SPIKED. AN EARTHLY REBELLION.
Part One. A Good Child.
Calcutta, Kolkata, the city of Kali, fearsome and devastating, a heavy skied gate to hell, thronging with an obscene mixture of Victorian viceroys
vice and grandeur, a million Hindustan Ambassadors, and more, many more, homeless, dispossessed and destroyed. Leave the small, hot restaurant with
its impalatably anglicised menu, walk past the bust of Tagore further down Sudder Street, take a left, and then the next right. Don’t buy charas
from the small frail man, white bearded, reminiscent of a wise Greek from antiquity. Try not to make eye contact with the desperate woman, aged
somewhere between eighteen and fifty, avoid her timeless anguish and her nakedly frail children. In front of you is an old market, temporarily a
building site, backed by a proud red stone church in this original land of forced multi-culturalism, rendered tolerant by a dozen waves of invasion
and migration, traders and soldiers. Turn right and head away from the hot smog and sewage ridden streets, up into a cool, yet suitably dilapidated,
marble clad lobby. The lift-wallah will beckon you into the nerve-jangling elevator, and take you to the rooftop bar. Here, you will sip a rare cold
Kingfisher, graze on delectably spiced tit bits, share laughs with the other Firanghi interlopers and the too few residents with the resource to climb
so high. Drink your cheap beer, smoke your cheap fags, marvel at how affordable life in this Communist led canton is. Ignore the fact that for most of
people teeming below, it is prohibitively expensive, a credit fuelled foreign pipe dream played out aggressively on the stage they populate as
benighted extras. Gaze, as the sun sets, vividly refracted by a lung assaulting haze into luminous yellows and deep, foreboding reds, at the Western
masterpieces infiltrating the hot, humid Eastern canvas; the skeletal span of the Hooghli Bridge, the delusions of the Victoria memorial and the
socially responsible placebo of the Indian museum. Look deeper, at the ramshackle slums, boys emulating Tendulkar on bumpy brown wasteland sprouting
bright plastic flowers emblazoned with unaffordable logos, teasing, the herds of clunking whirring puffing cars sitting patiently, by banks and sweet
shops, herds of goats melting through the morass. In the fading light of day look at the families settling down to sleep in the streets below.
If, however, you had stopped the lift on the ninth floor, handed the smiling attendant a few spare rupees and entered the flat at the end of the
corridor, you would have found a boy named Gautama Goodchild. His father, English, works for the Western controlled Asian Development Bank, lending
impetus to the nascent free markets, in a shimmering misplaced tower. His mother, Indian, toils in her kitchen until noon, before distributing her
dhal and chappatis to the dispossessed, drug addicted and abandoned until darkness seeps through the tainted air.
Gautama is alone this afternoon. Born in London, a leafy, affluent west London, near the end of the line, he came here six weeks ago when his
aspiring, hard working, hard-nosed father took on a dubious promotion. His father works, his mother toils to undo the damage and disparity of recent
centuries. So he is alone, allegedly. Actually, he is far from alone, alone only in adult terms, as his wide, brown eyes feed a fertile, creative
brain, perceiving a world where the absolute has not yet been ingrained. As we speak he is sat on the window ledge, some ninety feet high, tired happy
and relaxed after a strenuous game of cricket with a disparate group; agile Hanuman leaping and bounding behind the wastepaper bin wicket, facing the
fearsome Shiaob Akhtar bowling at mach five from the kitchen door, batting with Tendulkar to save the vital match, clean bowling Ricky Ponting and
both the Waughs, three golden ducks. India & Affiliated Gods v The Rest. A regular occurrence in this otherwise unremarkable flat floating in the
putrid air. Obviously, Gautama was the great all rounder, the fulcrum of this undefeated team.
So now he sits, window open allowing the sweaty trapped air out. Gautama stares at the horizon filling expanse of this colonial trading post turned
mega-city. The green oasis, the park by the Victoria memorial, shimmers through the too-tangible air, a melancholy drifting in and out of focus.
Noise, heat and abused particles rise in a poisonous, polysensual cacophony, assailing his impressionable mind. The cars below sit, horns blaring
unproductively. His eye escapes, skimming away over a tableau he knows he will find repeated endlessly throughout this unfortunate imposition on the
fertile river delta. Roads clanged shut by uncountable cars, prison like buses, all crawling loudly and without purpose, past vast adverts for foreign
consumables, bright and attractive, rammed unthinkingly above a posse of loin cloth clad children begging alms from passing mendicants and crawling
motorists on pointless pilgrimages.
His breath, even though he sits and rests, is shallow, fast, almost panicked. He doesn’t want to take the oxygen in, not too deep, knowing, in
subliminal, lamb like innocence, that each breath draws in more that was ever intended, each breath will alter him, bond him irreversibly to selfish
thoughtlessness and ignorant greed that assails him and all below. He’s not hungry, but the metallic taint of chemical residues numbing his tongue
drives him to munch on the Mo-Mo chicken and sweet chilli dip left by his angelic mother as she brings small mercy to the masses.
Almost thoughtless, scarcely aware of the flickering potentials fizzing in his heart and soul, he looks down at pandemonium below and cries out,
screams in. The metal boxes, restructured alloys and bastardised compounds, the processed fuels, usurped from earthbound homes return his call with a
plaintive, anguish filled wail, the expressive agonies of the oppressed. He shuts his eyes and lets go, falls, screaming for hope, for change, for
those things only an innocent, perhaps naïve and stupid, man can call for. Gautama Goodchild falls, offering himself in return for something, for an
edit on 22-1-2011 by anarchosyndicalist because: whoops