Maybe my favourite animal should be the polar bear. Though being a human, its uncanny the way my hibernation tendencies are related to the polar bear. Its true that my favourite hobby is sleeping, occasional day-dreaming, eating and sleeping, though not necessarily in that order, but I rarely find like-minded people to form a club of my own for such a hobby. Even though I am supposed to be living in a free and fair society, neither my parents nor my saha-dharmini allow me to pursue my hobby. Far from being like minded, even my friends are extra active and prod me on to some activity or the other. “You need to keep your mind active”, they said in unison with my wife. “you have a wide interest in several topics, and have internet access at home, why dont you take something seriously?” they asked, “say you could research a subject and write a small article on the topic”. I could for a moment see that it was indeed a brilliant idea. I could do that.
So without delay I decided that I should take up one topic, research on that and write something about it. It will infuse fresh bout of activity in my mind. But I have to write about something different, not the regular stuff, which most of the people know and discuss anyway. I left the task to my mind, which normally works in the background and has to habit of picking up things from the subconscious. Indeed a few hours later it picked up a topic. This topic came from the Shrek 2 movie. Indeed it was a topic not much people research, where I can find more information and also write up something about it. The inspiration came from the scene where shrek drinks the potion and waits for something to happen. When all the audience in the theatre also are expecting something to happen, it happens… Shrek farts. It was decided, the topic that I should research about is farting!
Now Mahabharatha is acclaimed to be a great epic from india, about which its said that “whatever is in the world is in here, whatever is not in here is not in the world”. The first time I heard it, I knew that was a lie. I was dead sure that it didnt have any reference to farting. I havent come across one reference in mahabharatha which enlightens me about this process. I am one of the lucky few who didnt grow up thinking that this process was something to be abhorred or to be looked down upon. The family I was born into didnt consider it a disgusting thing, indeed we all could laugh at several anecdotes related to fart.
My grandmother once said that,
padakkushu paramasaadhu, avashakkushu aale kollum.
(big loud fart is a simpleton, the silent fart is a killer one.)
I could indeed vouch for that ancient wisdom. The silent one where you cannot even identify the culprit is more torturous than the one that comes with a warning. It would be really interesting to find out more about this process. How this was looked upon or looked down in several cultures, what were the prescribed solutions if a particular culture found it abhorring etc. The research offered me a lot of possibilities. I could find out the medical reasons for possible causes, compile a list of jokes related to farting from around the world and a long list of similar possibilities.
Whom else to discuss the research topic than my saha-dharmini, who at the very mention of the topic produced a facial expression which no number of muscles in my face could produce. That expression was not un-familiar as I remember seeing that expression when I pull the window-pane of the car down, and smile at her sheepishly, while driving. But this time along with that expression was a blazing look which contained more meaning than the whole of Shakespearian tragedies. That was it, my project research was called off.