Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Government Nouns


The seepage in the ceiling hangs full like a bladder. In a godless world, it would burst in the mornings when a neighbor flushed.
Buckets set out for rainy day harvesting. Window to window, door to door, clotheslines slide and sink to the middle. The sick of moldy wet laundry clings for sudden surprises outside.
A cockroach surfs the trickles of rain along the walls in unexpected convenience, onto the floor, and scatters away seeking some dark corner, hissed with poison the previous night, never to father little skittering children again.
A window brings fear and relief. The glass pokes like bloody teeth from corners. “Just stained glass”, he had promised, as a chicken fried breeze chatters in, elusive. The little one swallows her spit.
Huddled by the cracked window, they imagine the words to the images on one of three TV’s next door and wait for an uncertain meal.
A murky bladder bursts in the ceiling in a godless world.


When the Government decided to prioritize wholesome entertainment over necessities, it urged the cynics to posit existential crises, once again. What is the purpose of life? Do we just eat and shit? But when there’s nothing to eat, or nowhere to shit, why do we need a television? The poverty line grazers echoed in a Beckettsian silence – to pass the time.
To the middle and upper classes, they were free. That demanded possession regardless of the LCD television already rapping to Sun TV, muffled by the unwrapped and yellowing packaging around it in their living rooms. They made excellent wedding presents to the despicable. Or excellent charity.
To the wishful and homeless, it was a luxurious burden, sold in corners for meals.
In a stroke of luck, Sivan stood in a sweaty line for hours to claim his free television. But lineless, his wife was given one out of the generosity of the middle aged madam she worked odd jobs for. And his son had claimed another for ten Rupees.
So he sat two on top of each other on the floor, the third above a spare LPG canister, and prayed to Muruga for more rooms than one, and multi-tasked crying, and laughing with prime time soaps.

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