Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tales from Bali-Horror

By Uma Anyar

The sight hits me, like a slap across the face.

There are four of us in the cramped car stuck in traffic. Judy is prattling on about kite flying evolving into a national sport in Bali. I glance past her hands on the steering wheel and witness a man beating a dog with a big stick on the opposite side walk. The small white puppy is cowering on the ground; a brown man in tattered trousers is lifting the stick with both arms over his head and slamming it down on the hapless dog with all his might. Inexplicably, there is no blood. No sound, just the stick rising and falling like a clever. My hands fly to my mouth, I moan, Judy looks in the direction of my gaze. Everything is too vivid and unreal. A black dog looks on and hops around excitedly. The retched sight is spellbinding, searing itself into my brain like a cattle brand.

Suddenly, as if from the bottom of the movie screen, I see, tourists, a husband and wife, about our age, jumping into the slow moving traffic, maneuvering between cars, waving their arms and shouting at the culprit. Their outrage brings sound back into this picture. Instantly, all noises return. Dogs bark. Car engines hum. Radios play. The frantic couple is moving in slow motion across the tributary of cars. The shocking awareness of violence flashes from car to car like lightening. Simultaneously, the morally oblivious traffic light turns green and we glide forward like logs on a river.
Judy says,” I hope the police don’t show up or it will all get worse.” those tourists shouldn’t go in the local man’s house.

“ I hope they kill the bastard!” I say, and I mean it whole-heartedly.
“What happened?” asks Gede from the back seat.
“ You don’t want to know.”

Violence begets violence. The heart boils in pity and fury. And, evil, he just turns his back and saunters into the dark ally like a plump rat, then turns and sneers,” Gotcha!”

No comments: