’ they ask, having failed to get the shot through subterfuge.
‘Let’s ask her shall we?’ I say, ‘Alula sweetie, do you want your photo taken?’
‘No,’ she mumbles, her head still buried.
‘No,’ I say, ‘Sorry, she’s a bit tired of having her photo taken.’
John and I discuss it over a beer. We think we might have solved our financial issues. The rights to Alula’s image could be sold to finance our way around the world. If we charged 20ruppees a shot by now we could have paid for a week long stay at the Taj. We just need to convince the baby baby.