His computer screen whimpered ‘Sorry, no results found..your search Oshmund Gorit did not match any documents’. Oshmund smiled, he was happy. He stood up, moved to the cabinet and pulled out the pink envelope which read, ‘You are invited to our prestigious dinner party for a special surprise, please be with us at 47 Park Road at 7pm Monday the 3rd of January and we will wait for your arrival. Our guests include the biggest celebrities from film stars to sports stars, from politicians to company CEOs’. The invitation came in a light blue card and it was simply dropped in his mailbox. It seemed someone found out where he lived – how? Oshmund looked at the calendar-clock, it was the 3rd of January, Monday and the time showed 6pm. The invitation did not say who sent it but nevertheless he felt adventurous and decided to check out where it came from.
He quickly pulled out his pajamas, picked up a blue suit and dressed up for what he thought was a surprising occasion. This was definitely a surprise, he never got invited to a dinner party, apart from close friends’ regular bash. The events he ever attended were birthdays, weddings, funerals….but this invitation seems like something formal, he knew 47 Park Road was the address of a five star luxury hotel. But he was really intrigued, he was not rich and famous, he has no significant achievement, why would anyone invite him at such a prestigious party attended by famous people?
Oshmund took his car keys and with a grin in his face made it to the car and finally reached near the hotel. He parked his car and quietly walked towards the entrance. A banner in front of the hotel read, ‘A Party in honour of Oshmund Gorit’. Oshmund’s eyes almost popped out, he couldn’t believe what he saw and felt like running away. He overheard people saying, ‘this is for Oshmund Gorit’, another person was asking, ‘Who is Oshmund Gorit?’ Oshmund’s heart began to beat fast, he didn’t know what he has done to deserve this sort of attention and what was going on. His thin frame felt even weaker and he felt he was on mind altering drugs. Oshmund gathered some courage, breathed heavily and moved towards the door. Some people in black suits stared hard at him and he felt nervous’. ‘Your name sir?’, one of these men asked.
Oshmund almost lost it, he started sweating. ‘Well, well….honestly’….he stammered, ‘I don’t know what’s happening….but….I am Oshmund Gorit’. As he said this, he felt like he has said something for which he will be given a death penalty and as the men shouted out his name in excitement, Oshmund felt like he was being taken to the gallows.
People gathered around him quickly, they were coming in throngs along with reporters and paparazzi, cameras were flashing all over and some people moved towards him with the microphone. The men in black suit came to his rescue and quickly pulled him away from the uncontrollable crowd in front of the hotel entrance. Oshmund was almost carried away from the entrance to inside the hotel lobby. The men in black took him to a huge conference room and accompanied him to the stage. Oshmund was sweating profusely. ‘Am I supposed to say something?’ He asked innocently. ‘I never gave a speech in my life!’ ‘Please take a seat’, the mayor of the city stood up and offered him a seat.
Oshmund sat and looked blankly as he recognised many known faces among the visitors sitting in the huge conference hall and he couldn’t believe he was on stage.
A man also on the stage got up and moved to the microphone. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I speak on behalf of the Nobody Organization, ours is an innovative group sponsored by famous people all over the world and supported by almost everyone for that matter. It has been our mission to find members who best represent the spirit of our organization and after many years of search supported by a worldwide community, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our only member – Oshmund Gorit’.
Oshmund looked around, a wide grin on his face now.
‘In this world of information technology and widespread media, Oshmund has never been featured in any newspaper, on any website or any information resource whatsoever. His name has not been recorded anywhere and surprisingly despite living in the heart of the city, he is unknown whereas even villagers across the country have been featured in newspaper articles or on the net. Our ‘nobody finding research team’ has done extensive research over the past two years to find out who in the country has never been featured anywhere and who is not known to anyone. All of us here have had our moments of fame and everyone is considered famous and has been featured on encyclopaedias, newspapers and websites, except Oshmund. He is the real nobody and that is why we have decided to honour him this evening’.
The viewers began clapping and Oshmund smiled too as he turned towards the speaker. ‘Do you have anything to say Oshmund?’ the man asked.
Oshmund looked at him and gained some courage. He stood up and walked to the microphone. ‘I am not a speaker really but I can only say I am honoured to be here with distinguished people. I have understood that in this world when noone can remain a nobody, it is an achievement to be a nobody’.
There was a resounding applause across the hall as people laughed and cheered at Oshmund’s comment. He slowly went back to his chair and suddenly felt important after his first ever speech in his life.
At the dinner party late that evening, dignitaries and celebrities came up to him and asked him how he managed to avoid all the attention of the media when everyone else seems to have become a victim of it. He replied that he has simply been lucky.
Oshmund felt happy that night, this bit of attention for a day did not bother him, he has at least set a trend that it is possible to remain a nobody. He slipped into his pajamas, put on his slippers and switched on his computer.
The Sproogle webpage popped up as his default homepage and feeling a bit bored he simply typed ‘Oshmund Gorit’ on the search engine. In .05 seconds the computer screen screamed, ‘500,000 results found for Oshmund Gorit!,’ and the search engine links said, ‘Oshmund Gorit – the first and only Nobody’.
Oshmund gave a blank stare at the screen for a long time, breathed heavily and suddenly felt a deep pain inside him. He has simply lost the game.
Saberi Roy, January 2008