Monday, 6 April, 2009

Who’s stinky?

Oh! Life’s so boring. Nobody wants me. Come rain or shine, I stand here day in and day out. No one wastes a glance at me. (Sob sob…)

Eh! Who’s that? Here come two well-dressed ladies. I guess they are mother and daughter, going home after a big shopping. They’re checking the bills. Ladies, if you don’t want them, give it to me. I’ll take good care of them.

No! They dropped the papers on the roadside and left in an auto. Am I not standing just 3 ft behind them? Still… (Sob sob...)

Now, where is that stink coming from? The garbage van has already left. Good grief! Smells like she and her clothes haven’t seen water for ages. I don’t like stinky people, though ignorant people call me stinky. What’s this mad woman doing? Okay, she’s having food. After eating, she’ll leave all the trash behind. I’m sure.

Ugh! She’s even peeing there. Disgusting! Doesn’t she know only men can pee in public? Where are our culture police?

She’s leaving at last. I can open my nose and breathe now. But she’s coming towards me. What! She’s stuffing me with the leftover food and waste paper. I can’t believe this. I feel happy. What if she’s stinking? She’s using me.

Hey, she’s crossing the road. Be careful, dear. These drivers are mad nowadays. What’s she doing? Picking up something form the middle of the road. What’s she going to do with an empty cigarette packet and bits of paper? She’s coming back to me. She has also picked up the papers dropped by the ‘ladies’.

She’s giving me all the trash she picked up. Am I dreaming? Let me pinch myself. It’s real!

Sorry my lady. I was so rude to you earlier. I even called you stinky. Now I wonder who is stinky. You or those ladies.

From Waste Bin Diaries

Thursday, 2 April, 2009

Get in touch and deal

A friend of mine was forced to do cooking, serving, and cleaning, when he was a kid. He hated doing this, but there was no choice as his parents chose to turn a blind eye to his plight. They were scared of his paternal grandfather. I don’t know the details. Whatever it was, this boy grew up with anger towards his parents and hating any sort of kitchen/house work. When he was able to stand on his feet, he confronted his parents and told them how angry he was and how they had let him down. After this, his anger subsided, but could not bring himself up to do any housework. He adored his wife, but never helped her in the kitchen. It was fine with her as she was not working full time; she enjoyed cooking; and there was a maid to do washing and cleaning.

Then, wife became pregnant. I went to see her during the initial months of pregnancy. That day, it was he who had cooked lunch. I was surprised. This guy, hurt by his parents’ insensitivity, wants to a better parent. And he’s going to try real hard. To overcome his negative emotions about cooking, he decided to cook a meal all by himself. “It was terrible. I almost relived the pain of my childhood. But, it’s worth it. I don’t want to set a negative example to my kid by showing dislike to housework.” he told.

Another friend also was abused as a kid. He had to work in a relative’s hotel, deliver food around, and was ridiculed by family members. After he got married, he refused to do any work at home. His working wife had to take care of everything from cooking to getting his shoes ready to wear. On Sundays, he would ask her to cook his favourite food and go out to play cricket with friends. In effect, he expected more of mothering from his wife. Again due to whatever he suffered in his childhood. Wife, due to her own childhood baggage, was eager to please him and accommodated all his demands initially. Later, she started complaining about his insensitivity, but it was of no use. He didn’t even think he’s insensitive; so where is the question of changing?

I’m not in touch with them now. I heard the wife is expecting. Does this father also try to deal with the childhood pain and get over it? So that he can set a good example to the child? I hope he does. We want more sensitive kids in this world.

So far it was about others’ experiences. Though not of such magnitude, I have been able to trace out the roots of some of my behavioural traits and pull them out. I’m pretty sure that many of us will be able to track the origin of certain irrational behaviour, anger or hatred and deal with it. In some cases, because of the pain we had endured, we would’ve suppressed it deep in our minds. We would not even admit that the wound is there. It’s a kind of defence mechanism by the mind to escape from the pain. Unless we probe our minds and get in touch with it, it’ll manifest in our behaviour. It’ll be painful to do this, but the results are worth the effort.

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