Sunday, June 26, 2016

Life Experiments | The Beard Cult


           Life has pretty much been a 'going with the (family) wind' as far as decisions related to how I looked like. To be more precise, it was to the extent of 'when I had to trim my hair' to 'what's the style I must keep' so that it adheres to each of our tastes (for me it should be trendy, for my mom it should be neat and presentable while for my granny it should befit her taste). After running through these permutations and combinations, my hairdo has more or less been a 'summer cut' (and yeah it is summer throughout the year in this part of the world) and a clean shave for a great part of my life. Fast forward to the present here I am sporting a beard for almost two years now. And for this 'crime' I have been judged all the sorts ranging from people telling me that I look like a Muslim to asking me if I am expecting a baby. I have greatly developed a thick skin to just plainly ignore all of those.

            However there has been this one constant comment that I used to get on my (bearded) face which I couldn't ignore. It goes on like this. A grownup brings up a naughty / not-eating child nearby and points and refers to me telling "If you don't behave / eat properly then I will hand you over to this boochandi (apparently a slang for child trafficker)". And unsurprisingly more often than not the child obliges and turns orderly. They further this to asking me to be more 'normal' so that it appeals to the kids. I used to suggest to some of those grownups that the children do not form an opinion themselves and it is generally our coercing that makes them eventually react similarly.

            I used to wonder how much such visual stereotyping creates a pattern in children's minds which they carry on in their lives and tend to form opinions on lot of things thereafter based on their (acquired) idiotic reasoning while examining the visual aspect of things. Hence when I had my baby (we call him Chubbu) I was very clear on two things. One, not to shave just because people suggested that my shaving would make Chubbu more comfortable with me and two, not to impose any appearance based perceptive habits into him. 

             Cut the chase to after 9 months of Chubbu's birth and I was at a cousin's baby shower and family ceremonies are where I am mostly the odd one out off all the people who turn up. Chubbu had come with me for this event as he having already set a precedent of being really comfortable to unfamiliar faces and get along real easily. As expected a lot of folks wanted to have some Chubbu time for themselves and he was shunting from one aunt to another and ended up landing up in the hands of an uncle. For no reason whatsoever he started to cry out loud. I was surprised and hence I took over to pacify him. He was cool in no time and I passed him onto another cousin who was the only respite for me with respect to the beard stuff in that gathering. Chubbu was pretty cool with him as well just as much as he was with other women folks.  

             It has been so far so good and then something extraordinary happened. Once again Chubbu was passed on by the round-robin way to that same uncle and he burst out crying instantly and a thought struck to me almost instantly. Just to confirm the premise of my reasoning I passed him onto this cousin of mine again and he was back to playful ways. To prove the point quite convincingly I passed him onto this same uncle again and he started to cry. I was now very clear on this newfound knowledge. Therefore after pacifying him I passed onto to several uncles and he cried almost instantly at the hands of almost every one of those folks.

             It was hence proven without an iota of doubt that Chubbu has developed a resistance and displeasure to be in the company of 'clean shaven' men. Amidst kids who were made to be scared of 'boochandi' here's a baby who was displeased to be in the company of those 'neat and charming' people and not because he was conditioned to but because he chose himself to be so.

இதோ ஒரு விதி தகர்த்தோம்

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Brutally Honest Relationship Confession

            It has been quite a few years now and I must say the journey has been a really tough ride. Well, it all began as a curiosity (that which was thought to be love) at first sight and continued on with the typical meeting, waiting, eating et al. Though I approached the meet-ups (the so called relationship) without any expectations, the surroundings (oh yeah the people) started defining and filling in even when there were no blanks. Not that I was uncomfortable about them doing so, but then this thing between her and I of course came with its riders. 

          For the person I am I started to develop the tolerance, patience and slipped into the world of nonchalance (without a doubt, implicitly). On top of these I was caught amidst the expectations of the surrounding and the  exasperation of the relationship. And I inevitably  started to live dual lives, one for the world and one within the four walls.

       It was no brainer to realize that the curiosity (love) was indeed a short lived phenomenon and life thereafter more so became accustomed to being unconcerned roomies in contrast to the erstwhile accommodative partners. Preparing food was never her forte or even worse was the fact that she ate as and when she pleased. I confined myself to home food while she flew off every other day and I don't even remember when she came back home.

             Though I showed an outwardly patience and restraint, day by day my resentment and annoyance for even her presence in my vicinity, grew. Working on improving the relationship was a lopsided aka a one sided affair. I understood her main contention being my bringing home of friends and relatives. She liked things to be calm and peaceful for her to come out of her invisible shell and even have a meal. I still obliged and cut down the frequency of people coming home and instead started meeting people outside.

            It was indeed a considerable attempt as far as I was concerned however she did not seem to notice or rather care about it. I wasn't able to fathom what else was running in her mind and it started to irritate me even more. Again restraint and patience is what I resorted to and I ceased to care or work on towards the betterment of the relationship and things sort of started to settle with same state of affairs as the status quo.  

         I went on with my daily work routine without bothering even a bit thereafter and surprisingly I started to notice a positive change in her, she was all chirpy and bold and I could see her being very active too. I started to break my head and what could possibly be the reason behind but in vain.  

           Once, I came back home earlier than usual and without an announcement I unlocked the house, she was having a party with a lot of folks (strangers to me) and she was taken aback with my unannounced arrival. I did not say a word or even flinch but everybody ran helter-skelter and exited quietly one after the other. I was cross with her and for once shouted at her for her hypocrisy of hosting strangers but avoiding even the presence of folks known to me. It started to fume within me on all things from the past and I warned her not to indulge again.

                The next few weeks went by without an incident and ever since that party suspicion started to grow manifold in me and I started to sort of keep track of what's happening. I am a sound sleeper and once I retire for the day I tend to sleep like a log, which she was very much aware in these many years of being around. One night a fearful nightmare shook me and woke me up. I walked into the dining area half-awake to drink a glass of water and (no awards for guessing) she was partying crazy with so many folksI couldn't even figure out how many and some were so young that I could only call them kids. That was it and I let go of the last straw holding back my temper and I don't even know what was I thinking and I got hold of a broom in the room and ran angrily towards them and started hitting all of them. Many jumped out and managed to escape, while a little more than a couple just dropped down dead one by one. I couldn't understand a thing and wondered if I was so strong or were they so weak. My mind did not calm down and she was the last one standing frozen in her looks after having witnessed the massacre. She tried to run away and I just landed a soft blow on her back, she dropped down unconscious. Time as well a lots of thoughts were running hard and fast. 

           I had to make a choice and after a lot a thought I swept her and all the other dead cockroaches into the dustpan and flushed them down the drain in one go. 

Waiting for karma to hit me back with vengeance...
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