Amitav Ghosh and Some Personal Thoughts

Amitav Ghosh is a writer that I never really cared about. His book The Shadow Lines (1988) was part of my Post Graduation course in the University. So, I read it, a very passive reading at that. I didn’t really like it. But then, I didn’t really like many things that came along with the tag ‘Syllabus’. It was easy to dissuade me from reading a book; put it on a syllabus. My roomie at that time was a Bengali and a fan of Amitav Ghosh. I borrowed his copy of The Calcutta Chromosome and was kind of happy with it. But then, The Glass Palace (2000) and The Hungry Tide (2004) did not make any impact in me. Please don’t get me wrong. These are all books that have won many awards and are widely read. It’s just that I, as a reader, have not really enjoyed Ghosh as a novelist. It is some strange and unexplainable reason. I just can’t say what it is about Ghosh’s writing style that I do not enjoy. May be the historical setting that he usually resorts to does not match my sensibility. But then, I’m someone who reads anything that comes with a stamp of ‘History’. It is possible that I’m stuck in some bygone era’s fiction writing technique that I find it a great discomfort to move on and gel myself with a newbie like Amitav Ghosh.

Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh

I know Ghosh isn’t a newbie. Someone who published his first novel in 1986, the year I was born, shouldn’t be called a newbie writer. It is just that my sensibilities were formed by reading O.V Vijayan, M. Mukundan and Anand. I had to read this trio in order to be a part of my parents’ dinner table conversations. My Dad used to teach the novels of these writers and my Mom’s opinions on them were widely acknowledged by Dad. And I used to sit at the head of the table, my head going from Left to Right and Vice Versa, trying to decide whose side I would join, in case an argument erupts. I also remember the first time I raised an opinion on Anand’s novel, ‘Marubhoomikal Undaakunnathu.’ My dad just stared at me. I, on the other hand, felt like I insulted him (or Anand) and went silently back to whatever was left on my plate. But, next morning, when I was taking my bicycle out, to go to school, Dad stopped me and asked if I believed in what I said the previous night, about the novel. I nodded. He told me that it was a very valid point.

O.V. Vijayan, the Malayalam Novelist whose work 'Khasakkinte Itihaasam' divided the genre in to 'before Khasak and after Khasak'. He was a renowned Cartoonist who excelled in Black Humour.
O.V. Vijayan, the Malayalam Novelist whose work ‘Khasakkinte Itihaasam’ divided the genre in to ‘before Khasak and after Khasak’. He was a renowned Cartoonist who excelled in Black Humour.
Anand is one of my favorite Malayalam Writers. His essays on Nature are excellent in making the point that we exploit nature beyond the limits.
Anand is one of my favorite Malayalam Writers. His essays on Nature are excellent in making the point that we exploit nature beyond the limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Coming back to Ghosh and his writing, I enjoy his essays more than his fiction. His essays look more convincing to me, than his fiction. It is like he is on a whole new level of comfort when he is writing those brilliant pieces. For example, let’s take a look at this wonderful book that I am currently reading, ‘Dancing in Cambodia and at Large in Burma’ (1998). I realize that I am a little late to pick this book up since it was published when I was in the eighth grade but I’m sure it is never TOO late to pick a book up. This collection of essays make a great read as the writer goes through the civil and cultural spaces of the people of Cambodia and Burma, two countries that are so close to India but never make it to our imagination much.
We Indians have a bad tendency to ignore whatever doesn’t give us much of a benefit. We think/talk about whatever happens to the gulf countries because we have a large population over there, sending us back money in bulk. We think about the U.S.A, the U.K because that is where half of our dumbos want to migrate to, thinking that they’re migrating to some sort of human-made heaven. We don’t really think about countries that are right in our neighbourhood, people that have ethnic connections with us, because they don’t give us anything. India shares a border with Burma (Myanmar, according to the Military Junta that rules it) but we hardly give a damn about them. We think about Bhutan more. We raise flags at the Sri Lankan President and we hate the guts of the Chinese Army and we closely keep an eye on news related to Pakistan. How many of us actually care to talk about Aung San Suu Kyi and her struggle against the Junta? How many of us actually think about Cambodia? Many of us might associate it with Angkor Wat but what do we know about them more than that?

Aung San Soo Kyi
Aung San Soo Kyi

I have to assume here that we, Indians, as a people, have lost our ability to sympathise. We live in a safe country. We seldom open our eyes and look around. We just sit and whine about how much the Gandhi family robbed us… we sit and brood over what would happen if Modi comes to power… in all these meaningless, simple worries, we forget to see the everyday reality of the rest of the world.
We do not see the constant confusion that Pakistanis live in. Anybody could just blow up any place in Pakistan because some Mullah had a constipation.

Look East. You’ll see China. Nothing comes out from there other than their President and cheap products! Nothing gets in.

Look further East; Burma and Cambodia. Read Ghosh’s book to understand the struggle of the ‘peoples’ there.

Afghanistan in the North West and Bangladesh in the South East. Sri Lanka in the South. Any comments?

We don’t even live in the constant cloud of terror attacks like the Americans and the British. ‘Bomb’ is not ‘Bomb’; it is the ‘B’ word. I have seen so many Americans and Brits getting paranoid if you mention some of these things; Bomb, terrorist, plane, gun… the list goes on.

In the middle of all this, there’s us. A country that still broods over its 220 years of foreign rule. For fuck’s sake, we fucked the Brits more than they fucked us. They’re yet to realize it. We got English, the Railways and all the states got kicked right in to the place in this grand Indian Jigsaw Puzzle. What did they get? Don’t tell me ‘The Great Economic Drain’. It was like giving a blank cheque to a teenager. Whatever the Brits drained from India, they destroyed it playing ‘The First World War’ and ‘The Second World War’. What did we get? We got the tiny monarchs here kicked out and the great Indian ‘Democracy’. Imagine Americans coming over here to give us ‘Democracy’. If you can imagine that, then you know that we got a better deal already in place. We were stupid. A portion of our population went nuts over religions. They clashed with each other and killed each other. Some innocents died too. There is poverty. But that is hardly an Indian problem. Every nation has poverty. Ours is actually one of those countries that has a decreasing rate of poverty. How about that, huh? We did not get invaded by anyone after Babur (although the British did a very systematic invasion!) nor did we suffer any direct damage from ‘the Wars’. All the other countries in the South East Asia had the ruthless Japanese Army marched all over them. When the Japanese retreated, they burned everything on their way back. Ghosh mentions how countries like Cambodia never really overcame that shock.

Japanese Soldiers in Rangoon, during the Imperial Army's march through South East Asia in which they knocked on the Eastern doors of India, practically dividing the British Empire's Army in to two.
Japanese Soldiers in Rangoon, during the Imperial Army’s march through South East Asia in which they knocked on the Eastern doors of India, practically dividing the British Empire’s Army in to two.

These essays are not to be considered as mere records of the different ethnic groups and their conflict with each other. They are to be treated also as a means to look upon ourselves and where we stand in this planet. Why are we what we are? What shaped our common destiny? What can we do as one people? These are the questions that should be asked at the end of this self-realization.

‘Ding-Dong’… Ring a Bell?

It is very rare that I talk about my Post Graduation days in the University. There are several reasons. If I have to be brutally honest, I’d say the main reason was that it didn’t go according to my plans. No! That was too gentle; it was a major fuck up. Well, I enjoyed a lot and grabbed a few things and learned a few lessons that shaped me into what(ever) I am today.

This post is specifically about how it all began. 2006. 1st semester. I was pushed on a topic to talk about, for an English Language course. Now, before I talk about the course instructor, I want to admit that I was not up to mark too. In fact, I was too confused with the new surroundings as I wanted to go for something else. Anyway, the topic was Early Theories on the Origins of Language. It was funny. They’re these: The Bow Wow Theory, The Pooh Pooh Theory, The Ding-Dong Theory, The Yo-He-Ho Theory, The Ta-Ta Theory and the La-La Theory. Before you think “Seriously???” let me tell you that these theories are discussed in Language classes all around the galaxy. Or so say expert Linguists. Remember that these are early theories from the time the Catholic Church refused to accept that the Earth was round. And, these were put into place just to stop people from making fantastic stories about the Origin of Language. It is said that in 1866, when the Paris Linguistic Society was founded, their bylaws included a ban on any discussions/speculations over the topic ‘How Languages Originated?’.

So, there I was, with a funny topic that had stuff like ‘Pooh-Pooh’ and ‘Ding-Dong’. I went to the library and collected some information. I had read about these during my Bachelors. Still I felt weird about looking at the sweet female classmates on their faces and say things like ‘Ding-Dong!’ I mean, I have done some weird things in my life but this was a whole new level. It was too late to learn some yoga technique to control myself from bursting out laughing.

That is when my roommate appeared with a solution. ‘Let’s have a drink.’ He said. I readily agreed. I have the notes in my hand. I just had to read it out. What’s the harm in having a beer or two? We went out and had some beer. One. Two. Three. Haywards. Haywards, again. After that it ran out, so Kingfisher. Kingfisher, again. While coming back, we met the Pork. Pork (nickname given by me and my roommate to a guy who gave us our first weed!) was delighted to see us walking like two drunken walruses. He gave us weed. So, we decided to go to the hostel terrace and tried it out. That night had two moons and countless meteors. By the time roosters started announcing the morning, we were capable of creating meteors by a simple swish of our forefingers.

My phone alarm rang and went dead. Then, the reminder came; ‘Seminar at 9.00 AM.’

I got up and panicked. Or that’s what I thought. T, my roommate, says that I just stayed where I was and howled. Anyway, he and the Philosopher (another character, who used to philosophize and spiritualize everything and personally cherished a good porn anytime of the day!) carried me back to the room. I was put on some new clothes of T’s selection. His fashion sense matched that of the most stylish Neanderthal. I was kept behind a bicycle and door-delivered at my class. I struggled and wriggled inside and then in no time, I found myself at the Podium, facing a class full of girls with some male faces sticking out here and there. At this point, it’d be nice of me to say that I did my Bachelors in a men’s college; one of those Catholic anomalies still existing in Kerala. My father, taking into consideration my exploits in Politics, decided to get me admission in St. Berchman’s College as it was the only college where student organizations were banned. That it did not have girls were just an add-on! So, suddenly, I was doing something that I hadn’t done in almost half a decade; being the centre of attention of a bunch of girls! The fact that I was pissed and stoned suddenly did not matter at all.

I even did not realize that I was standing there with only two pages out of the nine pages of information I had written down the previous day. But, there was no time to worry about that. I was beginning to worry about the fact that I could read only the headlines. So, I began, like Ron Burgundy stoned, to read out stuff like ‘Pooh-Pooh’ and ‘Ding-Dong’ and TA-TA’ with no connection or whatsoever. It seems I even attempted to write on the green board but I could barely move away from the podium. Anyway, it was a disaster and started me off on a bad relationship with our course instructor, who got very bad ideas about me. I cannot blame her for that. She was prejudiced about me. We never got along well.

It was not like it was all my fault. She knew shit about Language Teaching. Her classes on ‘Phonetic Transcription’ were the worst torture I had to go through. I WAS good at Transcribing. I was taught that art pretty well by Prof. A.J.T. back in S.B. There were a bunch of us in that class who could transcribe any English word better than an Englishman. This woman’s classes made me ‘undo’ whatever I was taught by one of the best teachers I’ve ever known. I was mercilessly thrown into a pit of confusion when it came to this art I once cherished. I never tried it again.

 

 

Orca (1977) – A Tribute to Richard Harris

This is Richard Harris time for me. I have decided to watch and collect the movies of the late legendary Irish actor. Until recently, I never considered giving him or Richard Burton any importance that they deserved. So, I’m in this phase where I’m watching only Richard Harris’ films. Two days ago, I came across this amazing film called Orca (1977). I want my post to be about it.

The Poster of Orca (1977)
The Poster of Orca (1977)

Richard Harris plays the role of Captain Nolan, who hunts big marine animals to supply to the aquariums and institutes. During one of his exploits he comes across a marine scientist Rachel, played by Charlotte Rampling, who researches on Killer Whales. Captain Nolan gets interested in Orcas (Greek for Killer Whale) and try to catch one. Unfortunately, he tries to harpoon a killer whale in a group and ends up capturing its female mate which delivers a half-grown fetus. Captain Nolan and the crew gets troubled by the sight. The male Orca, which witnesses his mate’s death, attacks the boat on its way back to the harbour, to get the captured Orca back. A crew member dies while trying to release the captured and wounded Orca back into the Ocean. However, the female Orca dies from the wound and male Orca starts attacking the harbour, to take revenge upon Captain Nolan. The rest of the movie is about how Captain Nolan is made to take a decision on whether to go out into the sea and face his challenger, the Killer Whale.

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan, along with the captured female Orca. A scene from the Film
Richard Harris as Captain Nolan, along with the captured female Orca.
A scene from the Film

I was reading up on the movie and felt a bit dull to know that it was often being compared to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). How much ever I try, I simply can’t bring the two movies together. Jaws features a man-eating great White Shark wreaking havoc in a coastal town where a Sheriff decides to hunt it down. What is the similarity between the two movies other than the man-versus-marine animal scenario? I personally think Orca is better because it features an intelligent animal and not a mindless beast like a Shark that doesn’t know (or care) what it eats. A Killer Whale, as it is said in the movie, is a social animal, just like us humans. They are known to have emotions and not entirely dependent on instincts. A shark on the other hand, is just an organic existence with a lot more teeth, that too sharp! There is no myth or legend about a Shark; except that it eats and that it can be eaten, if killed. But, if you start researching on Killer Whales, there’s no end to the number of myths and legends that surround this animal, right from the ancient times. There are American Indian legends to Greco-Roman myths to stories in Indian Languages. Orca, the film, have pretty much summed up the mythical as well biological data of this peculiar animal in the words of Dr. Rachel Bedford,

“You’re planning to capture and sell a fellow creature! He’s like you – he has worm blood, he breathes air, he’s a mammal, but with intelligence!

The struggle of Roy Scheider to catch a toothy Shark is nowhere near the moral and personal struggle of Captain Nolan, who knows he has committed a sin to that animal by killing its mate and child. Richard Harris grows on you as the film progresses. From a cheeky, careless hunter whose only interest is to pay off the mortgage on his boat to a self-realizing, self-pitying man, filled with remorse, Harris demonstrates how a character should be evolved.

Captain Nolan waits at the dock, hoping to look the Orca 'in the eye' to ask 'what he wants.'
Captain Nolan waits at the dock, hoping to look the Orca ‘in the eye’ to ask ‘what he wants.’
Captain Nolan, stands at the watch tower of his ship, while the Orca leads him into the Cold Ocean, in to his territory
Captain Nolan, stands at the watch tower of his ship, while the Orca leads him into the Cold Ocean, in to his territory
Richard Harris as Captain Nolan listening to the Sonar, to his enemy, the male Orca, while trying to follow it into the deep sea.
Richard Harris as Captain Nolan listening to the Sonar, to his enemy, the male Orca, while trying to follow it into the deep sea.

It is said that Richard Harris used to get terribly angry when any comparison was made between Jaws and Orca. He walked out of an interview, abused a film critic and punched a fellow traveller in the face whenever parallels were made between these two movies. I read about these incidents before watching the film. Now that I have watched it, I know why Harris, a legend by himself and at the same time one of the most impulsive and raw humans ever walked on the planet, did all that.

The film also has a beautiful soundtrack, especially in the opening scene where two Orcas are shown swimming around in a serene Ocean habitat. The cinematography is awesome and visual effects, nostalgic, taking you back to the typical 1970s’ favourite techniques of super imposition and colouring. IMDB has given it a rating of 5.5, as if someone like Richard Harris would give a damn. As a movie buff, I don’t.

Richard Harris movie festival will continue until I finish watching all that there’s to watch of his filmography. That means there is more of this type posts coming. Watch the movie if you can.

Landed on a Comet! Now what???

Things have happened which we thought before as unimaginable. A spacecraft of the European Space Agency has landed on a comet. Philae, the spacecraft, landed on Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, after minor glitches and major suspense. European Space Agency and the world’s ignited minds are celebrating this as a next step (of course, after the invention of Apple iPhone and George Bush’s War on Terror) in the progress of mankind.
13philae-master1050-v2We have seen it in Armageddon (1998), Bruce Willis try and get a team of drillers on a comet that was on its way to hit earth. That the team included the likes of Steve Buscemi, is something that I can’t get over even now. (The moment I saw him in the movie, I knew he was gonna behave erratically, later!)

Anyway, humans have got a washing-machine size spacecraft on an unstable comet which is flying at high speed to swing around the sun and go far and deep into the Space. Another Star Trek movie can be expected on this later, right? Remember the first one? It is by far one of my favourite Star Trek films. The 1979 Star Trek: the Motion Picture, where Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise discover a magnetic cloud approaching Earth! In the centre of the cloud, Spock (who takes a long, boring spacewalk which took half the film’s time!) discovers a ‘consciousness’ and attempts a telepathic connection with it. Well, he gets knocked out and Kirk takes a spacewalk to get Spock back.

Spock taking a Spacewalk in a thruster. Viewers are subjected to a good half an hour of Leonard Nemoy's always-old face and cold eyes staring at them while a bunch of white fluorescent circles turn behind him as to make it look like he is moving forwards. The way it happened, I fainted and fell on my face after five minutes of watching it!
Spock taking a Spacewalk in a thruster. Viewers are subjected to a good half an hour of Leonard Nemoy’s always-old face and cold eyes staring at them while a bunch of white fluorescent circles turn behind him as to make it look like he is moving forwards. The way it happened, I fainted and fell on my face after five minutes of watching it!

This ‘consciousness’ terms itself V’Ger. It lacks emotion although I’m doubtful it can beat Spock at that. Anyway, at the end of the movie, Kirk, Spock and Decker figures out that V’Ger is nothing other than ‘Voyager 6’ (There’s no Voyager 6, by the way, only 1 and 2, both of them are going in to the Interstellar!!!), a 20th Century space probe by NASA which was found by an alien race and re-designed to be sent back to its creator race, finding and gathering information about everything on its way. That is a really fucked up thing to do, whoever did it. In 1979, the filmmakers may have thought NASA will just keep on sending spacecrafts into the deep space, numbering it 1, 2, 3, 4…etc. But NASA shut down the programme after sending Voyager 2.

Now let’s imagine our Philae doing the same thing. ESA already thinks that Philae will go out of commission in two years when it cannot gather energy from the Sun, as the comet will carry it out of Sun’s range. So, this spacecraft will sit on the Comet and ride peacefully into the Interstellar. There, some funny alien race will intercept this comet and find that there’s some junk on it which vaguely looks like their sex toy or something. They’ll study it and figure that there’s a race out there somewhere, which specializes in sending stuff out of their planet! To them, humans might look like a screwed-up kid who pastes chewing gum on cars that run past him! ‘Let’s giv’em something to think about, lads!’ their Senior Scientist will say. ‘Let’s show them we are more advanced and fucked up! Let’s giv’em a nice space kick right up their Interstellar arse!’ He will walk the line of young alien scientists, working to make our Philae more interesting. Then, one fine alien morning, they will shoot it out of their stratosphere towards our Earth!

‘I sure do hope this little son of a bitch will tell them there are big fuckers out here and we are not to be messed with. What do they think, sending us sex-toys through sky? Audacious assholes!’ Their President will say.

‘Aye Aye, Sir.’ Their Senior Scientist will reply.

By the time it reaches back to us, I just hope we will be ready with the stuff they show us in the Sci Fi movies; space warp, time-jump, beaming etc.

What’s Wrong in Kissing – II. Reply to Hate-Mails.

Writing about the Kiss of Love was a good experience. Even more overwhelming was the response I got. Besides a 100+ share on Facebook and Twitter, I got hatemails too. I opened up my email the other day to see three emails with no subjects. Now, that says something about the sender, right? Anyway, I don’t have any policy that stops me from reading such mails so I decided to sit and grace them with my attention. They all (amazingly, all three) started in a nice and cordial manner but soon started getting very abusive. Typical! I won’t bother pasting them here but I will surely show you some samples.

Mail 1

“How dare you insult my culture?”

“You go and Kiss your mother, you fucker!”

“@@#&*@#” (That was Hindi for motherfucker).

“You don’t know what India has”. (Now, that’s new!)
Mail 2

“India is my mother. You insulted her.”

“You have not a Hindu. You have no culture. So don’t dare talk about Hindus.”

“We will kill you like Pig.”

“You are freedom to kiss. You Kiss. You sex. You fuck. Why telling others to fuck. Fuck off.”

“You Tamil idiot! I am Indian. You don’t talk about Hindus. India is good culture. You go to Sri Lanka.”

 

Mail 3

“What is your problem? Why kiss in public? Its not culture.”

“We beat ass when kiss in public park.”

“We don’t tell West to come to India. India won’t go to West.”

“Girls are not wear jeans. Only Salwar.”

“You are dog. We are men. That is difference. If you write this, against India and us, we will burn you. Dog.”

“Why? You kiss your girlfriend, mother and everybody else. No bring such things to India. We don’t kiss in India.”

So, these are the ‘highlights’ of the hate-mails I received. I should confess that it made an amazing read. I don’t generally like getting abused but the struggle of ignorant fools to ‘abuse’ me looked very amusing. I chose not to reply to any of those mails. I chose to use my blog to reply to them.

 

Dear Mailer 1,

I did not insult your culture. I merely pointed out that you are ignorant of what could be termed as ‘Culture’. And, let me tell you that I do kiss my mother; upon my arrival at home for vacation and when it is time for me to leave, I do kiss the one who gave birth to me. But I can see that you lack a good mother which is probably the reason behind such blatant aggression and ignorance. I surely won’t be able to list out what all India has but I know for a fact that India, unfortunately, has total idiots like you. Your I.P address shows that you’re from Maharashtra. Jai Maharashtra.

 

Dear Mailer 2,

India is probably your mother but I did not insult her. I surely don’t have Hindu. Do you? How is it? How much was the price for 1 KG? Where did you buy it? Please mention that in the next hate-mail. I have no culture either. Sorry bro.

You will kill me like Pig? Have you ever killed a Pig before? Ever seen any living thing, other than dogs and mosquitoes, getting killed?

Yes. I are freedom to Kiss. I do Kiss. I do fuck, but I don’t think that is any of your business. Anyway, that is why I have something called a healthy mind and life. Maybe you should also try it for a change. But I certainly do not force others into er… what you would call ‘fuck’. Fuck Off to you too. Really!

Now, Sir, your last comment was just awesome. You have no idea how much I laughed about it. I laughed maniacally after a long time. I guffawed in such a way that I knocked a nice cup of hot coffee all over my shorts (almost ruining my chance to have a healthy sexual life, I should say!) and sandals. I am from the South, but not Tamil. And the last I checked, Tamil Nadu was a part of India too. So, if you’re Indian, my dear, that makes us brothers. Although not intellectually, at least in sharing what Nehru would call a ‘collective destiny’. You do know Nehru, right? He was the First captain of the Indian Cricket Team! And, Tamils did not come from Sri Lanka. Neither do they go there. Tamils (in India) isn’t very fond of Lankans, from what I understand. But then, you surely have no clue what I am talking about.

 

 

Dear Mailer 3,

You beat ass when kiss in public? How do you do that? I have seen Gorillas pounding their chest as a kinda war cry or a warning. Is it something like that? Does it hurt when you beat your ass when kiss in public? One more question, is your girlfriend (or boyfriend) okay with you beating your ass when kissing her (him) in public?

I think you are doing a great favor to the world by not telling the West to come to India. Imagine what unimaginable horrors would happen if such a thing happens. What if the West actually listens to you and decides to come to India? I don’t think the world is ready for a sudden shift in the tectonic plates. The whole of West moving towards South Asia and finally merging with it! What a catastrophe could that be! Please don’t tell the West to come and please don’t let India go to West.

Okay! Okay! Girls are not wear jeans. They are only wear Salwar! I are only Jeans. I are a man. Can I are wear jeans? Thank you. Thank you. You are truly wonderful. (Oops! I just used are in a wrong place!)

Excuse me, was that a death threat? Oooooo! I’m so scared.

I kiss my girlfriend. I already mentioned that, didn’t I? I also kiss my mother. I mentioned that too, right? Not everybody else. What do you think of me? Some Yoga-Baba? To kiss each and everyone around and bless them? I didn’t bring it to India from somewhere. I just did it here. Oh! No one kisses in India? Then I’m the first one to do so. :D

 

Anyway, it seems I have irritated some ignorant desert monkeys who rallies at wherever someone puts up something saffron or green or blue. I don’t give a damn! As long as you guys fight in the name of a religion or a god or some nonsense like that, I will treat you like shit. Keep your beliefs in your pocket and don’t come interfering in mine. You have no right to decide someone else’s personal freedom. Just understand that simple lesson and if you do, you can start considering yourself as a progressive homosapien. Until you do, I hardly see any difference between you and a wild monkey!

What’s Wrong in Kissing?

Nobody ever kissed in India. Then why now? No one had sex, either. C’mon. What’s this hullaballoo about ‘kissing in public’? Yesterday, I read about/watched how protestors in my University were arguing that ‘kissing in public’ is against Indian culture. To bring the argument (hopefully) to a peaceful line, let me ask one question.

“What (in the bloody hell) is Indian Culture?”

kiss-of-love-protest.jpg.image.784.410

I know. I know. I’m asking a difficult question. No one, I mean, no one can answer that question. Because there’s no clear definition to what Indian Culture is. Sanghis will start mentioning ‘Vedas & Upanishads’ or ‘Ramayana and the Mahabharata’ as an answer to this question. None of these texts say what Indian Culture is. They are just products of an evolving population, their imaginations and their encounter with another race. What Right-Wing people can actually do is point out what is against a culture. If you cannot define what belongs to a culture, how in the name of Odin’s Eye can you say what doesn’t belong to a culture?

My cousin, a known Sanghi and an ‘Indian culture enthusiast’ (with whom I had an argument two days ago when we were watching the Police chasing couples across Marine Drive in Kochi) started by saying ‘going to temple.’ He was definitely talking about Hindu culture. Not Indian. That says that he believes only a Hindu can be Indian. I asked him. ‘What about non-Hindu Indians? Are they allowed inside Temples?’ He glared at me. Long time ago, when both of us were developing socio-political consciousness, I used to poke him into arguments about Culture and India. He would fall for my tricks and start getting agitated, spitting and swearing, soon falling into a fit of non-sensical, spoon-fed stupidity. I remember one particular incident in which I told him that most temples in India were once something else; a small fort or a Buddhist vihara or a Buddhist hospital. He erupted into a murderous rage and started cursing me. His is a lost case. His father, a good man and a retired teacher who excels in Farming, once told me, ‘I don’t take him serious. I’m worried about the girl he marries. What will that child have to go through to live with him is something beyond my imagination.’

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Coming back to Kissing… what can possibly be someone’s problem if a couple is kissing in public is beyond my I.Q. Nobody has a problem when eve-teasing happens in public. No one responds. When accidents happen, people hesitate to take the victims to hospitals. When a girl holds a boy’s hands, or walk too close to him…. When a boy wraps his hands around the waist of his girl or touch her face… Floooooop! Everyone’s eyes pop open and start bulging out with CULTURE written in block letters on their eyeballs. Personally, I don’t think twice if I feel like pulling my girlfriend close to me or when I have to wrap my hands around her waist. Anyone coming to me with CULTURE will get a black eye! But the question is why do we have to generate hostility for a simple act of love? Isn’t ‘Freedom of (fuckin’) Expression’ part of our Constitutional Right? And, as far as I know, Dr. Ambedkar hasn’t written anything about ‘Kissing in Public’ in that gorgeous book called ‘The Constitution of India’. I asked a couple of lawyer friends too. They also said there is nothing significant about it in the Indian Penal Code.

The protest that happened was not to grant any new rights to kiss in public. It was against the moral policing of the people in the name of Culture. A bunch of people who can’t even define what Culture is, goes around protecting it! What can be funnier than this? Well, that’s what’s happening here and we are all victims of that.

The Right-Wing Sanghis just contribute a lot to it through their abundant stupidity. ‘Kissing’ is bad. ‘Sex’ is bad! Sometimes I wonder how India became the second most populated country in the planet if these two were bad according to all the religions here. What? Are you guys telling me that ‘Sexual-Intercourse’ never happened? Is there any method of Yoga that’d enable us to ‘procreate’ without sexual intercourse?

(Those who have problems understanding the word ‘intercourse’, please look up in the internet. Please be warned that the application of that word in to humans results in to a lot of kisses happening!)

Sometimes I laugh a lot when someone start quoting the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as examples of how one should live their life. Just translate these stories into plain, understandable language. Then take a look; see how many rapes and abductions and unimaginable horrors are happening.

Still, I wonder. How do these guys make love? Do they? Do they kiss? Do they make out? If they have to make little assholes, how do they do it? They go to fertility clinics? So that they can do it without touching their female partner ever? These are some questions that I seek answers to when I see these idiotic ‘Protectors of Culture’ make an appearance.

If only they had the chance to ‘have a good fuck’, they’d probably understand the futility of all this non-sense that they have been doing for a while.

P.S: I can only imagine the response of those B.J.P. MLA’s in Karnataka who watched porn in their tablets while the assembly was in session.