Life’s a bitch, sahib

Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror November 21, 2007 edition, p. A10.

Last week, BBC News carried the picture of a smiling Tamil Indian placing a garland on his shy sari-draped four-legged bride, a bitch named Selvi.

Fifteen years earlier, P. Selvakumar, the 33-year-old bridegroom from Tamil Nadu, India, stoned and clubbed to death two mating dogs and then hanged their carcasses from a tree. He had been suffering from deafness in one ear and paralysis of the hands and legs ever since.

The BBC quotes a relative of the groom:

“He (Selvakumar) tried every cure for his ailment but could not be rid of his disability… On the advice of an astrologer and others, he decided to marry a bitch to get cured.”

Now I’m not superstitious and I’m not bothered by those who are but I’m very disturbed by the antidote for Mr. Selvakumar’s affliction, how is marrying a bitch a cure for anything?

Mr. Selvakumar would have been better off marrying a cow.

There are several reasons why a cow is preferable to a bitch:

Cows are gentle creatures hence much easier to live with. Second, many Indians hold cows sacred so Mr. Selvakumar would have had a wife venerated by his family and friends. Third, should Mr. Selvakumar go on another killing spree, carnivores will prize his wife’s carcass because “Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburgers.” Fourth, and most important of all, Mr. Selvakumar would have had a cow instead of a bitch for a mother-in-law.

But seriously, I’m worried that if bestiality becomes an accepted cure for certain types of curses, the Heritage Foundation will hire Samuel P. Huntington to write another paranoid fantasy about a clash of civilizations and Moral Majority talibans will itch to bomb India.

K-9 will replace 9/11 as the new neocon-televangelical war cry and another global war could be in the offing. Consequently, I’m on my knees praying no one publishes photos of the Selvakumars enjoying their honeymoon.

Anyway, just when I was beginning to think mankind couldn’t get any more bizarre, my uncle pops up and reminisces about his youth.

He tells me that in his heyday, when Baguio City was the only place to go for holidays, everybody went ghost hunting in the cemetery on Naguilian Road.

“That cemetery was spooky. It was straight out of a horror movie set—an old iron gate, moss-covered graves, weeping willows, very dark, very foggy, and very cold,” he said.

My uncle and his friends, randy boys and repressed convent-bred girls, would enter the graveyard in two or three car convoys, park, and then walk among the graves until the night was filled with screams loud enough to wake up the dead.

“When I think about it,” he reflected, “maybe me and my friends did disturb the dead and made them angry enough to lay a curse on us.”

“Now you know why I’m married to a zombie,” he said, sotto-voce, before dozing off.

And that led me to reconsider the event that started me on this rather extended meditation.

Bestiality may be an abomination but necrophilia is worse, regardless of race, gender, pedigree, or curse.

So, all things considered, the accursed Mr. Selvakumar may have gotten off easy. His wife may be a bitch but she’s blessed with more teats than he could ever hope for in this his current reincarnation.

“Life’s a bitch, sahib,” said Mr. Selvakumar before he and his bride boarded a cruise ship for their honeymoon.

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