01 January 1970

Short Story: The Famous Feroz

Fame does not come to everybody so easily. It is not one of those things that you can really work towards. It’s not that you can wake up one day and decide that you want to be famous, irrespective of how popular you may be on Instagram.

The Famous Feroz
The Famous Feroz Getty Images

Feroz was famous, exceedingly so but only in the city in which he was born. That might be an exaggeration, though, for the city in which he was born was perhaps too large for him to be famous in. 

One could, however, safely say that he was known, if not in the larger area where he grew up, at least on the street where he was born. The street was for some reason inordinately long, so much so that if one were to merely stroll down this street, one would encounter temples, mosques, hotels, synagogues, kitchens, restaurants, political party offices, remains of travel agencies, shooting ranges, and an entire slum, all facing a river front, a newly cemented river bank of bare concrete along a river that had in fact stopped flowing a long time ago, whose waters were now forcefully channeled via another river. On this street there were also two bakeries — one large, the other small, both known as Famous Bakery, perhaps at most only two hundred feet apart. It was on this street where Feroz grew to be exceedingly well known to the extent that he could have been considered famous. 

Fame does not come to everybody so easily. It is not one of those things that you can really work towards. It’s not that you can wake up one day and decide that you want to be famous, irrespective of how popular you may be on Instagram. Feroz did not even use the internet, but every single person on his street —one must be reminded that apart from being unusually long, this street lies in a populated city in one of the most populated countries in the world— loved him; and although he knew some of these people, everyone seemed to know him, so much so that when he would leave town, his absence was always felt and even spoken about. This is how famous Feroz was.

Short Story: The Famous Feroz
Short Story: The Famous Feroz Shutterstock

Feroz did nothing special for a living. Like many Parsi men, he never got married, lived with his old mother and pursued his hobby of fixing vintage cars. It made him some money, but not much, not enough to travel, for example, abroad and become famous somewhere else. He was convinced that he could, in fact, be famous anywhere. All he needed to do was open his mouth. 

Feroz, however, was content being famous on his own street in the city of his birth, in the city where all his ancestors had died and had been devoured by vultures. He had no desire to live or to be famous in some brightly lit city, some kind of New York or London, some kind of centre of the universe. He was quite content to live just where he stood, where he was famous.