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Break a leg

By on Jun 4, 2011 in Personal | 32 comments

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The sound of bone crunching is very visceral. I have never heard it. The scream that you let out when a bone breaks is very animal-like. The pain that you feel is beyond imaginable. I have never broken a single bone in my body. My ribs came close to, once, but they didn’t actually break. I sound like the serial killer in Jeffrey Deaver’s The Bone Collector. I want to have a tooth knocked out by a blow from a knuckle-duster. I want to hear cartilage snap as someone punches my nose so hard that it breaks. Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction

I do not know how to make fire by rubbing sticks together, and how helpful that skill would be if I am about to sleep cold, tired, and hungry in a cave. Yet, it’s what my ancestors did purely by chance thousands of years ago. They probably had an IQ of a newt, and yet, they could do it – so why can’t I?

I am fucking terrified of dogs, which they can sense because they always start barking and acting aggressive towards me. Maybe I will push my luck too far one day by trying to run – and failing to make that extra step – rather than trying to stand-up and face them. Cats, on the other hand, them I like. If I ever get one, I will name it Furball. Cats are nice because you can fuck off on a trip and they’ll still be there, alive, when you come back unlike needy domesticated dogs that need constant care. I will try feeding chocolate cookie crumbles at least one time to Furball; I have no clue whether s/he will like it.

I have never experienced what real starvation or hunger is – and I’m not talking about ritual fasting or a hunger strike here. To be lost in a desert where you have too much sunlight or to be locked up in a tiny cell where there’s too little – of both sunlight and hope. I want to know how it was possible to survive on a meal of watery porridge with a handful of rice grains twice a day. I have tasted pig intestines, jellyfish, chicken feet, pigeon, shark, stingray, crocodile, frog, water beetles…and yet I’ve never tasted snake blood, or foie gras, or caviar. How fucking hard can it be to make this possible?

I want to help out someone in a helpless situation and make life better for them. This could due to poverty or injury or mortal peril or whatever – and I will do it without regard for myself or expecting anything at all, even gratitude, in return.

I want to slit the throat of a chicken or a goat that I later eat, like Mark Zuckerberg does for all his meals. Many people will be confused with what I’m saying here; I only have “lmgtfy” to tell them. I want people to mistakenly think this is because I look up to him as some sort of idol. I will make the kill as quick and painless as it can be, but I also want to stick around and watch the animal in its death throes.

I just finished reading The Beach by Alex Garland. I think it is the cause for me writing this, right now. I want to have an equally engrossing story to tell. I arrived back ‘home’ yesterday – and I am already itching to book my next trip.

I want to bungee jump off Macau Tower – the world’s highest bungee jump – carrying my own digital camera in my hand, and then worry about a $150 piece of shit that tumbled and fell from my clasp from that high up. Before the adrenalin fully kicks in and I have a laughter fit. Then I want to experience the same rush again by skydiving. And then yet again by BASE jumping.

I want to break open a door by kicking it or barging at it with my shoulders scrunched.

I want to sketch out rough-looking drawings of what I’m thinking with charcoal sticks, much like they characters in horror movies do.

I want to live – even if for a few days – among a jungle tribe, not knowing their language and cursing the oppressive humidity in the forest, the bugs, and that vile soup that they drink ceremonially on Thursdays.

I met an American guy in Saigon – no, this is not a ‘Nam story – who climbed Mount Everest solo, carrying his own tent and equipment. You can be an armchair cynic and claim that climbing Mount Everest isn’t as difficult as it once used to be (they even have 3G connectivity at the summit these days, you know, just in case you wanted to check-in to Foursquare), and you’d be a twat for saying that. On the best of days and conditions, Everest would require cojones that would need a separate rucksack to carry them in. I want to do that, some day.

I want to see piranha fishes in real life. Sharks, well, everyone’s seen sharks on the Discovery Channel or Jaws. Piranhas…now that is more exotic.

I want to volunteer for a charity in any impoverished country in the world. I hope my effort, however tiny in the larger picture, will at least make a handful of lives better than what they were before.

I want to speak in French when having sex. (I don’t know where this one comes from. Probably from The Beach again, in a roundabout way. Ooh, I made a parenthetical comment!)

I have ‘killed’ fresh coconuts with an M16 assault rifle, pounded concrete blocks with a round from an M60 fully-automatic machine gun, had my hands burnt while shooting at targets with an AK-47. I want to know how much of a difference using a red-dot sight or an ACOG-sight instead of iron sights makes in accuracy when firing a rifle. I want to try it out with a new gun, like the Israeli TAR-21. I want to preferably do this in a training range where I can hear the thwack of bullets knocking down fake iron human cutout targets. I want to do this while listening to a gameplay recording of Duty Calls, a Call of Duty parody made by the developers of Bulletstorm.

I want to see with my own eyes someone who is dear to me nursed back to health in a hospital, as I spend days smelling the chlorinated floors, the disinfectants, and a heady mixture of despair, prayers and hope around me. I want to experience relief and unbridled happiness. And then I want to drop asleep out of exhaustion.

A professor holds the record for the Singaporean who has travelled to the most number of countries in the world. He told this story of a time when trying to cross the Serbian (?) border he got stopped by soldiers trying to make a quick buck who held him at gunpoint even though he had valid travel papers. I want to be in a situation like that – a muzzle pressing against the top of my mouth, teeth tasting the iron barrel, pants pissed in, life flashing in front of my eyes… I would love to walk away from that alive and live to tell the tale, but even otherwise I would prefer that to dropping dead of a heart attack in an office working in a 9-to-5 job.

I want to learn to play the piano. I want to write a Chinese character – just once, just one – with a brush, flawlessly.

I want to publish – against my better judgement – this text online. Unlike my other published text, I will care fuckall about explaining unfamiliar terms with links. Some readers will ‘merely’ protest the ‘graphic’ and ‘vulgar’ nature of this…those prudes. Some readers will be distressed and will question my sanity; I will reassure them by taking the Mexican sobriety test. Some day in the future, maybe, someone – maybe somebody really important, at some important stage in my life – will find this text and will form preconceived notions about me; that person will be extremely prejudiced against me or morbidly fascinated by me. I know it will be one of those two reactions because you have been reading this so far. That day I will learn from experience how it feels to squirm uncomfortably in that situation and how to / how not to try to get out of it.



32 Comments

  1. Vivek

    June 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Was wondering when this post’d come out. It was sort of inevitable, based on the trend that I’d been coolly observing. Good job, on summing it up all so succinctly. And I hope to hear as you accomplish each and every one of the tasks you have set yourself.

  2. Aditya

    June 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Even I hate dogs. Terrified. Still don’t understand the point of this post though, I don’t think that matters anyway.
    You can do that Duty Calls thing in Paintball. You and Karmanya can take turns saying those… things.

  3. Amrit

    June 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Wow. The feeling of writing without wondering what people think about it-you just nailed it. :)

    P.S. I kinda fancy the gun experience. But I’d go with a dog anyday. A St. Bernard at that too :D Cats are too bitchy!

      • Amrit

        June 6, 2011

        Karma Man is the booze guy. I’m the one with the gunman instincts,remember?

      • Ankur Banerjee

        June 6, 2011

        Nobody believes you’re not the booze guy after those embarrassing pictures you posted on Facebook from your birthday.

  4. anupum

    June 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hey! I have 2 cats and a dog at home. I have had cats around since I was a baby. I love cats and I’m a FAN. I admire how they adapt to everything and also their ninja like aspects. :)
    You could kill a cat if you feed it enough of choc cookies. Not easy to kill a cat…still… it’s toxic in large quants. See again…this is what i like about cats….it would voluntarily stop eating and revert the toxicity naturally. Won’t die easily.
    cheers cats :)

  5. Espèra

    June 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Aww. Furball. Cats are adorable.

    “I want to speak in French when having sex. ”
    Do make sure the girl you’re having sex with understands French. Or it will be a mood killer. :P

    “I do not know how to make fire by rubbing sticks together.”
    Ever tried it?

    • Ever tried it?

      Yes. Once in Malaysia, and it was an utter failure.

      Or it will be a mood killer.

      Au contraire. Or, are you saying here that you’ve tried it?

      • Espèra

        June 7, 2011

        Well. Imagine yourself speaking in French. And she’s like, “Hang on, what did you say?”
        And you are forced to translate. Doesn’t it sound like a mood killer? It does to me.

  6. AkshatB

    June 6, 2011

    Post a Reply

    To sum it up… Jack Bauer? But yeah oddly enough i’ve consciously thought of most of these things, especially since I was reading the Bourne trilogy till yesterday

  7. Molar

    June 6, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I went to Macau Tower last December to bungee jump. But I found that it was ridiculously overpriced and would have meant we cut Disneyland from our itinerary (my kid sister wasn’t about to let that happen).

    So we just did a windwalk instead. Nice, but not as awesome as bunjee jumping, judging by the screams from the adjoining platform.

    • Must have been brill! I actually did go to Macau Towers but I agree that AJ Hackett charges such a premium. I was backpacking, on very tight budget then and decided not to…but now I regret that decision. If I have enough cash for jump + flights, then I’m definitely going back to Macau, if only just for that.

      Do you have a video of your windwalk?

      • Molar

        June 7, 2011

        No; they don’t let you carry cameras when you’re out there. The guy who takes you around takes photos, but no videos. Then they give you those on a CD.

        Oh, and do make sure your CD is all right immediately after taking it from them. There were four of us, so we got four CDs, but three of them turned out to be corrupted.

      • Ankur Banerjee

        June 8, 2011

        I see. One part of that plan struck off then. Getting the CDs aren’t that cheap either if I remember so getting corrupted ones mightily sucks.

  8. khan baykaner

    June 8, 2011

    Post a Reply

    so in other words you want to “drink life to the lees” :) though be careful what you wish for my friend. many of those things are wonderful only from the perspective of an outsider. But I generally applaud your spirit.

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