Monday, January 31, 2005

A Bleak Moment

It is quite despicable. Feeling sorry for myself is such a preoccupation. But it is so much easier than doing anything about it.

The hours and days go whoosh and so I blame not having time to change my pathetic little life. I blame the media for imposing impossible standards of beauty on women. I hold my parents responsible for all the childhood insecurities that has festered over the years, maturing into this bitter old bat. I blame my deliberately fragmented society for all the sick rotten prejudices that have denied me affordable education, housing and occupation.

It is hard when all the negativity gets to you and the good of the world is overshadowed by hate and sorrow and violence and arrogance. I truly believe that humankind is doomed. I doubt even religion can bring salvation. Is my God better than yours? The all benevolent God, the one that preaches kindness and good, and love and compassion, will be the same one who will condemn you wretched infidels into the fiery depths of hell to suffer for all eternity. That is if the fanatics don't toss you in there first.

Politicians behaving like fools, arrogant judges who have no regard for common courtesy (talk to any chambering student) , drivers who kill people with steering locks - sigh that is it, all my donations will now be channelled to animal welfare. Quoting Calvin from the venerable Calvin and Hobbes, "the surest sign of intelligent life out there (in space) is the fact that none of them have tried to contact us."

I am depressed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tribute to Tata

I didn't intended to begin with a post related to death. Yet there is much to be said about things you don't see coming. I am off to a funeral in a couple of hours. My grandfather's.

I hardly knew the man honestly but I do sense the loss. Deeper than I thought I would. I think he is a gentle man and a proud man. My dad has his eyes. It breaks my heart knowing that dad won't be in time for the cremation.

All I have of grandfather now are carelessly stringed memories that play like short sudden movie clips. My earliest and favourite is of him silently threading a bead curtain the night before Deepavali. The same bead curtain one over-enthusiastic little girl burst through, snagged and practically unravelled, spilling the tiny shells all across the floor. Through remorseful eyes I watched him patiently repairing the damage without reproach. Which was worse. Left me feeling guilty for years.

My grandparents lived in a papan house in Jelapang where we had a cool mossy well but no drinking water. Off grandfather would go on his black bicycle with a big plastic container to buy water. Oh there were plenty of us and there were many many trips.
Pressed white shirt, sun blackened skin and wobbling plastic container.

What I don't quite remember is why he had his large toe cut off. I couldn't exactly ask as not knowing his language is a huge pain.

He wheezed very loudly. So it was always terribly easy to locate the chap. And his handshakes were vigorous. They left your arm resonating for at least half an hour. And now what sticks in my mind is his grim expression as he sat in his wheelchair, not being able to walk or talk or give us that jolly jelly handshake. Just a squeeze of a finger. A beautiful tight squeeze which channeled so much emotion. Emotions I could not decipher.

I feel I should mourn harder but I am still undecided.
Should I mourn his death? Do I still want him to be stuck helpless in that wheelchair for years? Is it better for him now? Was this what he himself wanted? An idea which would repulse and definately anger not a few of my relatives. Precisely why they must not read this.

Death always reminds me of my own mortiality and of course those I hold dear. I suspect I will cry later on the day but it will be for purely selfish reasons. I will cry mostly because I will miss him. And because I didn't know him.