One parasite chases another out.

Michael Serres

There’s a death we can feed upon. A suicide, an act of annihilation, a drawing close to that constant struggle and crisis which haunts the actor as he stands before his wardrobe of masks, unconvinced which to choose. The act was an instant, the ponderings turn it into a chronicle. The real, however irreducible, ceases to be so, with every ‘parasitic’ intrusion. The sacrosanct singularity of lifelessness is metamorphosed into contemplations about the possible breaths that have frozen, of kisses that have been nipped in bud, of promises that have withered unborn-all of them are born after death, born at the interventions of ‘parasitic’ poets and philosophers, public intellectuals and profane agencies in social media, performing plays of consciousness, conscience, guilt and activism against the infection called nepotism. The parasite is vital; the more it feeds, the more prominent is the after-life of the host.

Pardon the author who has not been able to make sense in that vague and abstract opening, which would have been discarded as ramblings, but for a few keywords. ‘Suicide’, ‘masks’, ‘nepotism’, ‘parasite’: probably intrigues the gaze of an in-fashion reader who is aimlessly scrolling down, more in habit than in interest. Doesn’t make sense! But before you switch, let there be a last proposition. Sense is a limit. Jean Luc Nancy, Giles Deleuze, Sukumar Ray, Lewis Carroll, among others, have pondered at length on the politics of sense. What is sense regime but an enclosure, a condition of subjection to a limit? Hence, to be ‘insensible’ sometimes can suggest the possibilities of a profound resistance. Especially when we live in a world where commodity culture is as natural as gravity, where the jouissance of USP is as reckless and irresistible as the urge to elope with your neighbor’s wife.

In our neighbourhood, Donald Trump and Donald Duck, Narendranath Datta and Narendra Varma (trust the author! No meta-lingual masking intended…Narendra Varma is a stock character in the Kakababu Shontu series, a popular read among the Bengali teenagers) co-habit. What is this world but an ‘imagined’ community, where imagination, like all other emotions, is derived..synthetic..plastic..simulacral and thus global. Once upon a time, in a newly built Catholic Medium school in a Provincial town of a Third World Country, where the noveau riche and the provincial cultural elite send their children for education, a relatively popular topic is allotted to a relatively popular girl, for the school extempore. “The world is shrinking.” The impressive girl (girlfriend of a relatively unimpressive boy) walks into the dias, before long she is consumed by stage fright and repeats her topic “the world is shrinking…the world is shrinking…the world is shrinking…” She wraps up saying “Sorry”. She is the last woman on the planet to utter the final words which convey a prophetic mourning. A perfect elegy from a naturalist who mourns the advent of global and the death of the more intimate World- that traumatic condensation of the infinite World into a tiny boxed world.

Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

What is mourning if it is meaningful?

The jury never read the prophesy, they were happy to crown someone else who was methodical and hermeneutic and above all, substantial.

To seek substance, is the obsession of Parasite. Substance, matter…something one can feed on, something that will let us grow, become something we have desired to be. Fame, Recognition, Reputation, Acclamation, Praise, Reward, they are only faces of that urge to become. Just as Dollar, Rupees, Lira, Pound, Dinar, Shelling are faces of Capital. The drive to become is the fantastic dream of the Parasite. To become is to discard the being and merge into another form. Who is your host? Why the world? Hence, Parasites everywhere…who is the Host in this world? An aporia perhaps, for the host is a Parasite to an elsewhere, it is feeding on another host, who is, in turn, a parasite to a greater corpus.

The author is indebted to Michael Serres and wilfully acknowledges his (the author’s) own parasite status as he draws joyfully the critical blood out of the material manifestation of Serres’s eccentric genius. More passionately, however, the author is sucking at his fetish for recognition. He has thrust himself into the guts of Digital Media and, if not ejected out of its complacent intestines by the vaccine of censorship or by a more clinical dosage of ignorance, he is likely to infect. An infection called self-criticism that will make the agents who stand firm and convinced with a self-validated Enlightenment evaluate/ retrospect if they are free from the maladies of strategic appropriation, essentialism, and epistemic violence in their perilous urge to find ‘matter’ and ‘content’ out of misfortunes, traumas, accidents, catastrophes. The Prime Time Debates, the dramatisations of suicide notes, the hashtag (#) campaigns, the Che Guevara T-shirts and posters have their own share of parasitisation, they do not merely resist but also contextualise themselves.

Within what?

Within a commodified world of TRP and recognition, a new illness called ‘viral’.

“To write poetry after Auschwitz is Barbaric”.

Last words of wisdom…not from a half-literate parasite who is presently trying to become the authentic and ‘Enlightened’ intellectual but, Theodor Adorno.


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