In 2001 when I embarked on the freelance writing journey, I enrolled for the Creative Writing course from The Writers Bureau. I was enthusiastic and determined to complete the course in no time. Life doesn’t always goes as planned and today, 13 years later I’m five modules short of completion. As I embark on the last leg of this journey after a 4 years hiatus, I started by refreshing my memory going through the previous material and assignments. I came across this piece ‘How Fools Make Children‘ that I wrote as part of my first assignment and that I subsequently used to pitch for work to various media houses. In those times I would carry a hard copy and some times my interlocutor would read it in my presence. Though it was never published, this story always brought a smile on the face of the reader and has opened me many doors. I hope you enjoy it.
Ever wondered how fools make children? Well, I may not have a ready answer for this question, but I do have a story to share about the dating process. Today when I was passing through Laini Saba, the bus terminus of Ngummo, there was a man and woman standing in the middle of the road. The woman was dressed in rags, he hair all tousled and she obviously had not bathed for the last three months or so. She was bare foot. The man, although a bit cleaner, was not much better. He was wearing a rasta hat and dirty sneakers, which used to be white once upon a time. In short they looked like what ‘normal people’ call ‘fool’ or ‘crazy people’. They were standing in front of each other, whispering, their faces almost touching, their eyes lost in each other’s. Once in a while the woman would take the man’s hand and pat it softly. At one point she caressed his spare beard with her dirty hands. They didn’t seem bothered by the people around them who were starring fascinated, some utterly shocked, others with open amusement. Then the man reached for his pocket, removed a cigarette and lit it for the woman.
Suddenly a speeding bus driving towards them hooting broke the magic. The couple separated and went in opposite directions, the man with a friend who was passing by and the woman smoking happily her cigarette and calling the bus driver names. I was left wondering whether they were actually dating or if the woman was just asking for a cigarette. But I have no doubts that, had it not been for the speeding bus and had they enjoyed a bit more privacy, the couple would have gone on with their flirting and eventually would have found a cosy place for further proceedings.
The scene made me wonder why it is so easy for so called crazy people to express their love in public, while the feelings most easily displayed by so called normal people are anger, hatred and violence. When it comes to deciding which group is crazy and which one is not, we should take into account the way we express our love. What if the reality was actually the other way round?