LazyEye, Telegraph Calcutta

Knight Kursi and his curled tail

We have tails. Did you not know? Okay. We aren’t meant to know everything. That’s perfectly understandable. The mad or the deranged will never agree they are mad or deranged. Paagal ho kya? Bigots may not know they are bigots. Or illiterates that they are being illiterate. And whenever did a villain see a villain in their own self? Adolf was only enriching the human race, giving it the purest form. What happened as a collateral to that process was, achchha, chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani. But naye daur mein, the story that is being scripted is also the same old story but the writers of that story will not agree that they are writing or rewriting that same old story and that it is a horrific one. They never will. They never do.

You may not know, but there are more wisdoms than you would like to admit around you. An old saying goes in some languishing tongue from some forsaken part of this neighbourhood: Appan maath ke tetar kekro sujhaai chhai? Does anyone see the bump on their own forehead? Tough. Unless you put a mirror to yourself. And we know just how forbidding and unwelcome a task we find that one. Take pretenders. Do pretenders realise they are pretending? Everybody can see they are pretending, but they may not know. Or scheming folks who think nobody realises how scheming they are. They have so many schemes there is eventually no place to store them and they have to throw those schemes out. Everybody can see. Those discarded schemes. Or the discarded schemes that may be recalled for use again. All of that is understandable. All of that happens. But people know. And some folks think that others do not know, that they can go on being scheming and nobody will think it is but a scheme.

Everybody, for instance, has a tail as I said right at the beginning, but very few understand that. We came from those that had tails: the baanars, look them up. They preceded us. We came from them. Their essence hasn’t entirely died in us, their essence remains embedded in our bones and our blood and sometimes that makes us behave in the ways of the tailed ones. They had tails. In time, we lost those tails but not entirely. We have tail ends. We have tail bones. We cannot see them, but we do have them. Sometimes when those tail ends hurt we know they are within us, tail ends. Tail bones, they are called. They are what support us when we are ensconced on the throne. They also make the ends of that thing which some have and some do not. That thing is called the spine. The spine is a, well, good thing and a bad thing. When you can keep it upright, you can point to it and say, look, I have a spine and an upright one. When you cannot keep it upright, well, it may turn out to be a more useful thing than you think: a spine that is not a spine but a user-friendly thing. Just look at me, the successful one. I have a spine, and I use it well. I bend it when it suits me and I in fact do not even keep it with myself most of the time. My spine I have embedded at the back of my chair and that is what makes my chair a throne. What the keeping of the throne requires my spine does; it can bend this way, it can bend that way, it can swing backwards, it can stoop forwards, whatever’s required. A tail hangs by it, of course, but it is not a tail I tell. Most folks do not tell their tails. But remember we do have tails; try feeling the end of it someday. Especially if you sit on a throne, because you know everybody can see you and you know the tail’s there and it must be kept from being told.

Those that sit here 

Should know and fear

My spine like a sword 

Embedded in my throne I wear.

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