Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zen & the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance.

Coming back to the city where I was born and lived the initial twenty and one years of my life and being here now for almost four months on the trot, I decided to look back into the initial days of my life here in Thiruvananthapuram. Since leaving this city in 1982, I have not lived here for more than a few days on the trot. Any trips back to this city have been for brief time  lasting at the most three days. Consequently, though I did notice the change that has been happening here, to the roads and lanes, to the trees and the once prolific population of birds, the cleanliness that was vivid, the once sparse traffic , the classic architecture, buildings with history ,atmosphere , life and beauty and most of all the people who dwell here.

I rewound back to those years three decades ago and decided to reminisce about the men and women who lived in my neighbourhood, who have walked their life into the sunset. And Doctor Antony’s recent post instantly reminded me about the story of the man who lived may be a hundred meters across my house.
He was an officer of the Constabulary,but known more for his off uniform feats. It must have been in the mid seventies and his “Norton” motor –bike was perhaps the avant-garde in a town which only had the antediluvian “java” , “Lambretta”, a “Rajdoot” and the Royal Enfield Bullet . For some, together with his Norton motor-bike, he was a sex symbol.He was a kind of an iconic figure physically and riding his motor bike, he ensured that he dispersed the air with imperiousness and arrogance. He was the coach of the wrestling aspirants at the gym. I remember him dancing, pulling off his shirt in drunken revelry when the news about Mrs Indira Gandhi’s election defeat came across the official display board at the Central stadium,( that was in 1977).

Now, he was a fantastic swimmer too. And he used to volunteer and pick young boys and supposedly took them in his tutelage, be it on the wrestling mat or in the swimming pool. He had this preference for young boys who were into their teens or in their adolescence.

He did not know me in person, nor did he know that I was living near his house. He might have noticed me at the gym and at the pool. But since I was not keen about wrestling, was not eager for a swimming coach and was comfortable watching him from the distance, I never came to his proximity. He was regular at the swimming pool in the evenings by 6. He used to venture in, in his swim trunks and walk around the fifty meter long pool, bare- chested and like a rogue Elephant conscious of the awe he has created. He enjoyed  exhibiting his naked torso and only with the protective cover of his swim trunk. He ventures into the pool and does a few laps of nonstop free style, breast and back stroke, before floating around in the water observing others in the water. He had this acrobatic way of slicing the water with his palm, sending up a wave of water as from a wide jet stream. It was, I understood his way of stamping his presence. By then, usually the flood lights of the pool would be shut off except for one, sending shadows across most part of the pool.
One day we happened to engage in a conversation while we were leaving the pool. And I answered  his queries about my school /college etc.He had come there in his vintage Studebaker car and he offered to give me a hitch –hike to the city center.Though I politely thanked him and tried to move on, he insisted that it was not a problem for him and he also lived near the city center.While we moved on I told him that he could drop me near his house and I lived near by. Anxiously, (I felt), he asked me where near his house I lived. I told him the ancestral name and also told him that I understood that he was the college mate of my maternal uncle. I do not remember much conversation after that.He dropped me where I wanted to be dropped and went on his way. I do not remember him showing any signs of acquaintance or acknowledgement thereafter, whenever and wherever we have met.

Epilogue- My telling him about ancestral house etc was a kind of a defensive tact which in fact ensured that he did not invite me to join his shady idiosyncrasies. Though I have had heard many exploits of his and his enticing young boys for homosexual acts, I was not convinced until I saw myself one evening. It was at the swimming pool and the lights were going off. There were only a few of us in the pool. This boy may be aged fifteen hurriedly swam past me and got out of the pool. I had noticed him quietly being held and putatively coached by our man, in the far corner of the swimming pool.Now,I could see him clearly in the shadow of the lone flood light. While he got out, with a blushed appearance, I saw that his member was erect and he was trying to avoid others seeing the erection through his swim suit. Our gentleman has had homosexual routine with him. When I confided this to another person there, he giggled and said that the  officer was a infamous homophile as well as straight.

A few years down from then, I heard that this man had a cerebral hemorrhage, and died instantly. .


Insignia said...

Are you saying that the teen boy enjoyed the act? Thats sad. Maybe he was not aware of this fellow's wily intentions. Such people dont understand the deep psychological scar these acts leave on the kids.

And you had great presence of mind to nip that guy off the bud.

Shilpa Garg said...

OMG!! That's truly shocking and sad. CSA is a heinous crime and here in the case of the teen, with the hormones surging, physical development, he would be mistaking the abuse as pleasure!!

Balachandran V said...

Your first piece on recollections; I eagerly look forward to the rest!

dr.antony said...

What a memory to start off!

We have these kind of characters everywhere! We had an old man in our hometown who was notorious.He was extremely rich,married and with grown up children.People used to see him along dark lanes with young boys.The rumor was that he used to give them lots of money.And the jock was that he used to enjoy giving service than taking it!

They are deviants than homophiles.

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia,

I doubt if the gentleman ever forced his way violating the will of the boys.The fact is, certain age from adolescence to late teens or may be even after, some people develop this fascination for same sex. In many cases it is mutual, and not forced homosexual infliction.
Hence the question of scar and psychological mauling doesn't arise.
Inconvenient matters though, that these things are shoved under the carpet or people close their eyes avoiding discussion.

anilkurup said...

@ Shilpa Garg,

Perhaps yes. May be physicians and ones in the field of human behavior, psychology, are in a better position to comment authoritatively.

anilkurup said...

@ Balacahandran,

hmmm, are you expecting more stories of tackiness from the gentry who lived next to me?

anilkurup said...

@ dr Antony,

Ha , yes doc as you said many times it is mutual!
The matter is that people do not want to discuss the issue and they wish it is not brought up.False moral uprightness?

ousu said...

Anil@ The character u described here sounds more like someone who could easily force his will and make a younger guy feel confused..he almost even had u for a moment, den it was ur good old family and uncles name which saved u ;)
But I don't find any fault in being gay, as long as they keep their hands to themselves. Make it up with like minded people and u have fun, that is what i have always felt. One female I was friends with had a great gay friend and they all were classmates. This guy, went with the gals for all the shopping, from denim to lingerie and the females felt awesome wearing it and getting his opine..this one was truly gay i suppose, because I haven't ever heard my friend say a word against him and he still goes with her kitty group for shopping.. Boy, now for theses favors I might pretend to be gay with some female ;)

Shilpa@ Only the people involved knows whether it is pleasure or abuse. So how could we say that, its abuse and not pleasure??

anilkurup said...

@ Osu,

I do not contest the right of a person to his sexual orientation. And hunting down people who are homosexuals is also a grave violation. Though personally I find the preference has something to do with the fault line in the genetic make up.It cannot be otherwise, when one prefers something that Nature has not designed us to be or decreed us to. If the pleasure in the sexual act ( heterosexual)was non existent the matter of procreation would be in serious jeopardy. Honestly will anybody want to indulge in an act that has no pleasure, fun or providing no blissful times,. if the only importance of the act was to procreate? Certainly No. If so where does the homo sexual act stand?

Happy Kitten said...

Sad that none warned the parents against this wily character.

It must have been his way of getting enough students to keep his class and his ego running.

and did he meet an early death? as a mother of a 14 year old boy, I am very glad he did!

And do we have the right to speak for those children and decide if everything is/was alright, just because pleasure was given or taken?

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten

I guess things were without force and on the volition of the other, be it boys or young men. What I wanted to highlight is when we discuss such episodes it is presumed that things were forced on the hapless. But in cases such as homosexual liaisons there are a lot many who volunteer and would want to. It is not quiet as it seems on the surface.

Happy Kitten said...

I get your point..

.. if every child was forced and terrorised into such acts many such acts would have been better noticed by the elders.. but then in the real world it is not so, it is more of persuasion.. nd here in your post you maybe talking about adolescents, but when this same act is done on upon much younger ones, they would be in no position to understand the action of the homophile .

anilkurup said...

@ Happy Kitten,

Certainly! You are right. The hapless little ones, even toddlers are abused.Parental awareness and affinity with the child will help. Else the child may not divulge, reveal the ongoings.