It wasn’t even one week at work…and I was tired of it already! The roaming that used to excite me before became the topic of hatred. The writing that I used to love before, became routine work!
In the middle of all this, Krishnan “Krish” Iyer asks this weird question. When does a boy become a man? And the answers ranged through all attributes of mankind that one could think of, right from innocence to physical growth to age. But I came up with something I am surprised I thought of.
Perverseness….it is perverseness that makes a boy a man. No adult is non-perverted (if that word exists). Then raged the argument, that it was innocence that made a boy what he was. And loss of innocence brought about manhood. To cut it short, I still believed that a man is born when a boy turns perverted.
Please note at this point that when I say perverted it does not mean the sexual connotation that we usually take the word in. By perverseness I mean perverted thoughts, or action. When a person acts selfishly, he is acting perverted. When a person lies, it is perverseness. So I meant, that these things make a person an adult.
Lying though might be justified at times; it is that justification that makes to you a man (or a woman!) Take this case, if a child has stolen something, and lies to his parents about the origin of that article, it is an act, which I think we would all, describe as “adult”. After all that is what adults do all the time, justify their actions and convince others to that what they do is right.
That is the moment that the kid turns into an adult. And if this happened at the age of 2…then well..at that time the kid has grown up.
The one thing that changed in my traveling habits after I joined Mid-Day is that I am now a 2nd class train traveler. (Back to trains!) and this traveling after 9.00 pm has got me acquainted with a lot of children.
To be more specific, with toddlers. Those cute, chubby ones, who smile if you smile at them! And frown if you smile a bit too much. Those are the kids who lighten up your mood, kids so young that they trust anyone and everyone. Irrespective of the how you look, what you are, where you come from, smile begets a smile. And love, love.
That is innocence, and what steals that innocence? YOU and ME. WE do. We teach a child of what is wrong and right, and in the process also transferring our prejudices and stereotypes into that pure head. We teach the child of what to do and what not. Making our right, his right, and our wrong his wrong; magnifying not just what WE perceive things as but also filling that head with our perverseness!
Hence, after all this mind pondering…which would make no difference to anyone, I came up with this: The best stress buster is to watch a kid laugh while trying to catch the handles on the train, playing with the mother’s mangalsutra or simply keeping all of the eyeballs in the compartment glued to him!
And then comes the part when all that disappears in a matter of a second, when the mother slaps the child and puts him off to sleep, or an overprotective aunt/grandmother instructs the mother to keep the child away from the eyes’ of the public.
Our ideas of perverseness, added to another innocent soul.
The Silhouette of Perverseness as seen through innocence.
Krishnan Iyer…I still believe that it is when a child becomes perverted that he becomes a man.