By now it should be obvious to all that I like to romanticise myself as the aloof protagonist in a novel that is essentially my life as written by Sylvia Plath. If this was a ‘choose your own adventure’ book, the only out-comes would be postpone the inevitable suicide or go postal. But for all my hatred of my fellow man, pre-pubescents in particular, it may interest you to know that I do have a soft spot for children. I guess it harks back to my Tamagotchi days, when I would care for a lesser life form just for the vicarious thrill (as well as running a low-reward faeces shovelling service).
And even though I’m still the type to cast a harsh glance at a crying baby on the bus, the plight of children at the hands of monsters still remains the focus of my ‘Scum Rants’. With that in mind, for the 3rd Edition I decided to look at what happens when bizarre superstitious ideas are mixed with parenting; which as you may expect is like introducing a Dane to Æthelred II.
The setting for this torrid tale is the exotic country of India, the worst country in the world according to one Rajesh Koothrappali; and its key players are a credulous couple from the manufacturing city of Hapur. They have been arrested for engaging in a bizarre ritual, a process which involved the abandonment and burial of their two day old infant in an earthen pot. Not only is that as batshit crazy as Adam West was typecast to be, but according to father Kiran Pal their motivation for such a heinous crime was to ward off an ill-omen responsible for the death of his newly born children. Now whilst not wishing to make any libellous comments about the man, anyone willing to offer their new-born as a sacrifice should first think deeply about claiming to be at war with invisible cosmic rays of child murder.
Clearly what we have here is a case of people who are as naïve as Miss Tulisa “I’ll make a sex tape with this questionable rogue and assume that WON’T go wrong” Contostavlos. Pal and his wife were convinced by a ‘godman’ named Naseem that the only way to lift off this supposed curse was ritual murder. There are several things about that scenario which to any sane person would have flagged up that just like the ‘eccentric’ Pythagoras; Naseem was a right angled triangle short of a hypotenuse. After all, a godman is essentially a snake oil salesman dealing in spiritualism and convincing little old ladies he can make them a cup of tea via the power of telekinesis.
I prefer to think it was naivety, because I’ve never put much weight into the whole idea of “it’s their culture” suddenly making it acceptable. Because just like the “it’s not cheating if it occurs in an alternative universe” excuse, cultural and religious differences can only get you so far; which is why we all want to hang the stars of Jersey Shore, even though it is public knowledge that in New Jersey you are considered the apex of society just for having baser urges. Basically some evil things are simply universal. If there was a culture which deemed furious masturbation on public transport to be a perfectly normal and mundane activity, I doubt it would make for a healthy tourism trade; unless that culture happened to be that of The Viera. Obviously.