To my dearest 'fans', I was fortunate enough to have been an author with readers from overseas. Even though, at this moment, I feel like a speck of dust stuck at the bottom of a long-discarded well. I had been advised by my editorial staff to maintain an account on social media to 'connect on a personal level with my admirers'. Which, of course, became my undoing. I am an East Asian writer and thus, my native language isn't English. Unfortunately, however, plenty of my readers are from nations that prioritise English over other languages. The translators try their best, I'm sure, but there are subtleties and nuances in languages that simply cannot be converted. There was an interview a month ago between me and another author. Our styles of crafting and expressions are vastly different but our themes are somewhat similar. He prefers to use a minimalistic tone (as per my comprehension from the translations) whereas I use my cast of characters to shift narrations and expositions. I was asked by the interviewer about the female characters in the other's novel that 'captured my attention' and I duly responded. But the word used by the interpreter could also mean 'appealing or attractive'. That was the cue for the 'fans' to twist that word to refer to 'sexuality', not 'interesting'. The distinction is as fine as a gossamer strand. That was when I began to receive unsavoury mails. The reason, you ask? 'Twas my blunt honesty, for I had replied with a "I haven't yet found a female character in your story that has 'appealed' to me'." (His series is ongoing, and I really like his work, but his female characters feel.... 'stunted' from characteristically developing). The harassment escalated to the point where people started to refer to me in terms that make me wobble at the knees. At first, those words went unnoticed. My staff were the ones who pointed them out and transliterated them for me. Oh, how I wish they hadn't. Death threats. They wanted me dead. Erased from existence! Did I not pour my heart out for you? You want me gone? Just because of the gradations in intonation? Does it feel great? To sit in front of a computer screen that hides your identity? To just casually blurt out words that may have devastating repercussions? It must feel refreshing, right? To simply use a finger to type curses in the darkness of your room? What did my endeavours amount to, after all these years of dedication? To rub off my name from the slate of this world with a duster. Just a difference in the timbres of foreign languages! That was all! Is my handwriting getting messier? That's because I'm cackling with unbridled laughter! Merely the tiniest of miscommunications! Ah, my sensitivity is to be blamed! Well, I'll be leaving now. You won't ever hear from this 'misogynist', 'sexist' (.... what were the other terms, again? Who cares, anyway, at this point!?) ever again. -From XXXX --------------- Dibyasree Nandy was born in Kolkata. She studied at Loreto. Then, she went on to obtain her BSc Honours, followed by an M.Sc degree, after which she further received an M.Tech degree. She is the author of the poetry book Ripples of the Mahabharat. Labyrinth of Silent Voices will soon be published by Writers Workshop Kolkata. She also has a poem titled ‘The Teetering Balance of the Mahabharat’ published in the online journal, Indian Periodical (October 2020).