Code Brown

The baby plopped out of its mother’s womb —
Nameless, classless, creedless, casteless.
No, don’t ask its sex.
No, don’t ask its colour.
We will raise it to discriminate anyway.
A baby is a baby — delicate, innocent, pure.
And before it could get naughty — potty.
Welcome to the human race, babe.
Potty — the last bastion of your form-free self.
Henceforth, you may prejudice
And be prejudiced against.

Shit —
The conclusion of an existential dissertation.
The end of a churning voyage.
The putrid punishment of past sins.

You cannot deny its existence —
In your life, in your bowels.
Howsoever you may hide your fetid crop,
Howsoever you may camouflage your greedy guts,
You can’t escape the daily dump.
While you wallow in it throughout the day,
It wallows within, out on its way.
And when it gets too much to take,
You excrete and sigh away.

Every day millions of tonnes of faeces
Rush through the gutters of human bowels —
Silently, indiscriminately.
There’s something saintly about excreta —
It treats all mankind equally.
It doesn’t stop on its track
Just because you’re rich or famous or fair.
It doesn’t ignore your anus
Just because you’re poor or unknown or dark.
In front of the noxious altar of ejectamenta,

Shitting —
The amoral exposure of self,
The crude down-to-earther,
The ultimate equalizer.
The only voluntary involuntary act you will commit
Every day of your life.

The Hindu does it,
And the Muslim too.
The Shia shits,
The Sunni shits.
The Catholic shits,
So does the Protestant.
And I’m sure, every prophet worth his salt
Shat — somberly, religiously.
The statesman does it,
And he did it too when he was a politician.
The electorate does it,
And it does it too after the elections.

The ‘holy’ Brahmin poops.
The ‘lowly’ Dalit poops.
Even the person claiming to be pure,
Even the person cleaning all the poop,
The twice-born craps,
The once-born craps,
The born-again craps.

The corpulent minister in the red-beacon car —
He takes a dump before dumping the nation.
The mafia don with his balls in the gun —
He craps before he beats you to crap.
Your dimwit boss with a chauvinist stride —
He shat in the office loo before he shat all over your daily happiness.
Your object of lust, the sexy star —
Thank your stars you don’t see her shit.

In the secluded privacy of your restroom
You hide your dignity from all mankind.
You hide from your husband,
You hide from your kids,
You hide from your girlfriend.
But you don’t hide from yourself.
Not copulation,
This is your weakest moment.

Look at yourself —
Sitting in a limbo,
Waiting for nature to take its course,
Exposed to the mercies of the elements.
Where is your vanity?
(Oh, I’m sure you look fabulous!)
Where is your arrogance?
(Oh, I’m sure you’re the king of the world!)
It’s laughable that you seek
A clean and sanitized life
When sanity is finally restored
Only after the labored strife.
Coz when you’re finally done,
You clean your own gooey mess.
No one does it for you.
No one does it for you.

Everybody who’s somebody
And everybody who’s nobody
Begins or ends his day
By prostrating before the lavatory.
And stool is the common string
That runs through all hues of mankind.
The cream pie and the chocolate mousse,
The chicken tikka and the stuffed goose —
Beautiful, fragrant, delights on the tongue —
End up in a heap of distasteful dung.
And that is life, the long and the short of it —
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, shit to shit.

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: