SATIRE

The Last of the Macacas

September 11, 2006
Deepti Lamba

She was born a macaca - brown like a slippery eel, pugged nose, large doe like eyes, small forehead; all in all bland features - no different from those of her native land.

The fair blue eyed children stared at the stuffed corpse that looked back with dull life less eyes. The cold steel bars froze their five year old fingers as they looked into the showcase which was as big as a room.

Her name was Reema and since she was the last of her kind, we had her embalmed and put on display amongst the other extinct species. She belonged to a race that was no different from their cousins - the apes.

The cold detached voice droned on as the kids studied the display.

"My mommy said even pigs were cleaner than them," a little apple-cheeked boy snickered to a miniature Dorothy who giggled back at him. Her indigo blue eyes surveyed the scene with  clinical detachment.

Reema stood before some sort of a three wheeled vehicle with a garish yellow top and black bottom with a caption - autorickshaw/three wheeler. Her hand was stretched out and the voice droned on to describe her action - Reema is begging to feed her diseased family as did the majority of her kind. Her matted hair, dirt streaked malnourished body reflect signs of poverty which we finally managed to eradicate along with this species.

The little apple-cheeked ruffian continued to talk to his playmate in a loud whisper, "My mommy's been here and said that this display is called the Road Display," and he pointed out to a little gold brass plate that boldly stated - South Asian Road Display and spelt it out - trying to impress the little girl with his know it all attitude.

"Shhhhh....." another luminous cherub tried to shush the petulant boy who stared him down and continued, "You see the grayish ground? It was paved with what they called cement and those big round orbs in rectangular boxes where called traffic lights. This species was so backward that they needed rules to keep them in order."

Reema belonged to a species so inferior that they needed laws and fear of unimaginable consequences to keep them in order.

The mechanical voice reinforced the words of the boy.

"See, I told you. Watch! It gets even better," he nudged the girl excitedly.

Dorothy stared at the desperation etched on Reema's face and felt a twinge of pity. Reema was to stand forever under the cool yellow beams stripped of dignity and grace. She could just as well have been naked in her distress.

The macacas were taking a heavy toll on the planet's resources. Their lack of social consciousness was the cause for their doom. As depicted by Reema, the majority of them lived in poverty and yet continued to breed rapidly. Their social order collapsed when the gap between the rich and the poor became unbridgeable and the poor rose in revolution against the rich.

To reinforce the fact, Reema's begging hand fell and the other brown hand emerged from the dark and hit the wax figure driver of the three wheeler with a brick.

The children gasped and childish chuckles rang through the silent museum.

Dorothy somehow felt uncomfortable and broke away from the group and walked towards the next display.

The sensors picked up her presence and a voice spoke up-

The yellow people or the slit eyed pygmies......

Deepti Lamba is a writer, an editor for Desicritics. She can be found at Things That Bang
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#1
Sanjay
September 11, 2006
02:02 AM

Gee, I was hoping for some job-stealer fan-fiction authored by Democrat politicians, since that's their prominent racial slur.

#2
Shivani
September 11, 2006
03:32 AM

Dark, edgy story...cruelty seems to be an ingrained human quality.

#3
Aaman
URL
September 11, 2006
04:30 AM

Is the title or story an allusion to 'The Last of the Mohicans'?

#4
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 11, 2006
09:14 AM

Sanjay, maybe I will take some inputs from Lou Dobbs for my next Macaca story;)

Shivani, thanks, children can be cruel in their innocence

Aaman, if that be true then it was done unconsciously:)

#5
Sujatha
URL
September 11, 2006
10:20 AM

Hmmm, I thought the kids got their ideas, especially the boy, from their parents. Much of this behaviour is learned, I think.

Dee, the description of the children in this story brought to mind a Christopher Reeve movie in which his kids also acted, some kind of futuristic movie.

#6
temporal
URL
September 11, 2006
12:08 PM

dee:

a good one...just the right ambience

understated

yet got the point home delectably:)

#7
Kishore
URL
September 11, 2006
09:47 PM

Delectable it is.. :) Loved it...

#8
deepti lamba
URL
September 11, 2006
11:08 PM

thanks, guys:) This is my second science fiction story. Still learning the tricks of the trade.

Suj, could you tell me the name of the movie?

#9
Sujatha
URL
September 12, 2006
05:51 AM

Took me a while, but here it is.

#10
deepti lamba
URL
September 12, 2006
06:42 AM

thanks Suj, added it to my must watch list:)

#11
Aaman
URL
September 12, 2006
06:44 AM

I couldve told you that one, and that it's a remake of a far better film:)

#12
Sujatha
URL
September 12, 2006
06:51 AM

Gosh, you da man. Quite the culture vulture aren't you? :)) What's the name of the original movie?

#13
Aaman
URL
September 12, 2006
06:54 AM

Strangely enough, they have the same name, being remakes, they wanted to keep it simple, I guess:)

#14
Lakshmikanth
URL
September 13, 2006
12:03 AM

This is one of the best short stories that i have read for a long time.

I believe that one cannot dichotomize the wide spectrum of people that one comes across. Given that racism carries over mostly from influences in the society (parents, fraternities etc etc), its hard not to see this kind of kids even in our midsts.

As long as there is a distribution in the spectrum of beliefs, there would be racists, communalists, fundamentalists.

Racism was here when the brits landed in India, they instituionalized it with the slogan "No Dogs and Indians", It was there when the upper castes use to drink water from a different dispenser from the lower castes, and when the blacks used to drink water from a different dispenser than the whites. Racism is here to stay!

For one thing, there are a lot of Idiots in this world, they maybe intelligent in one or the other ways but extremely stupid or immature in some areas. For many people seeing people who have different color than u do, obviously raises the curiosity in the minds, and when they do not know much about the different skin color people they turn to their influences, which may be extremely racist/communalists/fundamentalists etc.

As long as there is ignorance in this world, racism/communalism/fundamentalism/McCarthyism/Macacism etc would be around. Ignorance will be around the world as long as there are people alive. ANd hence shall racism and fundamentalism.

THe only way, the only soiution that i see, is to get as economically strong as we could. Economy is the only way to do whatever u want to do.

In a fight with the rich man pitted against the poor man, the rich man almost always wins no matter on whose side justice lies. The same is true with any nation or race.

Cheers!
Laks

#15
Aaman
URL
September 13, 2006
12:08 AM

Laks, why is that not an article - you seem to have a lot to say on the topic

#16
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 13, 2006
12:19 AM

Laks, good points to ponder over. We need to address thess issues of discrimination within our own country.

What irks me even more is the way the rich tend to treat the poor as if they are less than human.

It seems weird to me that my daughter's nanny refuses to sit on the sofa while I am around or eat/drink from my utensils despite my constant assurances.

Economic discrimination seems to be as bad as caste and skin discrimination

#17
Sanjay
September 13, 2006
11:39 PM

Deepti, are you saying you have a white racist Nanny, or a brown-skinned casteist Nanny? Or is she just uncomfortable with your sexual orientation? I've been cautious at times about food prepared at Indian eateries, especially since so many exhibit horrendous hygiene practices.


Anyway, Businesweek feels that Indians are model immigrants:

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/sep2006/sb20060913_157784.htm

And being a model means less wearing of one's ego on one's sleeve and taking umbrage at as many things as possible, but instead more of a sense of civic duty. JFK famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Today's liberals would jeer him for that, and so would many immigrants, unfortunately.

#18
Deepti Lamba
URL
September 14, 2006
01:04 AM

Egawd, my sexual orientation?.hhehee...

She is from the village and believes in the caste system, which says it all

#19
Sujatha
URL
November 8, 2006
11:48 PM

Wonder just what Sidharth is thinking right now. Man, what a ride!

#20
Sujatha
URL
November 9, 2006
12:11 AM

Webb has been declared winner.

#21
Deepti Lamba
URL
November 9, 2006
12:13 AM

Lol, can't believe it but it all boiled down to one word!

#22
Sujatha
URL
November 9, 2006
02:04 AM

"it": Not just Webb's election but the control of the senate.

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