Monday, June 08, 2009

Farah Damji interview: 'No more criminals, hookers, journalists, lawyers'

Farah Damji's memoirs Try Me - published on July 6 - are the stuff of scandal. How's that for a hook? A writer and cultural commentator, a former editor, a former jailbird and now an ethical fashion designer who has blinged Madonna and Mary J, she is an "Indian woman who has lived, loved, fucked and fucked-up in spectacular fashion," according to Liz Jones' ex and newspaper columnist Nirpal Dhaliwal.

"Long before she went to prison for perverting the course of justice and theft, Farah Damji was making waves by being a coloured woman, living an anti-coloured woman's life," opens the press release for her book. The story she tells, which starts in Africa and then shifts to India, embraces the New York worlds of fashion, design and the city's glittery lowlife, always edged by celebrity, and her social, professional and sexual encounters with British media and literary figures. Her revelations, indiscretions, anecdotes and conclusions will upset and infuriate many of her subjects and their lap dogs.

If Farah sought reconciliation or redemption in writing this book she may find herself disappointed. On the other hand, her brutal X-ray honesty - which does not even begin at self-exculpation - is matched by a vivid and brilliant prose style which stands as some kind of virtue in itself. I have always been a sucker for elegant clarity. As the writer and filmmaker Farrukh Dhondy says of Try Me: "At last an immigrant autobiography that doesn't have a mission to complain."

Farah agreed to an email interview

Farah Damji! Before we get to the matter in hand - your upcoming memoirs Try Me - tell me your star sign and whether you think you're true or untrue to it. And while we're being mystical - you make many references to Hinduism in your book - have you ever consulted a psychic (if so, what was said?)

Sun sign in Libra but Scorpio everywhere else with a little light sprinkling of Leo. Librans are meant to be artistic and balanced and not temperamental. So one out of three is a fail grade. Psychics told me I would be married with the white picket fence by the time I was thirty. That fortune is a little late in the telling.

So, why did you write Try Me? It is fiercely honest and won't endear you to your critics.

I didn't write it to endear me to anyone. I am not particularly endearing. I wanted to tell my story in my own words.

How hard did you have to sell the proposition for Try Me? Was it hard going or a walk over?

Sold it three times. Once to a Big Book Publisher who then decided they were going to change MY life story after I had signed in blood on the dotted line and spent the advance. Sold it then to a teeny weeny (un)publisher who turned out to be a neo-Ghandian, post-nuclear proto-feminist who wanted to use my book to push hers and her brother's and then I landed, in the midst of drowning and not waving, like the little animals two-by-two, in the safe sanctuary of The Ark Press.

It was an easy sell because people thought they could re-package it so the story became a facsimile of itself. A popular genre at the time (2007) was Indobrit Chic-lit, it was a bit like looking in a watery reflection, in a murky lake. They didn't realise that I wasn't motivated by anything else than the need to tell MY story in my words so it was easy to walk away when things became contrary to commissioning pillow talk. I think most commissioning editors and literary agents are spawned from the devil's own seed.

Darling, now look. There's no nice way of saying this, but you've been baaaaaaad. Jailed in the US, imprisoned for perverting the course of justice in the UK, working for underworld kingpins in New York, meeting Mafia bosses, writing the kiss 'n' tell about your affair with the married travel writer William Dalrymple and having another affair with a married man, Allan Jenkins of the Observer, and more. What's the worst thing you've done of which you are ashamed?

The thing which I am most ashamed about are the years I have wasted by being absent in my children's lives. That can never be replaced and they are the ones I value the most. Shame is a waste of time. Who is going to get anything from it? I feel bad about you making me feel bad and that negativity erodes my sense of worth and success so the desire to be a "good" person is worn down. But these are all other people's ego-based value judgements. I did crime, lots of it, I was sentenced by a Judge, I did my time. People need to learn to get on with it. I certainly have. I contacted everyone ( I could find) when I came out prison and I wrote to them and apologised for being such a shit. Most were incredibly kind and gracious, one or two (mostly Asian media wannabes) were vile and cold. What to do?

How do you think the wives of these men will feel about certain intimate revelations in your book?

Oh Madame Arcati. I don't know and I don't care. These wives' husbands were sniffing around like dogs sniff bitches on heat. If a man cheats once and a woman puts up with it, she has created a vacuum where there used to be trust and commitment. If you marry a rake, be prepared to be muck-raked. Both these men are serial adulterers, I wasn't the first and I certainly wasn't the last in either case. These wives stayed, whereas I wouldn't, so I can't say what they might feel, I feel differently.

I take it Allan was better in bed than William ....?

Couldn't possibly say but now that you mention it....

How do you think your family will react to private revelations about certain matters?

My parents are stuck like adolescent narcissists. I am sure they think they were perfect parents who provided every material comfort that money could buy. Indeed they did. But they were and continue to be lousy parents. I don't judge them, I just don't want them in my life, they do the best that they can and it isn't ever going to be enough so the best thing is to stop having the expectation that they will change and find that lost love elsewhere. TV or chocolate are good substitutes. Besides, who cares? I have been disinherited by my daddy decades ago...

You write in Try Me: "I’ve lived like a lost butterfly that flutters this way and that, seeking warmth and nourishment. I sought shelter from the sun that burnt my wings, yet I craved her warmth. I wanted the light." Outside metaphor, define light and warmth. And if there's one person I could promise you would never have to meet again, who would he or she be?

Light and warmth are unconditional love and acceptance, from your god, your children, your lover. It's what I sought outside myself my whole life, but never found. Light to me means God-sense in my life. I have that now. There isn't one person, I would like to never set eyes on again, there is a whole village, we'll swap names later...

I see you know The New York Post's gossip writer Richard Johnson. What's he like?

Nasty little piece of work. He doesn't really do anything anymore, he's so ******* by noon that his sidekick the scary Paula Froelich does it. Paula used to be a sweet thing, worked as the receptionist at the Holmes Place on Fulham Road but is now a little caught up in her own reflected glory. Last I heard she'd written a book of scraps and tidbits, leftovers they couldn't use on Page Six.

Indobrit - which you edited - was launched in 2002, a quarterly magazine for British Asians living in the UK. You wrote in the New Statesman of your father who left the UK and returned to Africa: "He had had enough of the British, his bastard bank manager and all the things that reminded him that, despite owning the best bespoke suits and a sizeable chunk of Soho, he was still regarded as un-British." Is this one reason why you think multi-culturalism is a con?

I think it is a con because there's no such thing. We aren't meant to be this great big melting pot society at all. We're "meant" to redefine our own versions of who we are all the time, we are all works in progress. Besides, more and more people are mixed race, live in more than one place, don't necessarily conform to the norms of their birth culture. We need to achieve transculturalism, wherein we look "above" a person's culture or creed into what that person is inside.

Are the Brits inherently racist?

I think Lord McCauley sums it up better than I ever could, in 1835 in his speech to Parliament, about India. The British are inherently fearful, that they are not good enough or that they will be "found out." Of course not all of them, but an unpleasant BNP backing minority. "I do not think we would ever conquer this country ... for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”

Where are you with Toby Young? He described you as a "a nasty little Indian" which he denies. Then I read Geordie Greig of the London Evening Standard was offering his services as a peace-maker. What's going on?

I awe Toby Young. What a strange thing to call me when he could have called me so much else? We are spectacularly fine. As long as he stays on his side of the bed / planet / universe and I stay on mine, we will have no more friction. It was all due to Mercury in Retrograde, bad communication and all that. Didn't the Americans cook him and eat him on Celebrity Carnivore?

Have you changed? Could you resist major temptations again? How do you know when you've changed?

Yes. I think I make better choices. I think you know when you have changed by the people who are in your life. It's a reflection of what is going on inside, in a way. So no more gangsters, criminals, hookers, journalists, lawyers, j/k. Some very solid good old friends have always stuck through sick and sin but some talented and lovely new people have entered my life too. To stay.

If there's one thing you could change about jail, it would be ....

The horribly itchy polyester sheets. I missed my Pratesi, darling. No seriously, the entire Criminal Justice system needs to be completely overhauled. Thankfully we have been relieved of that god-awful Jacquie Smith [as Home Secretary] but the prison estate is too huge and unwieldy for any effective change to take place.

I am involved in a Prison Project which teaches accountability and responsibility. I think criminals change when we as a society start to realise that we are all part of the problem and that crime doesn't exist outside of determining factors such as class, background, economics and race.

We need a much more reformative, restorative system not just one that exists only to punish. Big stick no carrot can't work. Not everyone can write a book in prison and it's a human shame that so much talent, time and potential isn't put to better use. And I don't mean making number plates, I mean teaching people in the prison system real life skills so they can go out and live valuable lives, not repeat old crimes and go back into the cycle.

Finally tell us something about your life now. Would you edit another magazine if you could?

Ethical fashion, working on a big presentation for a big high street chain, who are not too well-known for their current stand on ethics in fashion. You can't use organic cotton and then chain some sub-continental kid to his sewing machine for fourteen hours a day and pay him £1 and call it an ethical garment. There has to be complete transparency all the way down the chain, from how the textile crop is grown, dyed, manufactured, stitched, finished and to how the final item is packaged, marketed, paid for and transported. It's more than just soothing our Guardian-singed consciences because we feel we "should" do something or support a movement.

No more magazines for me, been asked but Dead Tree Media is endangered and it's a soulless life, I wouldn't want to go back to it. I love writing and am formulating a plot for my second book. My life provides fertile ground for stories! Watch this space...

Farah, I wish you all the best with your fascinating and brilliantly written book.

More about Farah and Try Me extracts, click here

To order a copy of Try Me, click here

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Farah Damji says she doesn't judge her parents, having said they "continue to be lousy". Tried and convicted more like.

Anonymous said...

Sounds more like grown-up acceptance to me. It's difficult when the child abandons the parent and can leave, close the door and not look back. Not everyone has the conviction or strength to do that.

Fantastic interview MA, you are back in fine fettle, you old tart.

Anonymous said...

Typical Arcati mix of prurience and high mindedness. I'm surprised you don't demand a cock-cam you horrible creature.

tyoung said...

I didn't describe Farah Damji as a "nasty little Indian" -- I described her as a "crazy Indian woman". I wish she'd stop lying about this. Falsely attributing racist sentiments to someone is a pretty nasty thing to do.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't like polyester. Where does she stand on lycra?

Anonymous said...

William Dalrymple went native - a terrible pseud.

Anonymous said...

Are the British inherently racist? Everyone with an identity is inherently racist. Therefore the British are not.

Anonymous said...

MA darling, o-u-t-s-t-a-n-d-i-n-g my love! You are hired! Where's that column? You could start a thread with every question; I have a comment for almost everyone (calm down, calm down, I'm not going to... jeez!). But I do think Farah has a l-i-t-t-l-e bit of credit for it...;-*

Farah dear, you rock! If this interview is any reflection on the book, it should be given to kids as a graduation present - or to those that are considering dropping out of school X-)).

Ok, ONE comment, since it is the subject it has been picked to comment on. Parents: I have enough anecdotes from around me to fill not a book, but a library on how children hold against their parents their mishaps in life and I'm not exempt either. C'mon people, Farah's feelings are not an exemption, they are the rule; our parents seem to develop some weird decease of the hypothalamus when they raise us that no matter how many times we tell them something is hurting us about them, they act as if it is the first time they are hearing about it and, for some odd reason, we grow up believing that our parents owe us something for "providing them the privilege" of raising us; such is life. Farah dear, I hope you realise your children will find plenty to hold against you too.

Much success,
oxox

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

An excellent interview. I would have been interested to read more about Farah's views on multi-culturalism.

Madame Arcati said...

To anon who thinks racial identity makes one racist - don't be ridiculous. Racism is fear and loathing of another race, not awareness of difference in itself. Racism is the product of failure.

Anonymous said...

This letter has had to be edited for legal reasons:

I'm afraid I don't believe a word Farah says about changing her spots. She is plainly a highly intelligent and manipulative individual (I work in a profession where knowing these things is vital) who is capable of dislocating her mentality to give answers she knows you want to hear. Once again Madame Arcati reveals her naivete.

www.try-me-the-book.com said...

If Farah hadn't changed she would never have agreed to being interviewed or to publishing a book, laying out all the flaws and rubbish in her and outside.

Toby: I have the Twitter feed, happy to send it on if you like. Might even post it up here in the interests of clarity. You DID say it, you are a nasty little racist.

Anonymous said...

I see that Melvin Burgess believes 'the whole genre of biography is being affected by the invasion of privacy clause', after his teen memoir was dropped by his publishers.

'There is much more deception in autobiography and memoirs than there used to be," he points out, adding "It's a big issue in publishing [and] could be the end of this whole genre."

So does this mean that F.D's Memoirs is a souped up fairy tail???? Over to you Farah!

Anonymous said...

To the anon that says Farah claims to have changed her spots. Where do you come up with that conclusion? I read she is making no apologies for who she is and that is not necessarily bad; we all try to improve as we go along and I read she has learned from messing up. Can't make a full comment on your "wisdom", 'cause I've got to run now, but I'll try to revisit tonight. Ciao, MA darling.

p.s.: correction to typo in previous post = meant disease - although decease works too ;-) .

Anonymous said...

The ridiculous Anon with no identity will have to wait too.

(MA darling, I told you this interview has material for many threads... yuppy!).

Frances Lynn said...

Eeek! Re: 'the privacy' clause', thank God my 'disguised' friends in my first novel 'Frantic' were too mean to buy a copy.

Anonymous said...

What a horrible bunch of people

Anonymous said...

Picking up on "Madame's" naivety: her avowed seduction by good writing says it all. "She" thinks it a virtue over and above any other consideration that a person writes well. Yet I can recall Madame screaming on about Hitchens and Amis and how in her view they judge the flakiness of others by their inability to write well or stylishly. I concluded long ago that "Madame" is either many people or bipolar.

Anonymous said...

Watch your back, Farah

The Editor said...

I have seen galleys of FD's book.I had to review it. Souped-up fairy tale it is not. Without giving too much away, there's the anticipated dose of sex drugs and rock 'n' roll, the required celebrity buzz to sell the book, but a lot that made me think. And stop. And re evaluate my "judgement" of her, which was only what I had read, I didn't really know her.Powerful stuff, if you can bear it. She's candid about her own shortcomings and crimes, which she owns, with candour but she creates a space for the reader to think through some of our own stuff too. And yes, well-written.

Anonymous said...

I might have been prepared to give Damji the benefit of the doubt. But her attitude to the betrayed wives stinks. She played her part in the betrayals, she didn't enter into these relationships with married men to teach a lesson to anyone. Only later, when she is asked about them, does she castigate the men as serial adulterers and their wives as weaklings. She's trying to shift responsibility. Why doesn't she just come out with it - she enjoyed fucking married men and was bitter when they dumped her.

Anonymous said...

Further to my last email, Danji says in the interview "I feel bad about you making me feel bad and that negativity erodes my sense of worth and success so the desire to be a "good" person is worn down."

See what I mean? Her desire to be a good person is so easily eroded and it's all someone else's fault if she falls off the wagon again. Pah!

Green Goddess said...

Who wants the benefit of YOUR doubt when I have the affirmation of my conviction? Madame Arcati (and three sets of libel lawyers) saw a lot of the correspondence between me, Allan and William. I think there may be a little blurring of the facts when it came to who dumped (and dumped on) who. It's all water under the bridge but women who stay with men who play don't really warrant "pity." That's so Jane Austen / Bridgette Jones.

Anonymous said...

Precious Williams! Who'd have thunk it? Did you ever get to the bottom of that story about her and Jon Snow?

Madame Arcati said...

I have nothing further to report.

tyoung said...

I've checked all my Twitter comments and the only thing I can find is me referring to you as a "crazy Indian woman" in a message to my friend Barry Isaacson:

http://twitter.com/toadmeister/statuses/1732752466

Farah, if you have a record of me calling you a "nasty little Indian" on Twitter then please post the url below.

Green Goddess said...

Tobes
Darling, I don't have it. I blocked it/you. Racists have no place in my world. Will ask Anna, or you could, @try_me_the_book.
Vicious and delicious. Francis Colby @Franco1985, has a copy of it too. We considered legal action, on the basis of that Tweet so we had to produce it for a statement. Imran Khan's (Stephen Lawrence, McPhereson) verdict was that you are not worth it. I tend to agree.

Observer Magazine Editor said...

Are Toby Young and Farah Damji having an affair? Or is that Nirpal and Toby? WHERE is the lycra? I'm sure I saw Pratesi lycra sheets in Milano.

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Mr Observer Magazine Editor, please stop following my example and unmask yourself! xx

Wife said...

Indobrit aka Another Generation lasted like 2 minutes

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the extracts on Farah's site. Have to agree she can write. I have never heard of The Ark Press, and I see it is not registered in Jersey as claimed.

www.try-me-the-book.com said...

The Ark Press is brand new. Registration in Jersey, for those of you not wealthy enough NOT to be tax exiles like me, can take up to four weeks just to get the license from the Regulation of Undertakings Office. The we have to register a name, then the company.But you are quite right, I will get the website changed, it should say "is in the process of being registered in Jersey."

Anonymous said...

Relax, Tobe. You were right first time - she is a nasty little Indian.

Observer Magazine Editor said...

Madame Arcati
Unmask yourself you scented lycra whore and I shall unveil.

I was the better lover, Willie D was a bit of a let down, so to speak, under the shadow of the plum tree...I understand there's some S+M stuff about me in her book.

I protest that she didn't protest enough to make me stop...

Madame Arcati said...

Is that really you Mr Observer Magazine Editor? Madame Arcati would never wear lycra, only woolly plaid to go with my basketed bicycle. How would you know whether William Dalywinkle was a letdown? I seem to recall some S&M stuff but I forget the details. Truth and fiction blur between xtube and the Radio Times.

HHJ said...

Toby:
Evidence: Nice Indian girls don't do S&M. So she must be nasty.
Verdict: Guilty as all hell
Sentence: Read How to Bore People silly ,Loose Friends and Kill People ten times
A summer internship with God, I mean Graydon Carter.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of anyone here but they all sound like fun.

Mummy Dearest said...

OMG The Yazzmonster is her aunty. Someone get Stephen Pollard out of the synagogue...quick. No wonder our interviewee is bi-polar. Good goss on aunty's first marriage on the book's website though.
FUN??
S+M playing Indians with
Bald and boring Dead Tree Media racists with
Phantastists of history like Drymple?

Send the lot of them home to bed with no supper, Toby, straight back to W3 please. NOW.

Madame Arcati said...

Calm down Mummy Dearest, this is only a promotional interview to make Try Me a bestseller. It's always the same with journalists, drama queens the lot of them. Aren't they, Precious?

Not the Real Precious Williams said...

Madame Arcati darling. It's all a big Snow-job isn't it?

Madame Arcati said...

Ssssss'not

Nasty Little Indian said...

Several of these comments have actually been written by Farah herself, including the one from 'The Editor'. She has dissociative identity disorder.

tyoung said...

Green Goddess -- or, rather, Farah -- that's complete balls. The reason you can't produce any evidence that I called you a "nasty little Indian" is that I never did. Falsely accusing someone of racism is a bit like falsely accusing someone of rape: you are a traitor to the cause you claim to believe in.

Word of advice: If you're self-publishing your own book it's as well to admit it. Liars tend to get found out quite quickly in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Come back, Molly Parkin, all is forgiven

Green Goddess said...

Darling Toby
If I as self-publishing it, it would be a lot nastier than it is. Am I also self-publishing the VS Naipaul monograph, the Farrukh Dhondy and the Roddy Matthews books? Oh and there's the Terrorist Handbook Anna has signed this week? Just because your own little book died a miserable little death and your film went straight to DVD (almost) don't judge other people's books by your own terrible covers. If I was self-publishing, I would proudly ackowledge it because I am not a silly little twat caught up in status disorder. I am what I am. I know that. We still have that Tweet Toby, you may think you deleted it but the internet has a nasty way of catching up with things we wish we had never said or done. Watch YOUR back Toby...it could come in very handy next time I get in a snark.

Anonymous said...

My oh my, what an exchange of "nasty" little remarks have popped up just in a few hours. Interesting what these subjects bring out in people. Wow, I've forgotten what I wanted to say! LOL

In all fairness to Toby, I have run every search engine there is and have not come up but with ONE instance where the phrase "nasty little Indian" was stated by him and that is when he wrote to MA's Twitter page to say he had never said such thing. Otherwise, neither Toby Young or Toadmeister can be linked to it. If he ever did state such thing, it seems he has done a very good job at erasing it from cyberspace. I found two instances where he stated she's a "crazy Indian woman", as he said to his friend Barry and, immediately after that, discussed it with a lady called Gabrielle.

Farah, we all at one point or another have had an exchange of words with someone and thought we had heard one thing which turned out to be another, but now you have gone as far as to state you have written proof and thought of legal action. Darling, you better request to your friend Anna to post that URL because right now you have egg all over your face.

If it is true, I'm sorry for Toby, because we have all seen what something like this has done to other people in the media (now he would really find out what it means to alienate people); and Farah, I don't know about the "rape accusation" analogy (Toby don't be childish - rape is a felony) but you are going into seriously harming someone's reputation territory.

Madame Arcati said...

Please remember that Madame Arcati is not likely to put up comments which are plainly defamatory or legally contentious. Bear that in mind before trying to post comments. Thanks.

Madame Arcati said...

Please also note that someone posing as Madame Arcati (somewhat of an irony), who has left messages for Farah on Facebook, is not this Madame Arcati.

Green Goddess said...

I am going to get legal advice(again) because I am a bit fed up with this "denial" story. Unfortunately for Toby, racism in any form isn't to be tolerated. Just for a second let's pretend he said "nasty Indian woman." Is that any better than "nasty little Indian?" We nasty little Indians bought and sold London to the Russians who are now selling it to the Arabs. Wake up adn smell the chai guys.

tyoung said...

Farah, You claimed that Francis Colby received a copy of my allegedly "racist" tweet and that you and she took legal advice from Imran Khan, the Stephen Lawrence family lawyer, about prosecuting me for racism:

Francis Colby @Franco1985, has a copy of it too. We considered legal action, on the basis of that Tweet so we had to produce it for a statement. Imran Khan's (Stephen Lawrence, McPhereson) verdict was that you are not worth it. I tend to agree.

I checked this story with Francis Colby via Twitter and this was her response:

WHAT!!!!! I don't even know her. No truth whatsoever in either allegation. I can't message her because she's blocked me.

I'm now going to call Imran Khan and ask whether you ever sough advice from him about this matter. I'm going to tell him that you have invoked his name in an attempt to smear me as a "racist". His response should be interesting.

Green Goddess said...

Imran Khan office 020 7 404 3004. e mail info@ikandp.co.uk

tyoung said...

Anonymous, Thank you for looking into this. Anyone else who searches for evidence that I called Farah a "nasty little Indian" won't find it, either. Not because I've erased it, but because I never said it.

On a minor point, you're wrong about racism. Using racist language is a criminal offense. The point I was trying to make with the "rapist" analogy is that, in both cases, by falsely bandying about the charge you damage the credibility of those with a genuine grievance.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Toby Young who wrote How To Lose Friends & Alienate People? Best book ever on magazine life. Brilliant.

tyoung said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Green Goddess said...

Very interesting. The quote on the front of the (preview) book is by Farrukh Dhondy. Did you manage to get through to Imran Khan yet, Toby? I have been told not to engage in/ directly with Toby anymore because the whole racist matter is now sub-judice. See you in court lovey!

Madame Arcati said...

I have removed a comment by Toby Young for possible legal reasons. I have decided not to post any more comments between Toby and Farah because of the contentious quagmire - my apologies to both. Other comments are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Damji is such a skilled fraudster that she is even managing to scam the usually astute madame arcati. a sad day!

Anonymous said...

'Farah Damji Cuts Like A Knife'

Posted by Anna Cohen/Farah Damji on Amazon.co.uk:

"Anna Cohen says:
Farah Damji, Try Me. Out July 6th 2009. I have had the pleasure of working on the publicity for this book but here I am writing as a reader of brilliant books. This book has the power to change your preconceptions, your judgements and your thinking. By being brutally honest, and in her clear but poetic style, reviewers have likened her to VS Naipaul, "the clearest , most cogent voice of exile for a generation" Her writing cuts like a knife through butter. If I wasn't paid to work on this book, I would do it anyway."

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

Thank you anon, I don't feel scammed. Farah has been open about her past and now she's pushing her book which I think is worth buying and reading. If I were to approach a subject in the manner of a newspaper - all bureaucratic careerism and arseholes playing the self-importance game - I should think running a blog a waste of everyone's time.

To be even-handed, and at the risk of annoying Farah, I am a great admirer of Toby Young and loved his book How To Make Enemies and the movie. Also, and unusual in a newspaper columnist, he is clear-headed.

Anonymous said...

Please interview Yasmin Alibhai Brown or whatever her name is.

Anonymous said...

Madame, you spoilsport. I'd bought a packet of digestives to chomp through in anticipation of further bitchings between Toby and Farah. What a pair!

Green Goddess said...

Darling Madame Arcati,
You could never annoy me. I think all of this is a gas. I live in a world in which people are entitled to their opinions, tastes, ideas etc. Differences rule and all that.
I should stick to my own counsel..."no more criminals, hookers, journos or lawyers."
(My) life's too short.
X

Anonymous said...

Heck! post comments? I'm all bummed out by all this quarrelling. Who wants to discuss any of the subjects now after this cat fight?

I'm sure, MA darling, I would agree with you on the quality of the book, though.
ox

India Day said...

India Knight is not happy about this.

Madame Arcati said...

Please note that I have now deactivated my Facebook account. If anyone receives a Madame Arcati message on or from Facebook please let me know so that I can inform the site who can start an investigation.

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

Farah, I have just read your interview and I am charmed. I admire your boldness and honesty...you are an inspiration for all the women out there that speak the truth and don't feel they have to apoloogize or harbor any shame..I was inspired to continue at a manic pace with my memoirs..too many to put in one book also!
I will most assuredly have a backlash of huge proportion...
s~

Anonymous said...

The comments are more interesting than the interview. 200 more and you've got a book madame.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't read this blog in two years. By chance I come in and I see things have not improved. An absolute pit.

Anonymous said...

Reasonably well-written book by a deluded convict fantasist who rates herself as the new Naipaul.


Next.

Not the Real Farah said...

Brilliant that she rates herself. Others do too. What of the legal wrangle, madame Arcati? IS she really suing Toadmeister? Will he have to sell his house and children to pay his legal fees? Imran Khan's office confirmed to me they were acting for her and her publisher...

Madame Arcati said...

Journalists should never resort to the law against each other, it always ends in tears. No greater a personage than Andrew Neil has said much the same following his own Achilles moment against that twat who used to edit the S Telegraph, Peregrine Worthless or whatever.

I notice Tobes is advertising for a personal injury lawyer on Twitter. Where will it all end darlings?

tyoung said...

The personal injury lawyer is in connection with my cycle accident. Even though the driver that hit me did a runner, there's an organisation called the Motor Insurance Bureau which sometimes pays compensation to victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Madame Arcati said...

Oh I didn't know about that. As a cyclist myself, who has caused juggernauts from the Netherlands into curbside blossoms, I wish you all the best with getting some money. The trick with prostitute-murdering juggernaut drivers is to persuade them that you really mean to kill yourself at their expense. Always does the trick.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually seen what Farah Damji looks like?!

Madame Arcati said...

Why, does she have comb-like gills in the mantle cavity? Pray tell.

Not Michael Gross said...

Farah Damji looks pretty darn hot for 42. Oh, I geddit...this more whining and whingeing from the Toby contigent because they look like such tits over the whole racism row. Andrew Neil and Matthew D'Ancona got letters last night describing Tobez' actions, telling them to tell him to stop, he's been a bad boy and is in the naughty corner. Always the same isn't it, when a women is intelligent, attractive and wild, we need to attack her on every adn any level. Grow up boyz. I got this straight from Imran Khan and Partners. Yes, I am a HACK.

Not the Real Toby Young said...

Toby Young was described "a quail's egg dipped in celery salt" not exactly the front cover of GQ. Any one hungry?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Have you actually seen what Farah Damji looks like?!"

Yes I have. Farah is short, fat and rather hirsute, with bad skin. We can't all be oil paintings. What's the point of discussing her looks?

Not Joan Rivers said...

Omg This is all so awful. More!

Anonymous said...

Most nasty Indians are short. Fat? Maybe a UK Size 12-14 so below the "average" for you healthy Britishers. Hirsuite. Hmm, can't say, don't know her "like that." But I imagine she has the Bombay equivalent of a Brasilian?

C'mon, get serious. Molly? MOLLY??

A Concerned Observer said...

'Not The Real Michael Gross' said:

"Always the same isn't it, when a women is intelligent, attractive and wild, we need to attack her on every adn any level."

But Farah is not attractive or intelligent. Wild though, yes.

Farah: if you must keep posting comments to this page, why not post under your real name. So far you have posted as:

Anonymous
www.try-me-the-book.com
The Editor
HHJ
Mummy Dearest
Not The Real Farah
Not The Real Michael Gross
&
Not The Real Toby Young

You've stopped taking your meds again, haven't you? This is really pitiful

Arcati readers - we should not be feeding this fraudulent little convict-troll by giving her the attention she so desperately lusts after.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Farah weight issue. Anyone who has seen Farah will have noticed that she is very fat. Not as big as Pavarotti, but at least a size 16. End of. Possibly she was slimmer and less hirsute back in the days when poor Willie and Allan were ALLEGEDLY shafting her.

Anonymous said...

When she was having her "troubles" with Dalrymple and Allan Jenkins, Richard Kaye called her a "frisky Eastern beauty." She is kinda pretty, in a yummy mummy way, if those pics haven't been photo-shopped a la Winslett?

No one ever called Toby Young a frisky anything. He has gone vey quiet about all this MA, what aren't you telling us darling?

Madame Arcati said...

There's no question about Dalyrimple and Johnson, darling.

Madame Arcati said...

I have to say farah brings out my inner lesbian but I wouldn't want to lower the tone.

Rebekah Wade said...

Isn't Toby about 8" tall? I'm prepared to believe he's got a 12" dick but Sam Leith's is bigger.

Not The Real Graydon said...

Thank you for confirming that Madame Arcati. I am quite surprised as the rest of her claims (about Madonna and others) do not check out at all.

The question remains: so what? Who gives a fig about Willie and Allan's sex lives? Why is this vile, unstable little criminal making such a big fuss over seemingly tawdry little encounters that didn't even occur particularly recently?

The extracts of the book I've read on her site are OK. Mildly amusing/interesting. I fail to understand why she thinks she is the new Naipaul and why she thinks she is important or relevant at all. Call me shallow but this person is not very talented (except at self-promotion), is not endearing and is not (not that it really matters, but it does!) at all easy on the eye.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

When she was having her "troubles" with Dalrymple and Allan Jenkins, Richard Kaye called her a "frisky Eastern beauty." She is kinda pretty, in a yummy mummy way, if those pics haven't been photo-shopped a la Winslett?

No one ever called Toby Young a frisky anything. He has gone vey quiet about all this MA, what aren't you telling us darling?

Thursday, June 11, 2009"


Yet another desperate message penned by Farah herself. You are not a pretty woman. And that is OK. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

"to persuade them that you really mean to kill yourself at their expense"
he, he. Aren't we fortunate we have you to be silly in these situations, MA darling?

Anecdote: One afternoon I was driving home right at twilight when I came across someone lying on the road with his back to the cars coming towards him and his bicycle next to him. Thanks to providence I was driving slow enough to catch on just in time, swirl and miss him. I stopped the car just a few meters further down and got out to check on him and another motorist coming in the opposite direction did to. The other motorist run towards what we could see now was a young teenager (maybe 15) and asked him if he was well enough to ride his bike of if he wanted a ride home. The boy slowly got up, nothing seemed wrong with him, said he was ok, got on his bike and rode away. We could see he had not fallen off the bike; he had placed himself the way he was lying not to see the car that would hit him; the tone of his voice as he spoke was of someone stricken with grief. Who knows what was going on in that young man's life that he felt he couldn't bear and was not willing to share his story with anyone.

Sometimes the person that would be charged with the crime can be the real victim of circumstances.
ox

Madame Arcati said...

I was perfectly serious, ox. Madame Arcati has no sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

Yes, darling.

Not The Real Psychiatric Unit said...

Any chance of you posting a fresh, new story about somebody or something interesting Madame? I am beginning to find this Damji creature and her many aliases genuinely disturbing. I come to your blog for light amusement or scandal but this latest Damji thing is chilling, unfunny and deeply concerning (as in concern for her mental state).

Madame Arcati said...

Madame Arcati is not some light souffle, some sweet dessert after the hart pie of a newspaper dawdle. I would strongly urge you to delve and read over her aeons: even hardened cock-cockers have emerged from the experience with fresh doubts.

Green Goddess said...

How very fabulous to have so many hydra-headed identities and frankly brilliant comments attributed to me, and my weight and size discussed by strangers! So very breakfast TV...so MADONNA...do you want to see my biceps too? I am perfectly happy with how I look, fat, thin, hairy / not. Yes, very lovin' it. MA, you have sold at least 10 copies of my book. Thank you!

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

Ten!? Well, I think we can do better than that.

In other news ...

I am thinking about Clive James, something has come to my attention. Can I resist it? At fate's crossroads once again.

Anonymous said...

Just remembered who it is Farah Damji reminds me of. Livia Soprano!

Anonymous said...

A new story about somebody who is not a Crazy Delusional Hirsute Indian Fatwoman? Most excellent, Madame!

Madame Arcati said...

But he is called Jaws - or was once.

Fred Arcatiste said...

I love the irony of Madame Arcati complaining to Facebook that somebody is pretending to be Madame Arcati. Our Arcati is not the real one because the real Arcati is nothing but a fictional character. It's like having one Mickey Mouse imposter complain to Facebook that somebody else is also impersonating Mickey Mouse!

Madame Arcati said...

I am the real Madame Arcati. I gave Noel the idea of me. I started as a whispered rumour. And now look!

Anonymous said...

Do you know the real reason Damji doesn't have a contract with a mainstream publisher? (I do)

Anonymous said...

I have a story for you. Indian Knight and Foreign Damji are the same person!

Anonymous said...

Why is this bizarre criminal calling herself 'coloured'?