It’s one of those nights, when I have to wonder about the futility of this task. A recording of my history-which I dabble with but never really commit to! I’m not trying to be kind to myself like Winston Churchill-‘History will be kind to me because I intend to write it.’ But there is so much masking, so much I never say because it leaves me too vulnerable, too alone, too scared. Some nights I don’t want to hide behind the bravado, the ‘I’m too cool for school’ attitude. Sometimes, I just want to yell, ‘I can’t do this no more!’ but that I guess isn’t a choice I’m willing to exercise.
So, for now I’ll bottle it up and keep it in the closet and someday it will all erupt. For now, I’ll write my history diluted easier on everyone’s stomach-in the masking will be the revelation, for an intelligent a person to understand!
‘The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.‘-Mark Twain.
Things change and yet they don’t! In less than a week, the world seems a bit topsy turvy with the misogynist Donald Trump gearing up to take on the presidency of The United States Of America and our honourable Prime Minister- The Islamophobic Dictator, demonetising 86% of the currency in circulation. Am I shocked by the events? Not particularly; hate is a common binding function of the herd!
Economics and let’s not be as pessimistic as I am, and say- the hope of man from change, can be contributed as the reasons behind the rise of these two men. I have no aversion to change, considering I’m an adrelaine junky but I understand the futility of seeking it. It’s like a man ( or woman) who marries his mistress to only realise later that she too will behave like a wife (or husband) and his problems will remain the same, even if the woman (or man) changes. Things always look more appealing from a distance.
We are under the male gaze and most societies around the world, irrespective of how progressive they may seem, still are patriarchal. Men have an aversion to powerful women and it seems the white male is just as or more misogynistic than his yellow or brown counterpart. There, can’t be any other excuse for 69% of white men voting for Trump. Based on their credentials, how the candidates handeled the debates, and their respective histories, Clinton though, not a flawless person, was still the superior candidate. But women can be portrayed as witches much more effectively. It’s much easier to get them to chant, ‘Lock Her Up’, than to ask him to shut the fuck up, as he mocks, women as well as the disabled. We don’t have a level playing field with the men, even if we are better, we are still not good enough!
I seriously doubt Trump will be able to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans and I seriously doubt The Dictator will be able to wipe out Black Money from the economy. The informal sector will continue to use cash, the rich have already converted or are converting their currency into gold, dollars or property and the poor as usual are paying the price for it. You know, despite the Gujarat riots of 2002, most of the people I know voted for Mr Modi. Nothing turned them off about him- neither his RSS background, nor his attempts to turn educational institutions Right-winged, nor his anti-intellectual propaganda. Nothing, until now! Economics and convenience are terribly important in keeping sheep happy and Mr Modi just messed with that! If votes really do matter, he ain’t going to get many, the next time around. But, they don’t! Money does and considering the rest of the parties were caught unawares, the BJP will be the only party having enough converted currency to win any election, in the forseeable future.
But it’s a bold move, I must grant the P.M that and if he wasn’t a Hindu fundamentalist in a country where the majority are Hindus, I would have liked him for this audacity. Despite, the inconvenience it’s causing people, it could temporarily curb terrorist activities. But since he’s the leader of the herd, I can only give him my disdain.
Things change sometimes for the worse and like I said earlier, these days it seems, for the better. ‘ You sound beautiful, so much more peaceful,’ says Shets. Call it his male instincts or the power of Google but my dear friend has resurfaced. We update each other on the recent events of our respective lives. Of course, he’s not too pleased with the new emergence but he’s as amusing as ever. ‘Do I stand a chance with you?’, he asks giggling like a mad hatter. ‘Not if you were the last man on Earth! You know how I am with guys… I don’t want to lose you by making you a ‘man in my life’, I reply before breaking into peels of laughter with my ‘forever walla dost.’
I’ve been getting a feeling, like something big is coming this way. So, keeping up with the tradition of marking the ends and beginnings of eras, I head to a tattoo parlour.
‘When did you get your last one done?’, asks the designer at the tattoo parlour. ‘A decade ago!’, I reply, thinking about what a terribly emotional day it was for both the artist and I. ‘Didn’t want to get another one made?’, she inquires. ‘Not until now!’, I reply, scowling at a client whose just got a Taapsee Pannu, tattoo replicated. A decade ago, tattoos were still considered a sign of rebellion, the attire of the non conformists, unlike these days, when it’s a fashion statement. Bollywood made it a trend. So from your boy and girl next door to your corporate suit executive, to even a couple of Aunties, everyone seems to be getting inked. Each time a Deepika, Priyanka, Akshay or Ranbhir, showcase their’s on the silver screen, people head to the parlours.
My favourite part about getting inked is not the final product. That’s almost irrelevant. The ascertaining of your identity while you work on the layout, the significance of each tiny element, the sound of the machine and the way it tears into the skin, the sight of the tiny droplets of blood- it’s one of the most exhilarating and intimate experiences. The artist is reticent but has a very gentle touch. After twenty years of experience, under his belt, he nails it. We breeze through the hour, with my whistling intercepting the silences.