Blood, Gore and Me

This
post will be about me, so if you aren’t really interested, you may skip it.

Now, whatever is the reason for taking the time and effort of
writing a post and starting with a line like that?

Well, the reason is that I don’t like talking much about myself.
This has germinated from a dislike of persons who like to talk about
themselves, either openly or subtly (half an hour through the talk, you start
realizing that this person is only talking about himself or herself).

The fact is, I may say that I don’t like talking about myself, but
maybe I actually do. There are so many traits in a person’s character that are
invisible to him but quite plainly visible to others. These things fall in the
Blind quadrant. I’ll tell you about that later. Anyway, so I know that there’s
a chance that I might subconsciously like to talk about myself. That’s why I
put that apology in advance. In this post especially, because, yes, it’s a
little about myself.

There’s something weird about me. A few months ago I started
hunting for topics to write a story on peace about. I ended up with the
Holocaust. During the related research, mostly on Wikipedia, I came across many
grotesque facts. And pictures. And there was this strange realization I felt
much later.

That maybe I liked some of it.

Never consciously, but I find myself drawn to the Holocaust, and
everyday, on the newspaper, it’s the grotesque news articles that get my
attention. There’s something in them that fascinates the inner consciousness.

But that’s not why I’m weird. You know why I’m weird?

I’m weird because I chose to post an entry on this, because I’m
talking about it and admitting it.

Lots of people, I’m quite sure, have a similar deep (and sometimes
more open) fascination towards blood, gore, rape and torture. You watch some of
those reality shows on AXN, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Fear Factor has now become mostly an
insect- and moulded cheese-eating championship. They eat dragonflies, maggots
and stuff. I DON’T watch those parts. But when you see that there’s a handsome
prize money that comes at the end, you know that this show doesn’t lack TRP and
has quite a number of viewers. Then there are those shocking videos which are
really strings of accidents. I hate those. Having experienced a dislocation in
front of my eyes (it was my cousin), I’m not a great fan of them. But that a
show could run for half an hour, or perhaps even one hour, airing just one clip
after another of just such gross accidents is a plain indication that there are
people willing to watch them.

My Life Science teacher (who told me the secret behind the name
Lufthansa) once told us that some people are fascinated by the amount of
unpleasant things that are associated with road accidents. The majority of the
crowd that instantaneously gathers at such sites consists of these people. They
have absolutely no inclination to help. They are there to watch the blood, the
mangled wreck, and if they’re lucky, a squashed head or two to top it off. And
when they get home, they tell people with relish and excitement just how gross
it was, mentioning every little splatter of blood. You can sometimes almost
hear the silent lip-smacking when they relate this. And the local newspaper
that we have in our state, it’s called the Anandabazar
Patrika
, it thrives off these
events. They love to paste a huge full-colour picture of the accident site on
their front page, and describe every little blood stain in the article with it.
Not only that. It takes pleasure in dealing with all sorts of perverse facts.
There was this man Dhananjoy condemned to death by hanging for raping and
killing a girl. On the day he was to be killed, the newspaper carried a huge
front page graphic of a person in a prison cell silhouetted by light, and below
was an account of the things he had done since waking up. It included, I
vividly remember, a measure of how much he had pissed, in cc. And this
newspaper sells like hot cakes. And well, recently, the Indian public has taken
it upon themselves to teach erring drivers a lesson. They engage in the most
brutal processes of actually killing them, and there’s always a TV camera or
two right there, airing the cutting,
the slashing, the uprooting and the burning (of limbs, skin, eyes and the
entire person respectively), live for its viewers. We could question whether
this is the responsibility that mass media should take up, but a greater
question, more relevant to this topic, is whether everyone is prone to this
affinity for violence, the public and the viewers alike? It appears so.

This post was supposed to be about me, although I don’t think it’ll
remain much about me in the end. Anyway, let me tell you, I hate these shows.
It’s true. In fact, this fascination in me is a lot less than in other people.
Why then am I weird? Well, like I said, because I choose to talk about it.

I have this weird habit of sometimes wanting to publicize or
confess a very bad thing in me, which nobody needs to know. Often it’s a trait
that everyone has, but an acknowledgement makes it sound worse. Maybe sometimes
it’s not such a common trait, and it’s not good for me to state it out loud,
but I still go ahead and do it, sometimes actually exaggerating and outright
lying to make myself look bad. I don’t know why I do this. It’s because of this
reason that I lost my girlfriend. Anyway, she’s someone else’s girlfriend now,
and honestly, I’ve ceased to care. I realize it’s a lot better off this way,
and that internal panic in me related to the thought ‘I’ll have to leave this
planet without having loved’ has abated to a certain extent. (Is it funny how
my thoughts always seem to end with death?)

If you have started viewing me a little strangely after this, well,
I’m not surprised. I told you I was weird. But there’s one thing you should
know. After reading that Holocaust page on Wikipedia, I was shocked and
dumbfounded by all that those bloody Nazi sewer-rats could do to a helpless
population. I felt all the guilt that the Nazis should have felt perch upon my
shoulders and weigh me down. I felt so, so guilty, as if I’d manufactured the
Holocaust. And I wrote a story on it, called Liberation, and it was finally
selected to be included in a book. To this day and for the rest of my life,
I’ll hate the Nazis with a great, great force.

But that fascination towards violence and torture, I guess that was
still working when I was reading that Wikipedia page.

This is what
people refuse to understand. Like I said once, they have full colour vision,
but they refuse to see things in anything but black and white. Dude, I’m not
black or white. I’m grey. And it just so happens that while reading that
particular page on the Holocaust, the force of white in my greyness, generated
by sympathy towards humans and life in general, was a lot more than the force
of black, generated by a primal love for blood and violence. I may be weird and
have enough black in my greyness to make me like gross stuff to a tiny extent,
but I can safely say that I have enough white in it to never imagine doing
anything like that to a fellow human or animal, and to protest in my loudest
tone if I see someone else trying to do it.

I can see already that while writing this post, I have, as usual,
exaggerated my affinity for grotesque things. It’s really not as much as I’ve
made it appear. Some of this exaggeration has been due to that weird tendency
of mine I told you about, and some for the sake of the conversation. Phew, it’s
tiring to continually analyse myself.

I guess that will be all for now. It’s getting late today. If you
want, you can visit the Holocaust page here.

1Life.



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