Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It always starts out with two, until they merge carefully and precisely into one. Everywhere around the building that was both feared and loved, there were twos that were occupying themselves with perplexing mathematics. The skies were heavy, and the soil was moist: nature was aroused and contagious. Nine months later, there were many echoes, and some sounds. 

Takshit held an unnamed being in his arms, just born and infinitely beautiful. He was completely overwhelmed. He could see himself in her: but only ever so slightly, in the adult sized eyes that had imposed themselves so ridiculously on her tiny face.  She was his- she was made of him: a little meiotic miracle, who yet knew neither love nor fear. 

He wondered if the attachment he felt had been manufactured by the tenth-standard biology chapter his teacher had summarily refused to teach, expecting them to “read and get” (or “do and get”, but that was only for the ones who were deficient in “good prospects”). Eventually, he concluded irrationally that it was natural.
Natural, just like everything else, and having a baby.  

 His life was a series of consequences manifesting themselves to the zillionth pixel of perfection.  What ruined it all was that he was unaware of the triumph he signified in destiny’s battle with human consciousness and capability. He was the epitome of the Indian bourgeoisie: oblivious to reality, a connoisseur of hypocrisy, reluctantly anglophile, spiritually materialistic and pro-domestic violence simply because it was so deeply ingrained in him. 

The baby’s first heart beat might have been where it all commenced. 

The inherent lack of independence she caused her mother, her mother caused hers, and so on, as far as we can remember. Or maybe it is the dearth of humanity we all so cleverly conceal. Or, as most would have us believe, the personal inability to fend for what we warrant. Takshit had never asked the question: what makes a man a man and a woman a woman?

Was it language? Was it biology? Was it circumstance? Was it natural, just like everything else and having a baby?

It was probably best that he didn’t ask- because if he ever really looked for the answers, he’d find out that he had never really asked at all. And that would destroy him. 

He had always fancied himself to be the enlightened, dreadlocked, Almighty. The one who thought more than others, the one who understood more than others, and the one who had left the others behind and risen above all: so much better, that he would always feign humility- such a perfectionist; that he’d never know he was lying to himself.   

He would marry a liberated, earning woman (the only respectable kind), and have children who mirrored the humble simplicity and wholesome goodness that he and his super-wife symbolized. 
He theorized endlessly, and seldom did- a trait he would never recognize, bolstered by his bourgeois claims to fame and chance access to money that was (in fact) hard earned (naturally, just like everything else and having a baby). 

Perhaps this paints too sorry a picture: he had often taken the plunge… upright and with his toes firmly planted so they would be drenched by the tame showers of the shore. Had he not, after all, done what no Indian would do: experimented? Was he not, what no Indian was; open? Did not the utterly respectable timekeepers love him? Did not everyone he met leave him impressed with his plentiful knowledge?

Questions designed to stimulate conviction in oneself seldom fund fact. 

The first insult from one who entailed unconditional love might have been what left the insatiable abyss behind.
The womb was where life started, the woman was where man started and the mother was where the child started. Takshit had asked an important question: why did she not accept him? He had asked for acceptance, and had been refused it so much that he would thenceforward unconsciously seek in everyone and everything unhesitating submission. He wanted to talk, but without being ordered to listen. 

He was ensnared in his childhood- not because of overbearing parents, but because he refused to take responsibility for his situation. He called them his mistakes, without the acceptance true acknowledgement warrants: he had always been so occupied with his own invention of acceptance that he missed its actuality entirely. 

Takshit, how do you open a coconut?
“You hammer it.”

Naturally, just like everything else and having a baby.

Perhaps Takshit was not a stereotype: perhaps he was as unique a case as he claimed to be: maybe it had all started afterwards, when hitting a wife or daughter or sister or mother was suddenly a crime. 
The timekeepers would certainly not approve of it, so Takshit didn’t speak of it to them. He asked whether it was good or bad to submit to social conditioning, whether education was a personal responsibility, but he never asked if it included the lessons of how to heal the scars of abuse. He never asked if it was abuse. He asked his mother why she called him names and why she traumatized him with histrionics and why she raised him amidst domestic chaos. He never asked if he was doing the same. 
America will never ask if she is to her Muslims what Hitler was to his Jews. 

Takshit, is your fight against communism or cruelty?
“I am using the only method imbrutes like you will ever understand.”

Takshit, could it be that you just don’t know how to explain?
“I am far ahead of what you cannot even conceive: creation comes with destruction.”

Takshit, do you think you only believe what it is easiest for you to believe?
“Go ahead and see where you get- this is India, everyone does this; and we understand far more than the world, see how they are all emulating us today.”

The little creature in his arms was his without a doubt. His to right the world’s wrongs with and his to fight his lost war with- a piercing cry interrupted our thoughts, and he saw that the baby had suddenly taken a ghoulish semblance- her face was warped in the most disgusting of ways, red, wrinkled and entirely alien: but it was natural, just like everything else and having a baby. 

Takshit had been anticipating the outburst, and promptly handed the hindrance away: this was one of the rare problems which he understood he couldn’t solve. Money had given him a certain infallibility his low self-esteem had constantly denied him. His coming across it had also provoked in him the belief that he could guide even the disinclined towards it, indeed, he entirely refuted the existence of the so unenthusiastic.  He grew to respect those who were abundant in it, because it was the only way to warrant the respect he demanded for it; and he grew to abuse those without it: not exploit per se, but he made them inconsequential.
There are far too many things that might have engendered his quickly disavowed materialism.
Takshit asked questions of religion and cultural identity, never taking cognizance of the forgiveness, respect and non-violence they solicited, instead claiming sensitivity by saving animals and killing prospective plants. 

Takshit, why have you not been able to do what you wanted with life?
“Because I was tricked into a marriage and my life was ruined by the women in it.”

Takshit, don’t you think you should take responsibility for your choice to revel in self-pity and be violently destructive instead of mature and constructive action?
“I took the road less traveled.”

Takshit, do you understand that respect is earned and not demanded?
“Get out of my house if you can’t live the way I’d like you to.”

Takshit, can you see the pain you cause?
“Do you eat meat?”

Takshit, you cannot always hide behind the faults of another.
“If you want to speak then go speak to mirror; conversations with me mean listening completely- this means you need to shut up.”

The unnamed being was soon named. She learned fear, and the need for feigned love in a world where love is defined by the physically, monetarily and psychologically dominant. Home was where the naturalistic qualities of desire, conflict and individuality were warped into materialism, manipulation and ingratitude. In fact, the natural had been decimated until only the most unnatural tinge of it remained: the conventional- within Takshit’s conventions. 

Takshit’s sense of adulthood, defined crudely by age, or what he saw as quantifiable experience, kept him from the reality of his inability to grow out of the rejected child he was. His creation of responsibility for the freshly named being was quickly fulfilled by provisions, and his own notions of parenting (she was, after all, his meiotic miracle, he knew what she needed: how could her needs be engendered within herself?). Takshit never realized that the management of newly created burdens didn’t imply that he was taking responsibility for himself; for what began long before the ignition of the one it fell unto take responsibility for generations past, to give to what would come- naturally, just like everything else and having a baby.

Takshit, do you feel sorry for lashing out?
“No. In cases of domestic violence, the perpetrator is often the victim- the violated should know better than to egg someone on.” 

Takshit, is verbally lashing out when you don’t have the physical means then justified?
“My mother should not have called me those names and treated me as she did.”

Takshit, what makes a person mature?
“If they are mature and sensitive according to my scale, they are mature.

Takshit, is a mature and sensitive person impatient and easily frustrated?
“I never signed up for this, and there are clear signs and there are boundaries that are not supposed to be transgressed.”

Takshit, who is an honest family person, with high integrity?
“To say one is family, one has to be able to give oneself up for the other, if needs be. To put the other one ahead.”

Takshit, have you put anyone else ahead?
“I have provided people with money by staying alone in hotels instead of being home with my family.

Takshit, has your family forced you to do this?
“Yes, they are manipulative prostitutes.”

Takshit, is anything in your life your own fault?
“Yes- see, I accept it”. 

Takshit, do you lie?
“Little excuses do not count as lies, they are just to avoid conflict or escape obligations.”

Takshit, is marriage prostitution?
“According to my wife, it is.” 

Takshit, why do you ask for thankfulness and appreciation in return for your money?
“Because I have given up my life and my happiness.”

Takshit, did you not give it up willingly?
“Willingly, but with a condition.” 

Takshit, what constitutes thankfulness and appreciation?
“A change in attitude as well as general behavior as well as specific behavior.”

Takshit, are you saying that you will only be satisfied when the attitudes and behaviour match what you perceive as appropriate?
“Yes, don’t like it, get out.”

Takshit, don’t you think the unreasonable near-impossibility of your demands are just a way to ensure you continue to have licence to feel sorry enough for yourself to justify your violence?
“You find it impossible because you are a base, vulgar and selfish being.”

Takshit, is your desire for thankfulness and appreciation not selfish?
“I am providing the money, aren’t I?”

Takshit are your methods not vulgar?
“You have not understood anything I’ve said.”

Takshit, will you ever stop to ask instead of answer?
“I do that already- it is you who must think, I am ahead of all that.”

21. List two methods to cope with Takshit?
(i) Yield to his inability to change, and (ii) play along with his need to change you.

Naturally, just like everything else and having a baby.        

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