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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Chp 2. Fight

What makes a chinky fight...

Yesterday, professor Vasanthi was teaching us about Organizational Behaviour, about the work cultures of various individuals from different part of the globe. What motivates people to work hard? Indians work hard mainly because of social status. You can clearly see this, if you look at the Matrimonials...
"24, Male, computer engineer, IIMB graduate, currently working in Goldman Sachs, seeks alliance with beautiful and broad minded engineer, preferably working in an MNC blah blah blah..."
And she also explained why people from the Oriental East progress so fast in terms of technology. It is the fear of failure. Failure leads to shame. And eastern people consider shame as their biggest fear. Hence the brave samurai commits "harakiri" if his dignity loses face. And then i started thinking.... yes, shame is our biggest fear. And as i sit there in the classroom, everything becomes so clear. It was like the Heavens were opening up and a bright radiant light was beaming down upon me. Now everything makes so much sense!

All my life, people have asked me this one question. Why do us chinkies fight so much? Why is it that when we get into a disagreement, instead of arguing, we start landing punches on one another? Why do we stubbornly challenge an aggressor to a fight even though we are out-numbered and the chances of us winning is extremely bleak? Once again, the universal question: Are we stubborn maximus?

And as i sat there, oblivious of the fact that the lecture is still going on, my mind started wandering... far away from this institution, far away from Bangalore, even far away from this present time that we live in. I started thinking about those brief moments i spent in a typical mizo primary school when i was but a mere child. There i was, playing marbles with my friends after school, happily engorssed in our own sweet world, when all of a sudden, three big high school kids gate-crashed our game and kicked our marbles away. Me and my frens stood up and stared at them. It was a three on three situation, 3 puny innocent 6 years old up against 3 ugly pimple-faced 12 years old. We lashed out at them immediately and a short fight erupted. My fren Zova was the first to go down. I remebered that very well because as i look at him fall down, a fist came flying out of nowhere and the next thing i know, i was on the ground along side Zova. As the numerous cloud of stars that i saw cleared up, i could see that our third fren Mark was still in the heat of the battle. He was always the wild one among the three of us, and the big bully was having a hard time pinning him down. Mark even managed to land a couple of soft punches on his opponent's face, until a hard kick on his groin followed by a quick chop on the neck sent him screaming down to mother earth. After ensuring that they won, they left us. We slowly got up, rubbed off the dirt from our body and continued playing marbles. After sometime we all went home.

Now as i think about those good old days, two things which i have never realised before struck me.

1. We fought even though we know we couldn't have beaten them. There was no fear in us, and even if there was, it was subdued by a much bigger element. Shame. The shame of running away from a fight. Come to think of it, i have been in and also witnessed many fights back in Mizoram. People fight solely because they do not want to be branded a coward. It does not matter if you win or lose. As long as you accept a challenge, then you are a man. The moment you run away, that is when you lose everything. You cannot show your face in public, you cannot socialize, you lose every respect that others have for you. In other words, run away from a fight and you become an outcast. Such is the intensity of what shame does to people. I just want everyone to understand that we do not love fighting, as many people perceive it to be. Having that false opinion also make others think that we from the North-east are uncivilised. That is just the way we are, and the way we are brought up. Its like how a southie would eat his daily meals from a leaf, or wear a piece of cloth around his legs to a function. That does not make him any less uncivilised. That is their culture and tradition, the same way getting into a fight is in our blood.

2. The other thing i realised that day when i was lying on the ground with my fren Zova wallowing in our pain was, Mark was fighting with the bully all by himself and as i have mentioned, at one point, he managed to punch the big guy. But even then, the bully's two frens (lets call them bstrd 1 and bstrd 2) just stood there doing nothing to help their fren. Thinking about that, i realised that, in all the fights i have seen in mizoram, there was not even a single case of people ganging up on one guy. Every fights have always been strictly one on one.

One fight i remembered so well was a couple of years back. Me n my frens were playing basketball and one of our frens got into an argument with another guy regarding a foul call. So they said lets fight. Since we respect the sancticity of the basketball court, we all walked outside, formed a circle and these two guys faced each other inside. Some passer bys also joined us, and there were these two police men who came running to watch the fight too! One of them even said "No hitting below the belt" before the fight started, but it was more of a joke rather than an authorative order. And then the fight started. Within no time our fren was bleeding profusely. The other guy was thrashing the lights out of him. And finally we guys rushed in to stop the fight. Our fren still wanted to continue fighting for fear of losing face, so the other guy finally said he doesn't want to fight him anymore as he's "tired" and that our fren has won the fight (which was just a polite way of saying, "dude, i don't wanna kill you"). The point i'm trying to make is, even though he was a very close fren, we did not help him fight the other guy as it was his own personal fight. Helping him is like insulting him, as if we are mocking him that he can't handle a guy by himself (which was clearly the case this time) :-)

As we grow older though, we fight lesser and lesser. Just recently, we were playing this basketball tournament. It was the finals and dad came personally to watch me play. During the game, one of the guys intentionally fouled me really hard. Although an intentional foul is a part of the strategy tactic in basketball, especially towards the end when we were leading by a small margin, i was a bit pissed off. But after the game, my temper has died down. We won the match and i shook hands with this guy and walked out of the court. Dad came up to me and asked whether i'm going to fight him. Frankly speaking, the idea of fighting someone right infront of my dad does not sound very appealing. Its like having sex with someone and dad watching it!

Come to think about it, yes, fighting is so similar to sex. When we have sex which result in this AMAZING orgasm, it is somewhat similar to being victorious after a gruelling fight. We feel great and definitely don't mind doing it again but not right now as we are completely drained and the last thing we wanna do immediately after this act is to get into another fight or sex (although its a different thing for girls. A thousand curses to them for being blessed with multiple orgasms). And then, there are times when we cannot just perform during sex, thanx to all those damn tequila shots we had just before slipping into bed. That feeling is similar to losing during a fight. It sux, but never the less, we are filled with small sense of satisfaction because we know we just had sex, or we just got into a fight.

So, to sum it up, in our culture, as long as we fight, then there is no clear cut winner or loser... except right now, i am the obvious loser, because i sat through a very important lecture and i did not listen to a single word the professor was saying.
This is me signing out for the day.... ta ta


Anonymous said...

We fight because that's a part of our culture or lets call it our genes. I know other European nation who fight like us too.

Malina said...

I'm beginning to addict to your posts :P nice works!!