Cafe Conversations: Murder, Karma & Morality

Scene: 3 friends at a cafe.

Characters: Sonya sits on the sofa, hair pulled up in a bun, dressed in white cotton top and loose pants, feet up on a chair.

Avinash lounges low in an armchair, and frowns at Sonya across the table, mulling over their conversation.

Jai sits next to Avinash, struggling to understand the conversation.

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Jai (to Sonya): So, you’re telling me that even if you murder some poor innocent chap, you know, take his life… then just because you don’t have a conscience, you’ll get away with it?

Sonya: I’m not talking legally here. Ethically, yes.

Jai: But why should you get away with it? Murder is wrong; it’s the highest degree of evil. You’d be taking someone’s life.

Sonya: Assuming that I am able to carry out the perfect murder, you know, one where I take care of the body, and no one ever finds me. Then if I have absolutely no guilt, what happens to me?

Avinash: I’m sorry; these are just a lot of assumptions. We have a legal system in the first place, to punish wrong-doers and to make sure there is free will. One person does not have the right to take another person’s life, and he should be punished. As simple as that.

Sonya: Free will? (Snorts loudly) There is no such thing as free will.

(speaks agitedly, waving her hands) When you’re a child, they preach you these things, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’, or, ‘Anything you set your mind to, if you work hard for it, you will get it.’ So naïve! Humans have always believed that on a specie level, they are free. That their actions are resuts of their own grasp over the way they should lead their lives. But that in itself is such a micro, narrow and yet a superior sense perception to this gift of life.

You know what, let’s NOT get into that argument.

Jai: Save it for another day. Coming back to this murder discussion, my point is, I believe in Karma. So even if you, Sonya, are really a perfect-murderess who has us all fooled with your charm and personality – (Sonya takes a mock bow) – someday, you’ll have something bad coming your way. It’s the universe’s way of setting things right.

(Waiter comes up with their coffees)

Avinash (squinting at Sonya): I can just see it. I bet she already has bodies stuffed into the water duct on the terrace of her building – no wonder that place has creepy noises at night. It’s haunted!

(The waiter throws them all bewildered looks and goes off)

Jai: I agree. She’s devilishly deceptive, plus there have been nights when no one knows where she was and she wasn’t home…

(Jai goes into his dramatic zone)

So one day… she just gives in to all her pent-up, dark, evil, angry, twisted thoughts… puts on some scary, gothic makeup, stashes her gun in her…uh…

Avinash (with big eyes): Where? Where DO you stash your gun, Sonya?

(Sonya rolls her eyes at him)

Sonya (laughing): Look. Karma is just correlating good things against bad things that have happened to you. Maybe the bad things were just bound to happen to you, like the result of a random probability distribution. And because of your conscience, you end up assuming that it was because of something you did!

Jai: That’s crazy! It’s just plain crazy to imply that Karma can affect only those with a conscience. Someone without a conscience is already a bad person – I say ‘bad’ because we seem to be assuming the world is split into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things happening to us – but then, my point is, such a person, through his immoral character itself, is leading an unhappy life. A person cannot survive on committing evil deeds in society; even ethically, the very society he feeds on will make sure he pays.

Avinash (starts clapping): Well done, my friends. Both very good points. I half agree with both. But… I’m afraid I need proof. Proof, in the form of the highest degree of evil.

Jai (solemnly): I do have an acquaintance I wouldn’t miss terribly if he disappeared from the face of the earth. In fact, not a lot of people who would miss him… (looks at Sonya) I vote thee for this highly esteemed task…

Matchmaking

The concept of ‘matchmaking’ has begun to greatly interest me. I’ll roughly define the term for you guys:

Matchmaking

Noun

The act of finding the right match / partner / spouse for a relative, friend or acquaintance*, and including negotiations between families till culmination of the same into marriage.

*Acquaintance for this purpose includes friend of a friend, colleague, neighbor, neighbor’s dog, watchman, Life insurance agent, salesman / grocery storekeeper...

This noble profession is usually taken care of by bored middle-aged aunties, who have perfected the necessary skills over the ages, such as:

  • Sharp hearing sense – Their ears prick as soon as the word ‘marriage’ is uttered or whispered in households in a radius of 10 miles
  • Analytical sense – They will give the candidate a sneak, keen once-over as they pass by, and collect a bio which includes height, weight, skin tone, income, fitness levels, artistic talents, cultural views and even the ability to cook.
  • Marketing skills – They are born saleswomen when the product is an eligible bachelor / bachelorette.

The youth of recent times, however, seem to have more faith in Matrimonial Services, which are efficient and impersonal, and can cast a wider net in deeper seas. You can simply access their secure online database (which has pictures), and just filter through categories such as caste, language, religion, location, education, mansion, perception, inception, hypertension, suspension, acceleration…

A third party matchmaker like these matrimonial sites, forces you to apply your judgment in doing a rough character assessment, based on which your whole life will be shaped. You need to accurately assess if the potential match has all the qualities you look for in an ideal life partner (Yes, all candidates know EXACTLY the qualities that their ideal match should possess). And if you find a match, in matchmaking terms it is a success!

In case you’re thinking THIS is scary, just hold on.

As if online marriage databases are not enough, China has a “Marriage Market”. The Shanghai Marriage Market. It is a very real & tangible market, in which “parents of unmarried adults flock to People’s Park in Shanghai, China every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm”.

If parents don’t do this, how else can their only child, their little baby, find a wife and have kids, so as to continue their family’s lineage, oh dear Lord!

Mail-order bride

A mail-order bride is a woman who lists herself in catalogs (online or otherwise) and is selected by a man for marriage.

“Women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Eastern European countries are common white mail-order bride candidates.”

This concept is still present. Wikipedia is not kidding!

Well, where love is blind, arranged marriages pull your eyes wide shut.

Interesting, right? I’m fascinated. Already flicking through mental catalogues of deliciously well-built mail-order men in swimsuits!! Do I need to make my intentions clear before placing an order? And how do I pay, in cash or in kind? ;-)

Character sketches

I’ve come up with a man. I mean a plan. To write about my man. Or to write about my need for a man. Or to write about weird men. And women.

Maybe I’ll just write. I could title it ‘Nonsense.’ Here goes Character Sketch #1. (Cuz I can’t sketch.)


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I somehow managed to come up with this. (Click on pic to check out this cool guy when you can)

The first time I laid eyes on Pandu, I was reminded of a really tall, lanky frog. He had bulging eyes and wore round specs. We met at a free seminar on beetles by some renowned entomologist. Pandu sat on the seat next to me and snored loudly. Although it was quite entertaining, after a while I poked him hard in the ribs. He jumped, looked at me, then grinned, winked, rolled his eyes and stuck out his tongue, all at the same time. One could see he was quite mad, and I got the sense we would get along just fine.

During break time, I gobbled up 3 sandwiches and was gathering up my bag as I swallowed the last bite, when he appeared at my side, an entire foot taller than me, not counting the crop of curly hair sitting atop his head. I opened my mouth to make up an excuse about having to dash somewhere, when a tomato slice popped out. Solemnly he caught the tomato, and plunked it back into my mouth. Wordlessly he proceeds to sling my bag over his shoulders, and lead me out the door.

Turns out, he had attended the seminar thinking it was on the Volkswagen species (he has a mad fascination for cars). But I thought it was an honest mistake, could happen to anybody.

Pandu didn’t talk much, but when he did, the words came out a little slurred, especially around the ‘R’s, like he was always a little drunk. He cracked dumb jokes, and sometimes whole minutes went by before he realized you aren’t laughing with him. He liked his peace time, and was easily accused of having attitude and being rude. But most often than not, here was a goofy person who was bound to make you laugh.

He really was a crazy one, and yet oddly talented without even trying. He was also a magician of sorts. He would clap on, clap off, like Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty, and the lights would come on. He could moonwalk and break dance like he was Michael freaking Jackson, and sometimes it was like he had no bones. He could eat with his hands tied behind his back. He’d look at the food, and a long tongue would shoot out and gobble up the food.

His hair was altogether a magician’s mystery. Few people have dared to put their hand in his hair, not knowing what to expect. Things camped in there, and I have pulled out lice, rabbits, and pigeons from in there. One day I even got my hand stuck, we had to call emergency to get my hand un-entangled.

Fascinating creature, Pandu.

Dream is destiny

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Last night I had sex with a stranger. I don’t remember who, but it definitely wasn’t you. I don’t remember the details clearly, it was just a dream. Just a dream that ended in a scream. I woke up feeling guilty, that you might think it was cheating. Blurry dream images flash before my eyes in a swirling mix of alcohol and lies. And the dream started fading into the distance, dissolving into the blackness within.

Early morning streaking sunlight; blushing memories of last night. Your lips crushing mine, suddenly demanding; your hands in my hair, roughly commanding; and me surrendering to your urgency, willingly obeying. We tease pleasure and pain’s fine line; but you only find your pleasure in mine. Memories, more real than the rapidly dissolving dream. Memories can be held in the palm of your hand; dreams become lost time, sifting through the hourglass like fine grains of sand.

We can surrender body and mind, a consciousness, a waking life. But dream is destiny, they say; waking or dreaming, life’s in disarray; I wonder what remains at the end of day? Is it memories that come to stay… or haunting dreams that won’t go away?

Dream is destiny

 

Isolation

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They all see me stumbling blindfolded, scraping knees and elbows, dashing right into trees and rocks… And they think, for sure I am falling, falling into the valley below with no hope for survival. They look at me and wonder: I have my hands free, why don’t I take off my blindfold and open my eyes? Why don’t I look at the bodies below, the very people who had veered off the road and fallen to their destinies?

I have two options. I can meekly accept ‘my destiny’, this road that they have chosen for me. Or, I can suck in my gut and tell them that my chosen road is down that valley, to cross into new horizons. That I am not falling, but if I do fall, at least I tried.

What then, becomes of me who stands against this so-united world in their attempt to tame me, to rein the wildness within? Isolation.

Catalysts

Madhura:

Sublime, my friend!
Some beautiful thoughts expressed here… Do head over and give Vinit a warm welcome to the blogging world!

Originally posted on vinittambekar's Blog:

Chemical Reaction

We hit we fight,

we abuse and hold our egos tight.

We implode we explode,

our reactions lead relations to corrode

   And we actually do feel the relation is being corroded. How much you try to reverse the reaction the substances are not pristine. Only thing you can do is to remove catalysts between substances. Catalysts are used to accelerate chemical reactions. They come across our mundane lives in any form whichever is suitable for both. It could be money, love, ego, jealousy,third person and so on and any combination of these which precipitates nicely mixed solution.

   But these catalysts are helpful in one point of view.  They are truly unique in nature. They can depict all intensive and extensive properties of a person in just a single test. These catalysts remove veneer from perfidy and guide us to limit our attachment. The interaction leads to an end…

View original 119 more words

Scribbling in the wind

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A steep, rusty ladder
Cool sunset breeze
We perch atop a tall building
View of the lake, the road and trees

Girl in a balcony below
Stretches, then stops, spots us and stares
Shamelessly we peek inside
And see old-fashioned, winding stairs

White blocks of cement
Cars on the highway
But for the changing colors of the sunset,
It’s all the same, yet never the same each day

Night is falling; a moon rising
at the curved edges of the earth
We want a moment, before the light fades
Smile for the camera for what it’s worth

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When the moment is just perfect, I don’t spend time editing my scribbles. Hit publish! 

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