John Kinsella’s novel Genre
begins to make more sense
in Rajasthan, particularly
the part when one of his male
characters relays a disturbing
childhood experience – of trying
to crap outdoors as a dog eats
his shit, stuck halfway out
of the boy’s arsehole (sorry Dear
Reader, but there’s no easy way
to put it!). The dog then licks
his fingers (as friendly dogs do!)
& the boy smells his own shit
on them, transported via the dog’s
rough tongue. The boy never tells
anyone about it. John, so done
to death in India.
From the rooftop of the Slow Food
restaurant, Baldwin looks over
the crenellated wall of the golden
sandstone, 12th century AD fortress
& spies a boy of about 8/9, trying
to take a dump behind some bushes –
but a pig (not a dog this time!) keeps
butting in; tries to occupy
the best seat in the house & have
a go at the expectant poo. The boy,
interrupted, tries to kick the pig
& crap at the same time, but piggy,
black as a burquas keeps on being
attracted; a large hairy magnet
to the boy’s refrigerator flesh.
Then two more pigs approach,
curious as to the frenzy of action, both
as eager to monopolise on the boy’s
excrement. Nothing wasted with our
scorched earth policy. Nothing
to nullify the pig element.
Baldwin can’t get the thought out
of his head that one of these boars
might suddenly turn into ‘Pigsy’
from the TV series, Monkey. That
it’s all being staged with wires
& secret Holy Man palmed chemicals.
Where’s Funniest Home Videos when
you need them? Baldwin, fascinated,
watches the boy defend his makeshift
desert latrine from the trio
of tusked razorbacks, wants to shout
down some words of encouragement
from the battlement to him; ‘Kinsella
was right – you can trace it all back
to our childhoods’ - but doesn’t.
Finally overwhelmed, the boy
gives up & races back home across
the dirt street, a dust-devil rises
with each footfall.
The pigs, Baldwin decides as a waiter
dumps a menu into his lap, those
three little pigs have at the end
of the 20th century, now become
the wolves Dear Reader.
Read the special of the day & weep.