Friday, December 09, 2011

S#*! happens

It can be good,bad or ugly. Big, small or stupid. Jack, dip or dingo. Bull, horse or chicken.You can sling it, catch it, throw it, talk it, take it, handle it, eat it and have it kicked out of you .It can be your luck, your brains and sometimes your face. It gets bad, it falls apart, it hits the roof, the fan, the ceiling and often it makes the world go round. You can have too much of it or too little of it or simply not need it but the truth is- the S#*! is here to stay.

Feces has gone through several phases, keeping stride with human evolution itself. Early man woke up in the morning took a good one and then had the s#*! scared out of him when the local cave lion decided to pay him a visit. Having managed to save himself from being main course, he got his s#*! together, tracked the big cat's spoor and thus gave rise to the first fur carpet. (Sorry Simba. S#*! happens.) With fire came the next stage. Culinary development was very straightforward: if it smells like sh*!, don't eat it. If it tastes like s#*!, spit it out. Unless Cave Mama is in a bad mood- she can and will beat the s#*! out of you.
Civilisation did not do much to distract us from our fecal fascination. The prime example would be the 18th Century french court where the morning movements of the monarch were carried out with the entire court in attendance. Which does make some sense... after all a King ought to know how to handle his s#*! and get his S#*! together. As you can see, human exertions have been greatly influenced by excretions. I suppose that's why we continue to take s#*! from different quarters.
The scatalogical obsession of the human race has been a rather embarrassing but apparently unavoidable trait that runs down our genes. (...). But none, I believe, have imbibed it as much as we Indians. Any Indian writing in English will have its fair share of allusions to offal, what with Anita Desai's blase references to nose-digging or Mulk Raj Anands rather disturbing relish for feces. But the true proof of it's indelible stain on our psyche is excretion's presence in casual conversation and familial bonding. For example my father, brother and uncle would go out of their way to crack shitty jokes in the middle of meals. And if my aunt ever offers you 'green-s#*!', do not be alarmed. She is merely giving you a helping of harmless green gram. In fact, as the wise MaterialMom once put it, s#*! has replaced God- there was one a time we said "Oh God!", now it is "Oh S#*! ! ". The 'Holy Ghost' is now 'Holy S#*!"

No matter how much we may feign fastidious disgust, we undeniably dig s#*!. Which will also explain why I have spent so much time on it. And I'm not just talking about my academic life. When shit happens it happens. We can either carry an umbrella and watch where we put our foot, or we can simply dance through it and come out smelling like a flower. In either case, as my supervisor once told me in a fit of eloquence, "How you handle it makes all the difference."Since we can't escape we might as well kick the s#*! out of any c%@P life may throw at us, eh?