By Nisha Susan
This morning we will examine the representation of women in cultural objects that the honourable Dr Kumar Vishwas has produced. Exhibit 1 is above YouTube video (which is a few years old) in which Dr Vishwas performs a procedure that closely resembles lobotomy but he likes to call standup-comedy. This is where we begin examining the female residents of Kumar Vishwas’ Mind Palace.
1. Malayali nurses who are too dark to excite his sexual imagination. You might sense some cognitive dissonance in the AAP assumption that dark Indian women are desexed and that dark women from African nations are hypersexual. This would be a factual inaccuracy on your part because it is Vishwas’ party colleague Somnath Bharti who leans in the latter direction. The AAP, in fact, does not have a policy on darkness yet.
2. The north Indian nurses in Vishwas’ memory palace who are uniformly (if you will forgive the pun) shaandaar and naughty. Who also allow Vishwas to mention that, in this reprisal of this 1950s fantasy he has checked into a hospital the owner of which is a friend of his. He may be sick, ill and inclined to objectify all working women but let no man say he’s without connections.
3. The naughty nurse who at the news that the owner’s friend has checked in (presumably for hallucinations) races off to her make-up bag and spritzer to ‘bedeck myself so fine as fully aforethought’ as the poet June Jordan once said.
4. The naughty nurse who, to the soundtrack of paka-chika-vow-vow, checks his pulse and says: oh, aapke pulse bahut tez hai. On his website where he describes himself variously as ‘Indian by blood’, ‘Motivator by God’s Grace’, Vishwas also informs us that he is a poet by choice. A poet by duress would be a terrible thing. From his dissertations on nurses it is obvious that Kumar Vishwas has been reading Rilke who said in his Letters to a Young Poet: “If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”
6. We move on to his poems. Having spent some time on his website we have come to the conclusion that it is an art object that shows us the emptiness of our online lives because clicking is futile. The two representations of women and a female limb, we must mention in passing, are Caucasian thus affirming Kumar Vishwas’ consistency of sexual choice.
The actual Kumar Vishwas oeuvre buried deep in Kavita Kosh, you will find, is full of ‘paagal ladkis’ the narrator loves, cannot imagine life without, would die for but cannot upset Baba by marrying. While the ‘paagal ladkis’ silently starve themselves for 9 days they too cannot defy their families.
7. The other female representations are of persuasive, well-intentioned bhabhis and the brief glimpse of the prospective bride via sari clad photograph. One assumes the paagal ladki would never wear one.
8. Recently Kumar Vishwas has been campaigning in Amethi which is used to decades of babbling young-ish men. In Amethi, Vishwas is invoking the word ‘sister’ again. This time not in quick revulsion at south Indian medical staff but at Priyanka Gandhi. The point at which he asks her to pick between him and her other brother Rahul Gandhi is the point at which we end today’s talk.
Tune in for the next session in which we analyse the meaning of the Malayali Nurses’ Association Subcommittee called Aarada Koodaya Kalikunne Mon-ey Kumar-ey.
Rilke once wrote that “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
On this front, we kaali-peeli dragons who frighten you must disagree with Rilke. We must firmly disagree and resort to that poetic Americanism: don’t call us, we will call you.