Everybody’s at war with different things…I’m at war with my own heart sometimes. – Tupac Shakur
‘Take your son and get out,’ he’d say time and again, though he was his flesh, bone and blood. She’d spent years, praying to a silent God, who gave her experiences of peace, but never complete, total relief. The churchmen told her that marriage is a commitment: a bond until death did them apart, but was each slap, each choke, each aggressive or passive controlling syllable, uttered from a serpentine tongue worth enduring? She asked them, but their misogynistic, chauvinistic and patriarchal fundamentalistic ardor barked, ‘Hang in there, because marriage is a bond that God creates and no person should do it apart!’ And she stayed though she watched her son’s psychological, physical and spiritual health deteriorate. ‘How long Lord?’ She cried out, broken and bereaved, but he didn’t answer, except giving her assurances of, ‘I will never leave or forsake you,’ through his word. She began to doubt but never voiced her despondency, until her son beat him black and blue, while his hands that once held the strings were now bruised, bloodied and torn skin.
He broke his nose, while the patriarch lamented and loathed in self-pity, unable to endure the breaking of flesh. ‘He never listened. Look, he’s now a drug addict!’ He whined, walking from house to house, crying on the spot, shaking and trembling, putting on a façade, hoping they’ll give him grace and say, ‘We believe you. God bless you,’ and they did, because society is filled with people who thrive on drama and drink each bit of it like it’s exotic coffee like Kopi Luwak. He could have talked about alien dimensions and other-worldly apparitions with his twisted, pseudo-melancholic voice, making himself the victim and they’d have believed him, because in this world trash masquerades as emeralds and gets away with it, while pure gemstones find the litter bin.
Looking back now, he doesn’t regret one deed, and if given a chance, would do it with a rib-cracking blow again. Life gives us periods of war and peace, and sometimes war’s needed more than pacifism. War breaks bullies, abusers and haters. War tears those who, with a false sense of self-esteem ride horses of success; it yanks them down and makes them hit hard ground, and helps them realize with a broken head and blood dripping that they’re just motes worth nothing: Foolish particles worth bullshit and grime, thinking that they’re the nucleus around which each atom of individuality revolves. War helps people realize the value of peace who begged them to choose her, until the rod taught them.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)