05 November 2014

The death-wish of a constitution

Constitutions are made, talked about, cursed and amended.  They never speak although they frame much of what happens in a country.  In a parallel universe constitutions would talk.  They would, as the Americans of the US say 'kick ass'.  They would complain of aches and pains.  In a parallel universe the Second Republican Constitution of Sri Lanka (democratic, socialist, let's not forget!) or the 'JR Jayewardena Constitution' would have a lot to say.  We could but transcribe. 

No one is made perfect.  Even things of ‘top quality’ decay and perish.  It’s just a matter of time.  Of course there’s a lot of resistance.  When there’s ‘break’, there’s often an attempt to ‘mend’.  Patch-up. Even when there’s no perceivable flaw, things are done to enhance.  Upgrade.  In my case, both patch-up and upgrade have one name: amendment. 

I was birthed in 1978.  There were a few at the time who wanted me strangled at birth, but the movers and shakers of the time had enough push and pull to get me out.  I was no perfect baby.  I came with many flaws that were etched into my DNA by my makers.  Even those who blindly cheered my birth, in time, concluded that I was not as pretty as they first thought and that I didn’t live up to my promise. 

So, from time to time, I was fixed.  Tweaked, some say.  They all said it was for my own good.  It was as though everyone who tinkered with me wanted me to live forever.   But I know better.  It was not my longevity that the ‘tweakers’ were concerned about, it was theirs.   It reminded me of that old song by Lobo, ‘Love me for what I am’.

I can’t give any more of my soul away
And still look myself in the mirror everyday
I can’t change any more
Of what makes me be myself
And still have enough left
Not to be somebody else.

Only, I had nothing to do with it.  It was all done to me.  Not only was I twisted and turned, I was read and interpreted.  I was named and identified.  It’s the worst thing I can think of.  I was never myself but always what others saw me as.  For their own purposes of course.

So I am not fooled by this mending talk.  Amending, rather.  It’s not about me.   I have a grandaunt on the other side of the world.  (A)mended 27 times in 225 years or roughly once every 9 years.  Well, she had a serious birth defect and had to have some 10 operations in her first year.   So if you don’t count those it’s about on ‘repair’ every 13 years.  And here I am, just 36 years old and already ‘fixed’ 18 times.  That’s once every two years on average.  I am beginning to think that this is because no one realized I was deformed at birth. 

Anyway, now there’s talk of further fixing.  I’ve suffered 18 operations.  It takes a toll on the old body you know.  I don’t think I can go under the knife again and survive.  That’s only so much a body can take.    I am done.  I don’t want it.  I want out.  I want out like that dramatic line in Kingsley Peiris’ catchy song, Podi Kale Maranda Welle. 

රුචිරානනී අහන්න.....එක පාර මා මරන්න
“Listen, beloved!  Kill me once and for all!”


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