“(I dedicate my memoir to the memory of Mr. P-friend, philosopher and great big cock sucking fiend. May his carcass rot and stink like a dead whore from here to eternity for all the things he did to me.)
Dear diary, where do I begin the chronicle of my sins? Right at the beginning would be a good place to begin, but there is no beginning for there is no end, merely the transformation of a being from one thing into something else, much like the humble pupa which turns into the butterfly, I too have evolved, dear diary, from the hunted to the hunter, the one, true purpose of my existence, that is, for what are we if not wild, filthy animals deep within and nature has a way of pitting one against the other, strong versus weak, that sort a’ thing, so goody goody, I say and let the games begin, what a grand throw-back that’ll be to the good ol’ days… Ah, the good ol’ days! And whatever did we do before we discovered nostalgia? Never mind, dear diary, for the way it all began should make for an apt beginning.
I was born backwards on a very wet and windy day, or at least I think it was on that 4th of July, a very wet and windy day, that is. Dr. Modi’s nursing home; do you know where it is? Somewhere near the Siddhivinayak temple I gather, doesn’t matter anymore it’s been shut down, the nursing home, that is. I was born sometime in the afternoon, or at least that's what they told me, so we can safely assume it was sometime in the afternoon. There weren’t too many people around from my family that day, as my coming wasn’t considered a moment of great joy.
They never gave me a reason, but I do believe it had something to do with… Never mind, the fact of the matter is that I wasn’t very popular, not even on that dull and dreary 4th of July. No, wait a minute… Actually I was… Popular that is. Yes, they were all there that day, the entire family. Uncles, aunties, grandparents, everyone! Oh, what a little rage I was! You should’ve seen how they all erupted with joy when they heard me cry for the first time, jumping up and down, hugging and kissing each other. Frankly, I have never understood why people laugh and sing when they hear a baby cry for the first time. I find it twisted, almost perverse! Imagine making a baby cry by slapping it on the ass the moment it comes out all covered in blood just to hear its family laugh and sing. I am told the ancient Hindus believed that a baby cries the moment it is born because its soul laments the fact that it has returned to this world, a fascinatingly interesting observation about rebirth and reincarnation, a dramatic talking point with the potential to become the highlight of an intellectually stimulating conversation, preferably conducted in the echelons of high society, where men and women of acquired breeding discuss such matters of great significance, with an unmistakable air of self-importance, in sophisticated classy tones, no doubt, amid the clinking of Champagne flutes and the odd mention of a designer label or two, but when I shared this priceless nugget with Sid, my truest, bestest friend in the whole wide world, ‘Uh-huh’, was all he said, What’s the matter, Mr. Sid? Are you not intelligent enough to converse on matters of greater relevance, for example spiritual enlightenment, or do you not consider me your intellectual equal as your daddy’s billions have given you a swollen head? I believe you resent me, Sid, nay, you loathe me and it all stems from your hatred for the mundane and love for the super rich, I wanted to say, but never really did. How could I, after all I was the only friend he had. Well, actually it’s the other way around. Sid was never short of friends. Someone with his kind of money seldom is. You should’ve seen how they’d stick to him, like bees to a very large honeycomb. No space to breathe, not even for a minute. In reality, Sid was the only friend I had, which wasn’t surprising as I didn’t seem interesting enough to befriend on a rainy day, or on any other for that matter, perhaps because of that oh so boring aura which surrounded me 24/7 , making it very difficult for me to elicit a second look, rendering me rather inarticulate, unable to string two sentences together without an ‘umm’ or an ‘uhh’, so needless to say I could never hold a conversation of any relevance, but since opposites attract, I am not in the least bit surprised that Sid and I got along so famously. Much to the envy of the other kids in the park, for that’s where I first met Sid as a ten year old, in fact we were both the same age. Raja Rani park, I think the place was called, not anymore, it’s been shut down, can’t remember why, but Sid’s Pappah and Mummah didn’t like him going there, didn’t want him mixing around with ‘plebian kids’, but Sid was a bit tolerant back then.
You know, dear diary, when you see someone far less privileged than yourself, you sometimes realize there could be a very special purpose for your being and that’s exactly how he must’ve felt when he saw me for the first time, Sid that is, for I was a timid little thing sitting in a corner all by myself, waiting for someone to notice me, not bold enough to go and play with the other kids, but no one really did, notice me that is, except for Sid, but more like a toy or a pet, perhaps for the sake of pity, but not as a friend, for my toys weren’t very nice, just like my parents, not very happening, just like my two bedroom flat with the strange blue walls’ and a tiny kitchen right next to the living room, full of aluminum utensils, the kitchen that is, but the living room was far more pathetic, with just a couple of sofa-type chairs lying around here and there, can’t remember the upholstery though, dark brown, or red, or maroon, or something on the lines of dark brown, or red or maroon, definitely Rexene, or possibly something cheaper and I do recall a large, mysterious wooden box, which when electrocuted through its long, snake-like tail, magically came alive to create zigzag lines in black and white, albeit with an agonizing hissing sound, much like the screaming of terrified bits of potato, tossed all at once into an angry frying pan, bubbling over menacingly with refined cooking oil and languishing next to that monstrosity was a large cabinet with a whole lot of shelves, always under lock and key, although it contained silly things like melamine cups and saucers and made in Bangkok figurines, all rather cheap, no taste, no class, with a very peculiar stink about the place. I remember what it smelt like; just don’t know what it was. Probably something to do with the plumbing, but no one seemed to mind. Perhaps it was the stench of middle class, no wonder they didn’t mind and you should’ve seen my bedroom, dear diary, for it had a broken window with a rusty metal grill, criss-cross in design, through which one could see the obnoxiously over-bearing Mrs. Hasija from next door taking a crap every morning at six, and next to that window stood my little red bicycle with the trainer wheels, along with an old, abandoned carrom board, both stacked up against a strange blue wall with bits of paint peeling off, but no Mickey or Donald or any other happy face, just my great grandfather’s frighteningly archaic four poster bed, minus the giant mosquito net, and I do believe it was a steel grey Godrej, my cupboard, that is. But to tell you the truth, dear diary, I remember hating the place even more when it rained. Depressing little shit hole, rotting from the inside and out, one among a dozen, each one staring into the other’s ass, claustrophobic, nauseating, I think they called it a colony, and I can never forget the way that place smelt, both shitty and fruity at the same time, as if someone dropped a pineapple down a public toilet, similar to my apartment which had water dripping on the inside, but most unlike Sid’s penthouse on Malabar Hill. I could describe it to you in great detail, because it was on the 20th floor and one could see the whole city from up there and that’s what Sid would do in the evenings when it rained, he’d stand on his white marble balcony with the clear glass roof, laughing as the city turned wet, for he remained bone dry. Say, did I tell you what I’d wear to the park almost every day? Little red knickers and a crisp white shirt buttoned all the way up to my chin, with my hair patted down nice and neat, then combed to one side, something like a uniform, or perhaps I dressed that way to get noticed and become popular, but no one ever did, notice me, that is and although no one cared whether I lived or died, I’d go to the park every day, the first to come and the last to leave, day after day, even when it poured, even when no one else came, there I was, day after day in that very same place, not because I liked getting wet… No I hated it, the corner, the park, the crisp white shirt and the little red knickers, I hated it all, but what I hated even more was the walk back home, I hated my home, that two bedroom flat with the peculiar smell and the strange blue walls, not for the colour or the smell, it was my mother, she was dying, you see, wasting away, disintegrating, a disease of some kind, probably contagious, no wonder father moved into my bedroom, while mother lay on a damp mattress, behind a door bolted from the outside. You should’ve seen her room, dear diary. Sid saw it for the first time through a half open door and never went near it again, except just once more. It was damp and cold and dark, with the smell of piss and rotting flesh. She loved visitors, but no one went to see her, lying beneath the same filthy blanket, day in and day out, her flea infested body covered with five year old bedsores that needed cleaning, not to mention that foul smelling mouth which needed to be fed, then the puke cleaned up, along with the rest of what came out from the other end. I did all of that, so what if it revolted me, so what if I cried myself to sleep, only to awaken screaming and trembling, covered with great big beads of sweat.
“Hariya!” she would call my name in the dead of night.
“Hariya!” was the shout that made me close both ears. “You do pray for my long life, don’t you, my little Hariya?” the selfish bitch would gasp and wheeze away, crying on my little shoulder for hours and hours on end. Why, you could hear her cry on my little shoulder for hours and hours on end from the moment I’d unlock the door and go inside, after which she’d hand me sacred chants and mantras to pray for her long life and silly me religiously spent hours and hours every day reciting those chants and mantras, my tender little tongue stuttering with every word, each sentence taking me a life time. “Why do you put up with her?” Sid often asked, but I never discussed my mother with him. I knew he didn’t like her. Didn’t like the way she fucked with my head, haunting me even in sleep. I haven’t told you about my nightmare, have I? Some other time perhaps, but I can tell you about the day Sid sneaked into mother’s dungeon with a tall glass of milk. I was at the park, praying one of her mantras and my accountant father was at work, so no one saw him go in and make himself comfortable on the chair by her bedside. She was asleep when he came in, but suddenly awoke as he sat down, mistaking him for me and crying on his shoulder, gasping and wheezing away, as if enacting the hero’s mother’s death scene from a Bollywood B-grader, prompting Sid to force that glass of milk down her throat and leave right away. She was found dead the next morning, took her own life, they said, rat poison, I believe, can’t imagine how she got a hold of it, but there wasn’t a frame or a body, just something that resembled a near transparent plastic bag, cold, sickeningly clammy, wrapped tightly around a human skeleton, no blood, no meat, more like a road map with huge green veins popping out from everywhere, and those funny, funny hands that dragged her off the bed, all the way to the door as the poison kicked in, but it was bolted from the outside, the door that is, no wonder she was found sprawled on her belly, wearing her favourite pink nightgown, with her face buried in it’s own vomit, unlike a puppy or a kitten, furry friends who elicit a tear or two, more like a rat when people go good riddance, and never mind the stink, dear diary, dead or alive she smelt the same. Not too many people came to see her for the last time, probably still terrified of catching her disease. Rained heavily that day, I remember. It was dark, real dark and that flat dripped water with such a peculiar stench, nauseating, no one stayed beyond five minutes, all of them shooting glances at the big living room clock from the moment they came, each one with a hanky to his face. Of course, Sid did mention he brought mother a nice, big glass of milk before she died. Awfully sweet of him, I say. But enough about mother. Let me tell you about my father, Mr P, friend, philosopher and great big cocksucking fiend. Come to think of it, I can’t be sure if he was into cock sucking, but to my untrained eye he did look the type. Not worth describing, definitely unappealing, unhealthy thin, thick glasses, right out of an Amol Palekar movie, always in a crumpled white shirt with big round food stains, loose trousers pulled all the way up to his chest, hair reeking of cheap coconut oil that sometimes dripped all the way to his forehead, dark yellow in colour, the food strains, that is. Can you imagine the scene on that wet and windy 4th of July, dear diary? I bet that everyone, the whole family, must’ve gotten real wet getting there, real wet and stinky, people do tend to smell different when they sweat and get wet at the same time and so many of them crammed into a single taxi, fifteen in all, like a bunch of sardines, one on top of the other, their smells rubbing off on each other, so wet, so stinky, then waiting expectantly in the bowels of a narrow, darkened corridor, a.k.a., the maternity ward of Dr. Modi’s nursing home, along with a whole lot of total strangers, disgustingly wet and stinky themselves, god, what germs what exotic diseases, then I was born and every one jumped up and down and yelled with joy, hugging and kissing each other, their stale breath and body odour quite unbearable. I know I am not making much sense, but he was quiet that day, didn’t even smile, my father that is, he wanted a daughter never a son. Remember the strange blue walls, dear diary? Pretty pictures they contained, pictures of me after daddy dressed me up in a hundred pretty dresses, anything from a pure white Christian bride to a colourful Rajasthani princess, complete with long hair and make-up, even a dash of his favourite whorish red lipstick, night after night after night, followed by that silly old routine, during which he’d go click-click-clickity click, while I was made to wriggle and contort my nubile self, as if in the throes of unbridled lust and ecstasy, striking a hundred sensuous poses all the while, mostly with an open mouth and head tilted to one side, then exactly at around a little after midnight he’d kill all the lights, except for an oddly coloured ‘tube’, deep red to be precise, ever flickering in the eastern corner of our living room, and amid the terrifying monotony of its broken hue, he’d gently undress his ‘so cute pretty’, caressing and fondling me oh so tenderly, whispering into my ear soft sweet-nothings, while leading me into my bedroom and tying me face down with strong jute rope that cut into my flesh and turned it blue, as he fucked me till I bled.