Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Bloghouse Continued... more Arbit Thoughts of an Arbit Fellow

Ok, this wasn't exactly back to back, and there are no zombies or slashers, but never mind.

Thought II: How in Control are We ?

It happened yesterday when I was returning from Taekwondo practice. A windy day with temperature close to zero. I was all wrapped up in a hooded sweatshirt, rain-jacket (there was possibility of rain), monkey cap and muffler. Add gloves and a pair of tkd pants and you have yourself quite an ensemble I suppose.

Anyway, I was at the main road, waiting for the light to change. And, as is my wont, I waited for it in a sort of eyes-open stupor, wonder whether Zahhak would be a good idea for a comic villain, or Macbeth would be good in the Hitchhiker's Guide, as a sort of ancillary character, when I made out " this SHEEIT!!" with a secondary "Haha!!" and a couple of things whizzed past. One missed altogether, while the other brushed the jacket and dropped by my bike. I could barely make out a car with 4 people in it, as they turned around the corner and went out of sight. They threw chewed fruit rind or something.

I'm relieved. Whatever they threw, it missed. I wasn't hurt or humiliated in any way. But I'm also angry. I'm hurt and I'm outraged. And the target of a good deal of my anger is myself. I take jujitsu and taekwondo lessons for situations like this. You want to be prepared when a mugger comes at you, or a drunk leers at a girl you care about, or swastika-wearing white folk come screaming "Dotbusting time!!" or some such thing. But I wasn't. I could barely notice the car make or colour, let alone the number. And I knew even at that point, that there was no real point chasing a car on a bicycle, specially on an uphill road. But the inner me screams out. It's the voice of every critic who ever criticized me on strength or speed or stability or weight.It calls me a slow dimwitted fatass darpok. What the fuck is the point of your learning aikijujitsu, it asks. What could I have done? I reply, and it yells out "Something!!!" And I dunno what will silence it. The conscious me can only surmise that you anticipate situations like this only by going through them once, and figuring out what can happen, and more importantly, how to respond.

The second thing is the nature of the miscreants. We all know the type. They're the generic chutiyas - the ones who hit and run, the ones who take pleasure in the fact that they could annoy you, the ones you could chase forever, tire out and (If you've energy left) stamp out altogether (and face a subsequent manslaughter charge), or ignore. The least dangerous of potential attackers, in short, but also the ones who incite the most anger in you. They're to be found in bars and beach roads and maidans and any sort of broad public space from Rio to Reykjavik. But right now, the image of four white guys sticks in my head. I see four white bullies. And now, for I don't know how long, white folks are potential rind-throwers and spitters and callers of names and what not. White people are, in short the enemy now. Even my neighbour. Even the Spanish guy two rooms down. Even my major professor. Anyone and everyone who doesn't have skin colour medium brown or shades darker must now have an eye kept on.

Fuck. You spend a lot of effort keeping your life exactly in control. One fucking incident can toss your world about like this. It's scary