Of the Newborn Baby
She came to the world last night, in the most usual way, but that’s the problem; it is not much of a problem if you think that it’s normal, that everything is just ordinary if you know what I mean; however, it’s not normal and it’s not ordinary—maybe it’s normal and ordinary but nobody will believe me because generally it’s not normal and it’s not ordinary.
Elsewhere, several motherland lovers who hate other people are oblivious of the masters’ daylight robberies and crime committed by the protectors and saviours; yet somehow in their conduct our new baby has struck a chord and it’s not even extraordinary—because listen to the money experts and they can explain how much we owe to the nation as soon as we arrive into this world.
The first commonality, striking the chord, is the tax: the tax we pay for harvesting rice, the tax we pay for custom duties, the tax we pay for buying milk, the tax we pay for sending money to faraway hometowns, the tax we pay for having a job for livelihood, the tax we pay for watching television and surfing Internet, the tax we play for driving a vehicle, the tax for eating food, the tax we pay for buying rice too.
People are worried about the tax for harvesting rice, the tax for custom duties, the tax for buying milk, the tax for sending money to faraway hometowns, the tax for having a job for livelihood, the tax for watching television and surfing Internet, the tax for driving a vehicle, the tax for eating food, the tax for buying rice as well; but it’s just like the Karen and Shan tragedies which everybody talks about but which hardly anybody can do anything about.
Yet the rice and the milk and the money transfer and the job and the food imply nothing to our new-born baby though she has already started paying: for a life of simple goodness that she has been promised with by her overjoyed parents; she has started paying ironically for the masters to tickle our asses, for the army men to become anti-national anonymous gunmen, for a future that doesn’t exist, for the ridiculous mistake of coming into life in the most pathetic land, for everything but the essential and rational.
The rice is zero point zero one per cent; the custom duties are zero point zero two per cent; the milk is zero point zero three per cent; sending money is zero point zero four per cent; the job is five per cent; the television and Internet are ten per cent; the vehicle is fifteen per cent and for the baby; the food is twenty per cent; nothing much it seems in the delight-filled hospital room.
Now she has to pay ninety-nine per cent for the army to continue killing and raping, ninety-eight per cent to ensure she does remain alive, ninety-seven per cent to retain a class of rulers who are supposed to be dead in each five-year regular interval but who always have a reason to live, ninety-six per cent for all the wasted hours on doing nothing in the land that has been reduced to a compartment and ninety-five percent to get out of the hospital.
Rice is taxed and so is a gas cylinder and on the same level, all of them for the baby are pre-taxed: the right to live and the right to survive and the right to be not murdered and the right not to be looted and the right not to be harassed by the authority—and all the baby she would need to pay for noncompliance is ten years shorter for the right to live and fifteen years shorter for the right to survive and twenty years each shorter for the right not to be looted and the right not to be harassed albeit none is an admissible evidence.
Now the baby has started speaking in less than twenty-four hours and the parents are worried not about the miracle of a day-old baby speaking but how they are supposed to accept their baby’s demand that she wants to be a senior citizen, who are exempted from paying the taxes. Utter differences now—free bloody milk and affordable rice, the other people cry in street protests and the poor baby, she is whimpering for the right to live.