It is horrifying to witness a father bury his son.
The women wailing.
Relations, family, friends and onlookers watching a passing away of a youngman – shot dead in a moment. Nature or is it God that guides our sudden surges of hatred? The urge to kill…the careful planning and execution of a hit…blood money changing hands…life expectancy decided by revenge.
Life for a life.
Today one confronted this and more.
What can I say to C that will bring his son back?
Merely folded hands, platitudes and the sharing of his sense of loss.
As a father I feel his grief.
As a father I too carry the burden of a society that one is an integral part of – skewered notions of right and wrong coated with an insidious layer of ‘wants’ / ‘needs’ seducing souls; And overseen by the Grim Reaper.
To the departed son of C all one can say in this tragic parting is this…
Disraeli Gears, Cream, Clapton all live on in the voice of ‘Elvis’ with homegrown Raster locks who plays the acoustic guitar while an eight year old girl in a sequined dress dances under the adoring eyes of the parents. Suddenly a woman in a little black number grabs the mike and chants hoarsely, “Bom Bom bole, Bole Shiva Shiva”, and then takes a deep drag on a spliff.
Another coconut feni is washed down and sucking on a cigar resumes. Who would have thought that this wooden shack was once a part of the hippie hype of the last millennium.
The ever present anxiousness to preserve, recreate and imitate a lost naturalness hangs expectantly in the liquor sodden air around him.
The sun sets as always and darkness welcomes the shadows. He leaves the parody and heads down unknown streets but can’t find his way home, so a friend takes him elsewhere – for mutton biryani and a Kingfisher.
The following day he is awakened by the out of sync neighbor’s live band tentatively playing Blue Moon. The doleful rendition is punctuated by the tinkling of a bell as the Sunday Faithful announce their presence at the nearby grotto of Mother Mary.
We the faithful with our prayers and beseeching are like cliches smothered in chocolate sauce.
How often have Sundays arrived to taunt us with our supposed iniquities? Could it be that Sundays have been invented for this purpose – to contemplate futility in religiosity?
And speaking about contemplation, he needs to find his way home …to keep level and steady amidst pulsating minds and senseless acts of passion.
Ambiguity is reassuring…it sustains delusions and cocoons one in a makeshift world of placid prose.