Archive for December, 2008

The new world

She sighed. The world had changed forever. One couldn’t not think of pain in the chest, or frequent headaches, or loose stools these days without letting one’s mind run riot.

She sighed. Cancer was now as common as the cold. And god knows there are enough variations to last the entire human race. Her turn would have to come. Some day before she died. Or just so she could die.

‘But you are working on finding a cure, are you not’, her family insisted. Forcing her to launch into an oft-repeated lecture on how the beast was smarter than man’s collective arsenal against it. She was tempted to add that it was man’s arrogance in his powers to control that lured the beast even more but they didn’t need to think she was loonier than she had led them to believe.

Because really, who relates to personification anymore? 


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Shortbread’s my favourite

Our English teacher once asked the class, Why are you good? ‘Because I want to be’ was my reply. ‘Nobody’s good because they want to be. You are good because you are afraid of punishment’, he said mockingly.  I didn’t agree with him, but I didn’t argue either. I didn’t know how to.

While I still want to be good regardless of the dictates of extrinsic factors, the fear of punishment does run close on the heels of this noble intent. After all, it isn’t easy to forget the childhood threat of umaachi kan kuthiduvar delivered in an ominous tone by parents, uncles, aunts and bullies-for-cousins. To an impressionable kid who was prone to visualize scenes in dramatic technicolour, it always conjured up an image of a Kamakshi vilakku obstinately poking at, and scooping the eyeballs out of their sockets. I must remember that conditioning is a great tool.

Despite the gory imagery (or perhaps, because of it?), I turned out alright. Though I don’t particularly care for the fear-of-punishment theory anymore, I was promised long ago that I’d get a cookie as a reward. Anyone knows of its whereabouts?

And while we’re on that, what drives you to be good? Do you, like me expect cookies in return?

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