Small souls

They are inconvenient because they are thinking, human minds that are constantly learning new things. They are not your pet dog, they are not circus animals, they cannot comply, because their survival depends on exploration.

That child depends on you for emotional and psychological security, not just money.

My neighbour is hitting his child and I can hear him scream through the walls. The child alternates between hic-cup-y sobs, coughed out pleas and loud complaints.

The Man:
He is a noble member of the great Indian middle class. Servant class morality, melded with utter mediocrity. Double standards on everything. Behind the façade of self-respect and dignity, he lacks both. He seeks avenues of power, not in the real sense, but where he can subjugate a fellow human and feel less insignificant than he really is. Such moments are rare in the outside world, so his need for significance drives him to establish dominance over his helpless family. Sometimes this goes too far. Like today.

The child is shouting “please!” and “why?”.

The Mother:
I am pretty sure the mother, a “housewife”, would be looking helplessly, asking the man “politely” to stop abusing the child. These polite requests are sometimes hollered so that they register above the din of the man’s middle class brain rebooting and the child’s helpless screams. She should’ve been an independent woman, taken the child and left the man forever, but no, she stands there, equally responsible. She chooses to remain insignificant, inconsequential, inferior.

When today is over, the mother will caress the child, listen to his complaints, will soothe him and will say “let it go, he is your father” and spit stories in the child’s face that make the father look like a mythical hero. This subtle betrayal will register in the child’s psyche, but, he is still too young to articulate it in words, too young to ignore the only soothing sounds around him. The child will remember that even his mother, was an accomplice.

The Child:
He will bear the session, yet another one in a series. He will learn to hide things from his parents, learn to hide himself, learn to steal things, learn to steal himself away, learn to be small, learn to let go of the ‘values’ and ‘virtues’ in order to simply survive, gain disrespect for others and for himself.

In his teens and twenties, the son, comparable to the father in size and strength, may unknowingly exact revenge on the parents for all these betrayals.

However, the father will win the endgame. The son, the forever soiled survivor of these ‘sessions’, will grow up to be just like his father. Mediocre.

The tragedy is that on the son’s 30th birthday, the father, mother and the son will meet and think warm, happy thoughts about each other.

Mr. Father will turn grandfather, Son will turn Father and then it will all go on again, in a cycle, unless one offspring decides to subvert every single pattern of thinking that he has inherited from his family.