“Don’t try to understand. Just relax. Falling leaves. The indescribable aroma of spring mixed with the anxiety of winter. All exists in our minds alone. What actually exists does not need to be felt. It just needs everything that does not exist to not be felt. Truth is what is left when everything goes.”

Shuntoo on Marriage

Shuntoo had just managed to annoy yet another person to the extent that he had left my house in a hasty rage and I felt that something urgently needed to be done about this extremely bothersome attitude of this son of a bitch. I knew I was asking for trouble but he was a friend after all, sort of. So I suggested

“Why don’t you get married Shuntoo?” He shot a glance at me that should have made me stop in the middle of my sentence but unfortunately I am too used to his bullshit to get these signals anymore. So I continued, “I think it will help you become more positive and solve your……”

“Stop right there” he barked. “Where am I here? Have I just walked into some clichéd, pathetic Lollywood movie where all problems are to be solved by marrying the hero off? Regardless of the fact that I do not feel any need to become more positive or to solve anything, your advice bacchay is disappointing to say the least. What are you? Some sort of parent in a red robe?”

“Don’t you think that if parents believe this stuff, there might be some wisdom in it? I mean after all they have experience and marriage does solve some problems.” I tried to sound logical.

“Crap!” He said. “Marriage does not solve any problem. It just makes it someone else’s problem, and the parents can then relax and listen to the issues not as their problem, but simply as gossip.”

“Now you are being unfair.”

“What is marriage?” he asked. “Give me your opinion.”

“Well” I tried to think quickly. “It’s when a man and a woman love each other so much that they want to spend their entire lives together and ……..”

“Oh! Please bacchay!” the bastard didn’t let me finish, as usual. “I think I am going to cry. Not because what you said was so pseudo-romantic. But because it was too shallow for my poor mind to bear. Anyway, these so-called wise parents of yours do not approve of such marriages anyway. But what if a man does not love any woman that much, cannot even think about trying to imagine a woman that he could love that much. What if he does not want to live with anyone for the rest of his life.”

“That is just….” I tried.

“Most marriages here” the bastard did it again, “are just contracts that are entered into to please the wise parents, sometimes in the belief that maybe, just maybe they would solve problems. Most nice couples get married and then spend their lives trying to love each other so much that they would want to spend their lives together. And when they fail they spend the rest of their lives convincing themselves that it was someone else’s fault. So many marriages fail these days, don’t you see? Only because nobody knows why they’re getting married. They just do it because everyone is doing it. And everyone is doing it because everyone else is doing it. No one is sure why?”

“O wise philosopher! Why don’t you tell me why one should get married!” I said sarcastically.

“Why should I?” he said. “I don’t give a shit about people who are in no mood to think for themselves. Let them spend their lives with their brains on auto-pilot. Marriage, education, profession, family, all these are just words now. We do not have a clue what they mean and we are neither willing to find out nor admit that we don’t know. So we keep producing idiots who get married because their parents say so, then try to justify their act by the stupidest of arguments, and finally use those stupid arguments to convince their children to get married. What a bunch of morons!”

“Are you seriously challenging the whole social structure here?” I was amused. “You love saying controversial things, don’t you.”

“I like speaking the truth bacchay” he said calmly, “and truth is always controversial.”

“We never use our minds. We don’t know what we want. We don’t know what we should do. But we want to get the best of both worlds in return for doing nothing. As a result we are always confused, but don’t know how to react. We have a lot of potential energy, but no way to use it. We are always angry, but don’t have a way to give vent to the anger. We are always depressed, but don’t find a reason to cry justifiably. We feel useless and unimportant, but don’t have any way to make the world think otherwise.”~Shuntoo

Shuntoo; Smell of School

“How the hell can you always remain so calm?” Not for the first time, I saw myself getting annoyed simply because Shuntoo did not seem to get annoyed by anything. “You are so indifferent, so ……” And too my surprise and further annoyance, he smiled. “Shuntoo, you have a completely foolish perspective of this world. You don’t notice the reality. Do you have any idea how naïve you are!”

I knew I had made a mistake by engaging in this sort of a conversation with him but it was too late. He put his book down, smiled again and said in that bloody patronizing tone. “You know what I think, bacchay!

Seeing this as a last chance, I was thinking about responding with ‘No and I don’t want to know’ but he continued without waiting.

“I think that you don’t believe any of the stuff you just said. I think you just see me as challenging your weak, apologetic reasoning that you use to satisfy yourself whenever you lose your temper or become a bit less of a human. I think that you have the same weaknesses as any other normal person and also like any other normal person, you cannot admit them. I think you are too much of a coward to tell yourself that emotional outbursts be they in anger, depression or any other type are natural and nothing to be ashamed of. I think that you people like to give yourselves weird justifications for all emotional reactions and believe that you succumb to them because there is no other option for anyone remotely human.”

“Now, that’s….” I began but the bastard was not finished yet.

“And I think,” he continued ignoring me, “that I, by not reacting like you, become a threat to this edifice of justifications. And you would rather believe that I am inhuman than think about the possibility that humans could be any different from you.”

“Now come on” I explained. “It wasn’t that deep a thing Shuntoo! I was just amazed that you were never shaken by anything, you are always so calm.”

“Who says I am not shaken? But I have my ways to keep cool.”

“Like?” Now I was really interested.

“Like sometimes when I feel stressed or bored or anything unpleasant I close my eyes and recall the smell of school.”

“The smell of school?”

“Yes, you know that smell of chalk and fancy rubbers and lunchboxes and crayons and sweaty kids. Try to recall it sometimes in your mind, it’s not that hard. And it does calm you. Maybe because it reminds you that you hated school too but now it is over and is never coming back and you wish you had enjoyed it more and taken lesser stress. So you realize that the present moment is not much different.”

Shuntoo has his weird ways but I have begun to wonder if it could work.

“Stop torturing yourself. I know what you mean and I know what you want. You mean to start a conversation on a current hot topic. You want me to participate fully in the conversation. You want the said conversation to dwell upon the causes of an act someone we don’t personally know did. And finally you want me to pass a judgment on the said act, judge the said person, criticize our national institutions and give a doomsday scenario of how our country is heading towards total destruction.”~Shuntoo

“What do you think you’re doing? Writing all this BS and trying to pass as someone who is really making an effort for whatever higher purpose you freaks think exists. Tell me, why is it that when we count what gifts we have received in life, we always want more, more of what we have and more of what we could have. Always going for the most blessed life. But, when it comes to doing something in return we have these sissy phrases like ‘the least we could do’ or ‘the least in our power’. Wanting the most from life and satisfying our retarded egos by doing the least. You should be ashamed of even trying to be content with such a bargain.”~Shuntoo