Have the balls?
Okay, here, have the balls!
There’s this rickshaw puller I know because he is usually standing outside our society’s B-Gate (the one near the Mother Dairy with the seller who never, ever parts with his change). I know him as much as you know yours. Which is to say, I recognize him, I am sure he never charges a penny extra and also he’s usually standing free. No, I don’t know his name but I know he’s missing a thumb. Guilt at wrinkled hands clutching the rubber handles of a rickety rickshaw keeps riders at bay. Guilt. Or maybe they are in a hurry and those battery autos are faster, cooler and cheaper than yellow-green ones. Today afternoon, he was taking me to the other, farther Mother Dairy because the guy at this one (you know who never gives change) also never kept packet-wala-dahi – cheaper and better for raita. The rickshaw had just squeaked alive and started moving when hot, hot winds slapped my face. Looked down to escape the burn to see two pairs of burnt, dark, toned, hairless legs pushing pedals with the might of sweat. And blood. I don’t know what made me but I asked him something which meant ‘Till when will you do this?’ as I asked him to wait. His wide smile told me two things – 1. It was a silly question, a naïve one, coming from someone who has a family back home. 2. He has only three teeth on the top and one below. He said – ‘Till I fall asleep in this rickshaw, madam. Akele akele savari kaengey phir.’
And we still think Fortitude comes from a brown, crinkled, ultra-sensitive sac of the male organ.
A 60-year-old woman, mother to my maid, had a uterus she should be proud of. It took so much battering and pounding! Oh, you know, the B/W movie reel of three girls, then equal number of miscarriages, then one boy and by then a simple fever of the boy being attributed to the weakness of the womb and all that by a husband who drank, and drank, till he had sex with her, peed and slept. Wanted another kid, a stronger idea of a boy who suckled less. You must have heard that a zillion times over. Same story, different setting, different husbands, same weak-wombs. You know what she did? ‘Enough!’ she must have silently screamed one day when she stole his drink money to go get a Copper T inserted. ‘This is it, you swine!’ I imagined her screaming, when I heard this story over left-over aloo-kachori my maid was enjoying on a stool, under the fan. Then, what happened when he learnt? ‘Phir kya thaa. Bachha-daani bhi bach gayi, aur aurton mein izzat bhi badh gayi.’ She lived like a Queen. He slapped her, of course. But rumour has it that at the commons that night he cried like a baby. Like a baby boy.
And we still think Courage is born in a brown, crinkled, ultra-sensitive sac of the male organ.
Neither got away from the drudgery, really. So clapping at this point and assuming a “happily ever after” would be silly. Like the hands of a clock they were stuck to a point, forever damned to go round-and-round, keeping time mostly for others, that too. Hm.
You know the Myth of Sisyphus? The holy Gods decided to punish him, one day. (Let’s not go into details. Just know that mostly punishments are unfair!) So, this Sisyphus, he was doomed for eternity to push a rock up a mountain. On reaching the top, the rock would roll down again, leaving Sisyphus to start over. Sisyphus knew this would happen and yet he would begin all over again. Silly, sissy, stuck man. Oh, the absurdity of life! But what was he really doing by beginning all over again? One, acknowledging that a better life, truth, comfort, respect would come in one day because it does exist. Two, accepting what is, but with the strength and hope to push the rock back up again, despite knowing his own and the rock's fate. What must it have taken, imagine. Imagine!
Nah. Even this philosophical, fate-surpassing, looking-Gods-in-the-eye, I’m-fine-really idea did not emerge from the sac under question.
It all really comes from some place else. And we’re still at ‘Have the balls!’ to show your might.
Thankfully, I have none!