THIS IS THE CONTINUATION OF SHANKARAN PILLAI -THE CONFUSED ARE NORMAL…LEARNING FROM THE CONCRETE JUNGLES…..
Like every morning S.P was sipping tea sitting on his favorite table by the window of Hotel Bombay. His attention was on a statue which was about 7 feet tall erected on a concrete platform. What stood there amid the dirty and dark lane looking audacious and rebellious was the stone sculpt of a naked woman. Her hair unkept and left free like water in the dam. Her breast hanging like flowers of the plantain. She was voluptuous but her body looked bleak and sacrosanct . Her facial expression was very confusing. It looked like she was experiencing an orgasm. The artist had portrayed a masochistic expression on her face very correctly .Her face said she wanted more and more of pain. Her eyes closed tight and her hands clutching her dizzy head, not able to bear the ecstasy she was experiencing. Her head could fall any moment. Her armpits exposed to the world below her and her face finding asylum in her dark armpits from this world full of eyes. But there was also a subtle and hidden expression on her face which S.P could decipher .It was the expression of happiness ,the happiness of being free and enjoying liberty from the sheet that covered her and the ropes that clutched her about a week ago. She was like that audacious and bold green sapling that had the will to emerge from the cracks of grey concrete walls. The saplings like an abandoned child had the will to live. S.P loved those saplings. S.P loved her. The artist keeping her honour had covered her genitals by her folded legs. Her buttocks round and perfect all open to the world. All this exposure but not a hint of anger or distress on her face.
She was out for almost a week. The first day she was exposed ,S.P and the regulars and the new comers who walked by that lane every day had their eyes on her .For a moment they sacrificed their priceless attention to her They forgot all about work ,family ,money and gathered around her like stray dogs ready to pounce on a lamb. All the men gathered around her and started discussing about her ,about the novelty of their day. Like teenagers who had their hands on a bikini babe photo for the first time ,all of them were excited .This femme fatale will be their second reason to go to work and walk by this dirty lane. The first being to satisfy their NECESSITY-the god of all .And for the next 4-5 days they would be happily walking past her sweltering body swallowing all the saliva formed in their mouth by looking at her curvaceous body, her deep navel which was like a black hole that absorbed everything…men’s eyes mostly. Her long legs were seductive. They blessed the municipality for installing and the artist for creating this erotic artwork. For them she was the only good thing to happen in this labyrinth like lane occupied by junkies, prostitutes, peddlers, lowlifes ,pimps ,crooks, scavengers..People of diverse negativities lived there. They took that road only to feed their cranky stomach.
For S.P she was something different. Her presence there was disturbing his and other pedestrians attention like the odour of fish from the nearby fish market disturbing his normal breath. He associated her presence with the odour of fish. Both disturbing. So he named her Matsyagandha.a hindu mythological character meaning one who smells like fish.He remembered a Raja Ravi Varma painting of Matsyagandha .Somehow S.P felt that the odour was like a resonating element to her sensuousness. tribal sensuousness.
The first week of her coming she was raped by the public’s looks. Men wishing she were real and women envying her existence. But today after a week S.P as usual sitting on his regular table observing people noticed that the regulars had lost interest in Matsyagandha. Ofcourse she would catch the eye of newcomers but not the regular guys. The new comers enjoyed her presence amid the busy lane .the regular guys who walked on that road looked at her with bland expressions “nothing new we see her naked everyday “.but for the first few days she had every bodies attention they couldn’t take their eyes off her. But for the new comers who just happened to pass by that lane were amused to see Matsyagandha and her bold attitude.
S.P had taken many things from this observation. We are all children. We have a childhood when we are kids. A second childhood when we are old and according to S.P between the first and second childhood is the real childhood that we live. When the object was covered all were inquisitive and curious to know what was behind the cover .Once they knew what it was all their inquisitiveness drained down .just like the feeling the man has when his penis contracts the moment he ejaculates. Like the end of a suspense thriller movie. Once the secret was out who gives a fuck. When you have seen the object for a week who gives a fuck later .Just like a toy for a kid. When he sees the toy in the shop trying to attract him, he is all of the toys existence and wants to buy it and try it .Once he gets it he may use it for sometime and may loose all interest in it later .We all like novelty. In the same way all the pedestrians walking on the lane were awestruck by Matsyagandhas presence and were attracted to her. They were happy of her presence there, but after a week they lost all interest. They used her like a toy. Man wants toys. He wants something to fidget with. Nowadays mobiles and tabs are those toys. Man makes toys to play with it and then get bored with it and then throw it. Its a child like mind after all. Whenever we hear the word “DON’T!” we always become inquisitive and curious and say “WHY NOT!!” .PROHIBITION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL INQIUSITIVE MINDS. Prohibition of drugs has created enough curiosity in many individuals.”WHAT IS IT?””WHY IS IT PROHIBITED?””WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I TAKE SOME OF IT??””WHY IS’NT EXCESS MONEY PROHIBITED AND ONLY DRUGS ,PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED TO BOTH??” .These are very common questions. The same with sex. Prohibit anything and it becomes a taboo and it attracts a lot of attention SEX.. DRUGS.. and many more. It gives rise to thousand questions in a persons mind. Its a child like mind.
Small sparks of questions like ”WHY?” which is the by product of prohibition released in a highly inflammable ait of confusion can lead your mind to start a massive nuclear fissions of QUESTIONS!!
S.P was suddenly disturbed by a child’s voice.”Why doesn’t ma have a moustache like you do pa?” loudly asked a little boy sitting beside S.P’s table to his father.The childs educated father was baffled at the question he was asked and was wondering how he would answer his son. The child’s mother sitting and laughing at her husband’s confused face. The father sweating with embarrassment and trying to hide away from the crowd and the people sitting on the adjacent tables. Who were laughing and smiling at the child’s innocent question. The child all confused ,looked at his father’s face expecting for an answer. S.P looked out of the window and smiled.
“QUESTIONS ARE INNOCENT,BOLD..ANSWERS ARE EMMBARRASING AND CUNNING ”