I Call My Brother’s Cat Swine!

by Indrajit Dutta

(The Cat-Photographer — Indrajit Dutta)

I Call My Brother’s Cat Swine,

The feline, for the umpteenth time,

has pinched my salmon,

Soon she’ll be

As big as a

Hot Air Balloon,

We tell her, stop eatin,

get more sun,

Hey, she remarks, that’s no

reason to call me Swine.

The feline — we tell her,

your sides are hangin,

Sounds like you’ve

been drinkin,

she shoots back,

Well, I did down

some gin.

I Call my Brother’s Cat Swine,

Humph! She snorts, And You?

You’re a Bum

If There Ever Was One,

You Never Make

It to work

Coz you’re always sleepin,

Dragging you out of bed

is harder than

climbing a mountain

…like Mount Everest,

I scratch, I bite,

To no avail,

In the end

I….I just pant,

And then…

Flop About

And Get Some

Shuteye of My Own.

The Author and the Cat — Photographer — Bhaskar Dutta

I Call My Brother’s Cat Swine,

Well, she doesn’t take it lying down,

When I flunked my driving test,

she referred to me as Moron,

The feline also sniggered

“ That’s a test even an ass

could’ve passed.”

Ouch…That Does Smart,

…Damn Cat,

She’s Not the One

Who Has to Get

Her Head Around

a Stick-Shift.

I Call My Brother’s Cat Swine,

The feline angered threatened to

shove me into a microwave oven,

Swine, she thundered,

how can you compare

me to one?

Damn animal, is merely

bacon, ham …

for a gluttonous human,

Whereas me,

If someone tried to

make me their meal,

I’d rip, kill,

Wouldn’t even leave

Behind a fingernail,

But Hey,

You Know What’s Crazy?

For the human

I am nothing short of royalty,

I get damn good cat grub

day after day,

I lounge around on

a bed all day,

And there’s the

constant photography,

oh boy, the way folks

show me off you’d

think I was the world’s biggest

entertainer or sports star,

Soon, I think I’ll be in

dire need of a restraining order.

So here, it’s abundantly clear

why I cannot be called Swine,

if you continue to do so

I have grave doubts as to

whether you have a brain.

Well, I Still Call My Brother’s Cat Swine,

I know, I know, what she said about my brain,

About that , she’s not the first one,

Been called daft, stupid and even a twit,

However, the truth be told

I call my brother’s cat Swine

Because I am lousy

at pickin a name.

“Moron!”, the feline

slapped her head,

“If It Weren’t

For the Salmon,

I’d Head Out!”

End of Poem

Dog and Dusk

Photographer — Indrajit Dutta

Venue — Lenyadri Caves, Maharashtra, India

Soaring

Photographer — Indrajit Dutta

Location — Mahabalipuram, India

Rolling Stones Rock this Joint

Photographer — Indrajit Dutta

Location — Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Lurid Surreal Mozart

Photographer — Indrajit Dutta

Location — Photographer’s House in Calcutta, India

The Loony on the Bridge

Absurd! Hell, this was stark raving mad! The car could’ve smashed him into pieces! He’s at it again!
 
 The him, an unknown gentleman — he didn’t want me to reveal his name as he reckoned being unknown to the readers adds to his legend, story’s about him so I went along with this… anyway, this him, hair till his shoulders, a pair of sunglasses and a garland, balances himself on the railing of a bridge, one leg is on the railing, the other leg sticks out, a car comes close, closer, the leg’s still out, ZIPPPPPP! The car’s gone by! Hell! Is he alive? Has he fallen into the river? And the leg?
 
 He’s alive! The leg’s still there! He’s just about stuck it back in! Another second and…..I GAPED, I stopped my car in the middle of the bridge, just had to watch what he was doing! He had more in his shock arsenal — he suddenly jumped about eight feet in the air and came down straight on the railing, he then tiptoed on it, he suddenly sat and spun around, then stood up and somersaulted, yes, SOMERSAULTED! Then as his hands were on the railing he stuck both his legs out with cars zipping past him at 120 or maybe more, missing him by an inch or so! Gee, this guy was mental!
 
 “The loony on the bridge,” I suddenly realized, “yeah, that’s him alright,” the whole town had been calling him that, he had everyone here in a tizzy, some reckoned he was on drugs, a procession had been taken out against him, people had been heard shouting, “He could cause a pile-up, he could cause a catastrophe, chuck him in a madhouse,” even the mayor had weighed in by declaring he’d have the bridge destroyed.
 
 “I’ve got to do a write-up on this chap, it could be gold,” eight summers ago I was a reporter for a newspaper whose readership was abysmally low, in a town where 1000 people lived only 100 people or so read us. That statistic needs changing, I thought to myself, I turned the car around, went to the office, burst into the editor’s room and started, “That loony…”

My editor looked up from the computer screen with his eyebrows raised.
 
 “The loony on the bridge, everybody’s been talking about, we write on him, we’ll sell out.”
 
 Dear ed’s eyebrows were no more raised, they were knitted in deliberation.
 
 “Everybody wants to read, know about this chap, they won’t stop talking about him. They just can’t understand why does he do it. He isn’t suicidal, he’s always seen to it the cars don’t hit him. But what he does is scary as hell, yet he does it. Why? What’s his deal? I’d like to find that out.”
 
 Dear ed’s eyebrows were still knitted in deliberation.
 
 “This’ll be an exclusive, I know for sure no other newspaper has approached him yet. Every other agency, newspaper, magazine, website — the whole jingbang, they’re up to their necks with that murder story, the one about the socialite.”

“Give it a go, but I want it by tomorrow.”
 
 Tomorrow! Hell! I ran! Got hold of the gentleman, he agreed to an interview, but there came a condition, “You’ll have to stand on the railing, it’s where I’m most comfortable.”
 
 “WHAT?!”, my eyeballs nearly popped out, I was standing on the bridge, a truck nearly crashed into me, “Hell no!”, the write-up may turn out to be gold, but my life was infinitely more valuable.
 
 Ultimately the gentleman realized that standing or jumping on the railing of a bridge with vehicles zipping by might not be everybody’s bag, my house was decided as the venue.
 
 The interview commenced.
 
 “What do you have to say about these stunts of yours on the bridge, on this railing?”
 
 “These stunts — they are acrobatics, I’m practicing for the Olympics.”
 
 “The Olympics!”
 
 “Yeah, I want to participate as a gymnast.”
 
 “But of all places why have you chosen this bridge to show off your gymnastic skills?!”
 
 “I want to catch the eye of an Olympic scout. This bridge is the best place to find somebody or attract someone’s attention. You got the whole wide world here. I’m certain there are tons of scouts all over the town and one of them while driving will catch me doing my act and then BOOM! I’ll be in the Olympics!”

“But you could get seriously injured or be run over even. Have you thought about any other option…a safer one perhaps?

“A safer option… well, I did go for one, didn’t work out. I had gone to several organizations who have ties with scouts and proper gymnastics equipment, before I go on I should say I am not a gymnast professionally, nor have I had any sort gymnastics experience, but I reckon my act is perfect for a gymnast and I firmly believe that I deserve a place in the Olympics,” he paused, “ anyway, to get back, I had gone to loads of organizations. I told them that I had all the talent in the world and that I would bring home the gold. They kicked me out and said they weren’t gonna waste time on a nutcase. Fools!,” he spat, “mark my words, one day I’m gonna show them who’s boss!… Anyway, after being kicked out, I decided I had to look for an outsider — a scout. I was in a quandary as to how to find a scout, I mean I am not affiliated to an organization, I personally don’t know any scout and I don’t know anybody who does, so what do I do now? One day I was in my room, I was staring outside my window, looking at whatever was going by, then I see the bridge, and as I said before, the whole wide world was there, and that’s when I realized the answer was in front of me — no better place than the bridge.”

“Continuing about the dangers, if you lose your balance you could fall into the river.”
 
 “Oh my sense of balance is tremendous, no way I’ll lose it, the danger of falling into the river keeps my sense of balance from going awry, I know if I slip I’m gone, so I won’t, the river in fact keeps me on my toes.”

“Very often the vehicles swerve toward you and barely miss you, maybe by just a few inches. As an observer that’s frightening.”

“Well, it’s frightening because that’s bad driving. I got to say the quality of driving in this town leaves a lot to be desired. But to get back to your point, when they lose control and veer toward me, they often do, I’d say I’m super quick at evading them, I reckon I’m quicker than some race car or even some bike with all its modern speed devices.”

“There are times when you’ve been shown sticking your legs out even when a car’s hurtling down the bridge. Why do you do that?”

He grinned, “For a kick.”

“A kick!”

“Yeah, a kick, I mean my adrenalin starts to flow when I see a car coming down super fast, I mean ZOOM! I stick my legs out, it’s coming closer each second, my legs are still out, people start yelling, “hey are you crazy or what?”, and then when it’s a centimeter away, you think my leg’s gone, well, I stick it back in, it’s a hell of a kick.”

“Have you ever thought of seeking kicks in a different way?”

“No I’ve not, I don’t fancy any other way, these acrobatics are also the most entertaining thing in my life, if not for them I’d get bored and lose my mind.”

“It’s miraculous car drivers and bikers haven’t crashed into you. They’ve said that they feel endangered by your presence. What do you have to say to that?”

“They won’t feel endangered if they stop focusing on what I am doing and keep their eyes on the road. That’s one of the fundamentals of driving, to keep your eyes on the road.”

“Have they ever given you a mouthful?”

“Oh yeah, loads of times, they snarl at me, “GET OUT OF THE WAY”. At times they even do more than snarl or scream. One time this chap took a swipe at me, but I jumped just in time and he…he missed and hit the railing, broke his hand, the chap. Some other chaps took him away then and were threatening to throw me into the river, there was a cop going by, I somehow signaled out to him, you know what he did? He took me to jail, the chaps who were threatening me, nothing happened to them! Nothing! Can you believe that!? The cop said that I was a nuisance and that I deserved to be thrown into the river and then he kept me in the lock-up for the entire night. You know what the worst part is? He cost me a night’s practice!”

“There have been allegations that you’re on drugs. How would you respond to that?”

“Load of bull, the acrobatics are my only drugs.”

“There also have been allegations that you’re not all there. What do you have to say about that?”
 
 “You’re not all there! What the hell does that mean?”, he suddenly snapped at me, “are you calling me a loony?”

“No, no, I mean…I mean,” I was caught off-guard, “I did not say that, I’m referring to stuff people have said, they have voiced their displeasure about your acrobatics here, many of them have wanted to put you into a mental asylum.”
 
 “ Huh,” he snorted, “ that ain’t gonna happen, I’m no loony, I’ll tell you what I’m, I’m supremely offbeat and the truth is folks here can’t handle that. You know what the strangest thing is, them, the townspeople calling me a loony, is like the pot calling the kettle black, the other day I saw a biker pummel another guy with his helmet because that guys car had grazed his bike, the car barely touched the bike. If this, this ain’t madness I don’t know what is, such things happen here all the time, no one writes about this, the bridge is more a war zone than anything else. It’s this lot who should be chucked into a mental asylum, not me, no…no way.”

Here, dear reader, I must confess an article about the road rage that he referred to did cross my mind, but I feared people would brush off road rage as very ‘everyday’, our man, on the other hand, was way out of the way and had aroused some serious interest, so I stuck with him.

“Staying on the subject of people objecting to your carrying out your practice here, the mayor wants to destroy the bridge. What do you have to say about that?”
 
 “I’ll file a lawsuit against him if he does.”
 
 “Well, that’s rather daring, the man has a lot of power. If you challenge him he’s been known to hurt people real bad.”
 
 “Big deal. He’s just another political hoodlum as far I’m concerned. Chap doesn’t scare me.”

A slight pause followed. I wrote out another question.

“You’re certain that you’ll find a scout on this bridge. For most people that would seem highly improbable if not impossible.”

“Well, my instincts do not think that is highly improbable nor impossible, I trust them more than ‘most people’.”

“You said you firmly believe deserve a place in the Olympics. Why is that?”

“Because, as I said I’ll win the gold.”

“Right, and I’ll walk to Mars.”

No, dear reader, I didn’t have any faith in his gymnastic abilities and for the umpteenth time reckoned he was a crackpot with the capital C, but no, I did not voice this sarcastic thought, his angry reaction to the question about his mental faculties left me wary, who knows, he may have walked out and then I’d have been left with an incomplete piece and an editor who’d bluntly utter only one word — “More.” More, all my pieces, he often complained, could have a lot more, here I definitely needed more, a lot maybe.

“You seem to have a lot of confidence for someone who isn’t a professional gymnast and doesn’t have any gymnastics experience.”

“Sure do, that’s my strongest suit. I’ll never lose confidence, losing confidence is like losing blood, the more you lose, the more you sink. I’ll not sink, I’ll soar. I may not be a gymnast professionally and have no experience at all, but I got a ton of ability, skill..and of course my act, it’s a hell of an act, it’s gonna wow the judges, it sure will.”

“If you do make it to the Olympics you’ll be competing against reputed gymnasts who’ve won the gold many times.”

“That doesn’t scare me at all, all my practice, I practise day and night, has to pay off. When the big day comes I’ll be in the form of my life and I’ll come away with the gold, I can feel it in my bones.”

“Do you bet ?” he asked suddenly.
 
 “Erm…occasionally, why…why do you ask?”
 
 “Well, then you should bet on me winning the gold, you’d win big.”
 
 I opened my mouth to say something, nothing came out, I could only stare at him.

“You’d be an idiot not to.”
 
 “Er…er….erm…wha…,” I sounded a blubbering idiot, but I couldn’t think of a retort, instead I hurriedly thought of another question.
 
 “We’ve we’ve…erm.. spoken about your acrobatics. What do you do otherwise?”

“Nothing else, the acrobatics are my life, they have always been a huge part of my life. I used to be a trapeze artist before this, was one for ten years. The troupe I used to work for went bust a few months ago. I was without a job then, didn’t know what to do. I had even lost the zest for acrobatics. I took a break then, debated about whether I wanted to find a different job or another troupe. Then suddenly, one day I see this gymnast on the telly, I observe what she was doing very closely and then I realize, hey this is gonna be a piece of cake for me. That gymnast won a medal. I read later she’d won a lot of money for winning the medal and participating as well. That’s when I said to myself “Why not give this a shot”!”

“In case you don’t make it to the Olympics, what are your plans?”

“Well, I don’t have any other plans. I haven’t thought beyond the Olympics.”

“What do your parents, your family think about your ambitions, your act and all this attention you’ve drawn?”

“I lost my parents in an aircrash ten years ago.”

“Oh, I am sorry to hear that.”

“That’s alright, but talking about family, they’re dead against this and have told me I’ve brought shame on them, in fact an aunt hopes that I’ll fall into the river. Clearly,” he paused, “blood isn’t always thicker than water!”

He then helped himself to some water.

“Now, this garland and the sunglasses? You always have them, why is that?”
 
 “Well, the garland will remain till I get a medal. I wanted something to act as a substitute for a medal and the first thing I found was the garland, so I picked it up, about the sunglasses, lots of sportspeople wear them so I thought I‘d try and check out what they see.”
 
 Pal, I thought, I really don’t know what you got for a brain.
 
 “It is said that your acrobatics aside you sleep on the bridge as well. Do you?”
 
 “I do.”
 
 “Why is that?”
 
 “I don’t have a house.”
 
 “Why not?”
 
 “Don’t want one, this bridge is my place of living now, out here. I have all the space in the world. I do everything here, before I’d live as a tenant in a one-room dump, a little bigger than a phone booth. In that dump I’d try out my acrobatics on my bed, you should have seen the ceiling there, damn thing was no more than 7 feet, I’d jump, my head would hit the ceiling, I’d feel stuck, as if I was going nowhere, I’d want out . Now out here, in the open, I can go as far as I want, that’s the best thing.”

“If you do make it to the Olympics team and become famous will you still reside on the bridge?”
 
 “Yup, this bridge is my patch, for life.”
 
 “But if you get to the Olympics and do well you will perhaps have the chance to move to a bigger place than your previous one. You’ll have a roof above your head.”
 
 “A roof above my head”, he nodded, “oh no, the sky’s alright, it comes without any cost, as for a bigger place — well, in this town that means a hell of a lot of rent, I’ll be broke all the time and hey, if I buy a place of my own, I’ll be charged an arm and a leg, no thank you, I am fine here, it’s all free. I’ll tell you something, the one-room dump I had, yeah well, I had to deal with a cheating landlord, the chap one fine day said the rent’s gone up, now it’s three times what it was, gave me the usual reason — maintenance, my foot! Scum of the Earth!. He wanted to sell off the house but he couldn’t with me there, anyway I didn’t know what to do then, I’d toss and turn thinking about how to put together the rent, that’s out of the window now, I sleep like a log, can I say the same about you and everybody else?”
 
 And dear reader, that’s where you and the interview part ways. There was nothing more other than my answer, I’ll let you remain curious about that, stick on though, the absurdity is far from over.

The write-up came out the next day, the mayor bit wasn’t there, the chap swore by force and intimidation, he once had my hands broken after I had exposed his role in one of his 100…could be more corruption cases. The unknown gentleman’s derogatory opinion would’ve made sure the force and intimidation would’ve extended to both of us, I was in his sights, he’d warned me, for me not just broken hands this time, but broken legs too, lots of pain… anyway, where was I? The write-up , yes — we guys struck gold, yup, that day everybody in the town, yes all its 1000 residents, bought the paper, we soon became the most widely read paper in the town…but three years later we folded up, I was told because of the financial crisis and we just couldn’t compete with that behemoth — the internet. Gee, who saw that coming!

Now for our protagonist…well, he produced the mother of all shocks! His instincts checked out, a scout found him, he made it to the Olympics team and won, believe it or not, gold! It sure was a nutty, nutty world!

He had won the gold, but I did not walk to Mars like I had sarcastically advanced , it’s kinda far you know, a few thousand miles away, some planets away, as I said it’s kinda far…but a word here about the bet he recommended, I …er…er turned out to be an idiot. Some guy, the only chap, probably one in a million, bet on our man and guess what? He came away with a million! He sure had won big! I turned out to be some idiot, didn’t I? I still earn about 30 grand, here I could’ve had a million! Wouldn’t have needed to work anymore! Get real sore when anybody reminds me of this episode, once flung a chair at a guy who did that, I mean, come on, how the hell was I to know the unknown gent would turn out to be a master gymnast?! I mean, how?! How?! I took him for a crackpot desperately looking for attention, well, who did not?! …Anyway, enough about how sore I can be and more about our man.

Our man, once the town pariah, was now not only the toast of the town, but the whole world. The long hair, the garland and the sunglasses became a rage, Facebook profile pictures had to have them, he exploded on social media, #DaredevilGymnast is still the longest trending hashtag ever. In the outside world the adulation was Beatlesque or maybe beyond that, there were streets full of autograph hunters, every month had a festival held in his honour, almost every child born then(girl or boy) was named after him, even a crater on the moon bore his name, many countries conferred on him their highest award, there seemed to be no end to the adulation — hordes of petitions were drawn up asking him to run for president! Anybody and everybody famous — Sportspeople, movie stars, musicians, businessmen, royalty, politicos, etc boasted about taking selfies with him. Few fans had even gone a step further than selfies, they had erected statues, every street corner had these statues, some were ugly, some huge, one was 30-feet in height, boy, that sure stood out! Some people had tried to copy his act as well and, well, there was a rise in road mishaps. Not that anybody cared about such trivial matters now. At that point the townspeople, actually the whole world in fact was plain and simple, crazy, they were the ones crying out for loony bins now! Amidst all this the mayor, yes, you could never keep him out of anything which might bring him a vote or two, renamed the bridge in the honour of the unknown gentleman. Well, that was some volte-face from Mr. I am — gonna — destroy the bridge! Truly politician-like!

Anyway, moving on, our man went about his act with gusto, he wanted more of the adulation and success, his once-detractors — the coaches, who had kicked him out, offered him the position of head coach of the gymnastics department in their organizations, they were begging him to take up the position, hell, he had shown them who’s boss! They were at his feet, the world was at his feet…a…nd then… he slipped up, yes he did, one evening he overbalanced, he tried to regain balance, a car was zooming toward him at 150, the driver had seen him, SCREECH! He tried to avoid the unknown gent, but BAAM! It wasn’t to be, the unknown gentleman’s life had been cut short, on his patch!

The End

Indrajit Dutta — The Author and Photographer

(Please note, the copyright of the written content or the photographs or the ideas rests with Indrajit Dutta and CAN ONLY BE USED with his permission)

Indrajit Dutta is a writer from Calcutta, India. His email addresses are indrajitdutta13187@gmail.com and indrohippie@gmail.com. He tweets at @duttaindro. Here are links to his Facebook and LinkedIn pages — https://www.facebook.com/monniker , https://www.linkedin.com/in/indrajit-dutta-61496b24/?ppe=1 . A zany individual, Indrajit likes to create quirky stuff, be it with the pen or the camera. He’s written on loads on topics — The Beatles, Paul the Octopus, wine-tasting, bartending, movies, music, cricket, etc. Check his blog out — http://indrohippie.blogspot.in/ . His interests include Rock& Roll music, cricket, movies and living it up. Happy Readin!