Woke up in a haze today. Don’t know why, but some days are like that. Went for a walk. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason for my rage but I felt rage inside. It was tumultuous, engaging, and riotous. It seemed everything was coming at me at the same time: the betrayals, the snide remarks, the failed connections, the rejections. The rage deepened over a few hours. Then I saw a video of this South African comedian imitating an Indian, especially our accent. That lightened the rage. I felt free for some time. Walking helped. I saw a rain-swollen canal, water in it flowing smoothly. It was turbulent, but had a contained sort of turbulence, like the one inside my head.
Then it lifted. What was it? What had made me so mad? I had woken up late, was that the cause? No, it can’t be. Was it the rain drumming against my windowpanes, its beats like drums gone crazy, a rhythm gone mad? Don’t know. Some days are like that. I feel rage, I feel helpless. The comedian lightened things, that’s the magic of comedy, to involve you, make you warm and fuzzy in the head. Music uplifts me. But my ipod lies idle because I read that wearing the earpiece increases bacteria a hundred times. Some such nonsense. I like to hear nature when I walk: the bird sounds, the sound of the stream, the rain pattering on the road, the bark of dogs, the insistent call of cuckoos. I find it soothing, uplifting. It’s calm where I walk, there’s a pond, lot of greenery, some uninhabited temples, and some slums coming up on the opposite side of the pond.
Ever since I acquired a paunch I have been the object of ridicule. I tend to retain water in the stomach. People laugh at me, or, tease me. I tell them it’s because of too much beer. South Indians tend to have big bellies sticking out, which is no consolation. But the doctor says it’s because of the salt I ate and the medical condition I have. Every day in office, in the thick of work, I used to feel the pangs for something to eat and I would send the peon for those hideous salted potato chips. I was working for my family, to pay my bills, is that a reason for ridicule? I have tried everything to get rid of the nasty bulge. But it stays, as if it were the Holy Grail, my holy grail. I hide my paunch with jackets from Fab India. They are expensive.
Then I got used to the ridicule. It doesn’t matter to me; it’s absurd to be so concerned by it. I have better things to do. I see a thick carapace forming, the hardening of my skin, the callusing. It doesn’t rain when I walk, though the sky is overcast. I return to my den after reading the newspapers. That’s when I thought of writing this.