Archive for April 2009

swallow or spit – catch 22

April 23, 2009

I just do not know whether to swallow or spit out the sickening thoughts. i may not be congruent or cohesive, but then, it is election time in India!

Today there is a ‘bandh’ in tamilnadu, decided by the chief minister of the state. Since buses are not plying in their usual numbers, my staffs have not turned up for work. My maid did not cook since she could not get vegetables. Hotels have downed their shutters. I do not have food. I have to look out for supplemental calories that would keep me physiologically going in this state. Some acid is trying to surge from my belly into the passage in my chest. I cannot go to a hotel and eat, but the TASMAC shops are there. I can get a beer and fulfill my calorie needs! The shops incidentally are run by the government which is not running the buses! I feel like spitting it out.

If I do spit, on what and where does it land? In my house? On my body? Will it help?and, what if i swallow ( as i type, i miss the s and it says if i wallow, well, if you say yes you may not, but then you may!) Well, it is election time in the country, so as a citizen I have to eat the humble pie dished out to me.

Here is a political drama, enacted in earnest. The script unfortunately is outdated. The author just grows older and refuses to learn new tricks to engage the audience. One more strike! One more after what has been a chain of cheap cheatings! I know some sincere people who had braved the slashing of rains to stand as a human chain when he said that the act would help prevent genocide. He writes, he talks, and he sends telegrams- atleast that is what he tells us. He scorns, scoffs and sarcastically ridicules his erstwhile ally, for having the son in the ministry which did not help the tamils! He had his own men in the ministry! His daughter was there in the parliament! Families run the government, and I hope that no foreigner thinks that a mafia is running governments in India! No one is going to do anything, because no one needs to do anything.

Tamil movies have moved on, leaving the great script-writer of the 1950s behind. They talk more naturally, they talk less, and they are not ashamed of making a fool of themselves. The script-writer however has not moved beyond his heydays. His blind belief that rhetoric is enough to assuage the real wounds continues. He resorts to old tricks that would not even attract imbeciles. He sheds unseen tears for his brethren! And, he teaks my eye to shed a similar tear!

I have always empathized and sympathized with srilankan tamils. I have seen and shared their pain decades ago. If someone is shouting for their welfare I can understand. If someone wants to do something for them I would be eager to put in my contribution, but how can I take part in a strike that does not mean or is meant to mean anything for them?

The shameless selfishness of the “great” tamil leader has transcended all imaginations. He is now asking for my vote. What do I do? Spit?

If I do not vote for him who is my choice? J? Do I then spit or swallow?

There are some who say an intelligent young man, who had worked his way up, who is willing to ‘manage’ affairs as he is definitely qualified for the task, who is not (yet) tainted in his public record, is there and I should vote for him. I know the scenario. Just like him, I have gone through poverty and overcame it with hard work, I have seen discrimination which I overcame with determination, and finally am now comfortably blogging in one of my laptops! Why didn’t I jump into the election game then and even now? I know that this system is rotten. I also know that I do not know how to fix it. In addition, I know that if ever I get into this gutter, I would start indulging in shit rather than cleaning up the mess. I certainly accept the criticism that I am an arm-chair critic. I would rather be honest in my arm chair than be a scoundrel on the streets.

This young man is not going to make a change; rather I am afraid he may change. He cannot win but  if he wins, I do not lose. Some years ago, a bunch of intelligent (that’s what an IIT degree means) came together to form a party and contest elections. They not only lost the election but also the integrity that they proclaimed. Orkut was full of those squabbles. After IIT now it is IIM, fine, having seen Harvard clowning I have no faith in educational institutions shaping the ethical intelligence of their students.

I have no belief (I wish though that I would be made to eat my words) in sharat. I hate Mk. I have equal emotional antagonism towards J. the electioneering commies are no where near Marx. If I do not go to the booth, someone else will vote on my behalf. If I were to fool myself that 49(O) is a remedy, I may have to take medicines to cure that delusion. So what do I do with the sickening scum? Swallow or spit? It is a no-win catch-22!

having gone down on my knees to suck the system, it does not matter if i spit or swallow, neither to me nor to the benefactors!

JK – disclaimed

April 15, 2009

This is not about ‘the J.Krishnamurthi’.

This is about my friend, who was called, by all the mutual friends- jk!

Usually a friend reminds you of a rock on which you can tread, a tree to which you can cling, a sea into which you can gaze, a sky into which you can dream, a reality in which you feel true; but, jk reminds me of a furnace- not a fire that ignites, just a furnace that destroys.

I had met him with a person who was then our mutual friend, and in the following years we had mutually decided that ‘that’ person was not a friend but a person rather well-known, infact, he was too well known to both of us to decide that he was not a friend but a person.

Jk was one of the few friends with whom I would drink. One such occasion was on the day the screen siren ‘silk smitha’ died. He called me up and said we should drink. We did. He toasted to her death. Though my glass clinked his, I could not toast to death. My wife, though agreeing that it was a moment to mourn, agreed with me. Can mourning be toasted? By that time, jk had not read Rajneesh while I had, and I was told by the master of those times that death is a celebration! I could not, and I am not sure whether he did celebrate either. He had the uncanny way of talking as though convinced even when he wasn’t !

There were times when he would land up in my house, drink and chat, and decide to leave after midnight. Since I do not drink and drive, my wife would have to take him in her then-basic (and base) two-wheeler, the sunny! When she came back after every such delivery-to-home she would complain only one thing- ‘ he keeps talking’. He kept talking, throughout his life.

He almost talked me into killing him. He said I should not see him suffer. He said I should make him exit the world in dignity. He said I have to as a friend, kill him before he kills his image- well, not in so many words. I didn’t.

He died with a cancer. He suffered. I saw him suffering. He pleaded even in those later days of his life to me, to put an end to him. I couldn’t. Not just because he was my friend, but simply because I couldn’t.

And he died; I heard that he died in pain. I avoided my own pain of seeing him in pain- and I wasn’t ashamed of that. I had to go and see him as a dead body, a pale blueing body in an icy cage. I did not cry when that image struck me in reality. I just ran away, just as how I ran away from his death-wish.

That evening, I was there at the crematorium, I saw his body and the lies (that he had collected all his life) arrive. With the permission of those who were blatantly in authority I joined the few hands that lifted his body onto the slide of the final furnace. And then,

I kissed his forehead. The man whose nails had not brushed with mine, had become a body whose forehead brushed with my lips! Shunning the shocked eyes, my eyes focused on the body sliding through the furnace, to be enveloped by a flame. Even now as I type I feel the heat of the flame that engulfed the body of my friend, but I do not cry.

In 1998, I needed 25,000 Rs. and he had enough contacts if not bank balance to arrange that for me. He didn’t. I was not trustworthy enough for that amount. In 2005, he gave me a watch and said it was RADO! I gifted that to someone just to be reminded in 2008 that it was an imitation! He had told me Rajneesh was crap, and he told me in his dying days that the only solace he derives from life is by reading Osho!

He had not done many things for me! In fact, he did not do many things for me that he could have done. Yet, he was (the verb has to be past in grammar though the meaning will remain in the present-continuous) MY friend

Friendship is not by what they do not do, but what they do to you. The doing is love.

I loved JK, who loved JK (jiddu), and I love JK!