On Murder, Neighbors, Arab Kids and Ginger Cats

Every time I come across a murder case in the newspaper, I get lost in thought. While most people would ponder over the mechanism of or the reason for the murder, I think about the murderer… not about what he or she did for a living, or his nationality, or anything of the sort, but his thought process, if any—I always wonder, “What was the murderer thinking?”

Just put yourself in the murderer’s shoes. Imagine holding a rock in your hand and smashing someone’s head to a pulp. Why? Maybe you had an argument with the person. He insulted your mom. He called you fat. He took your money. His voice annoyed you. So you’re bludgeoning his head. Your hand goes up and down just like it does when you’re hammering a nail into a wall, but only this time, you’re denting somebody’s face.

What’s going on through your mind as you painfully end this person’s life? Nothing, maybe? In all the adrenaline rush, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just flattening a person’s face, passively, dispassionately. Or maybe you’re feeling some bizarre form of exhilaration, a twisted form of joy you’ve never felt before.

Now he’s just a corpse. You’ve not just killed a person—you’ve ended a life, a good life that took nine months to create and many years after that to develop. A life that was worth so much more than this. Of course, you don’t know that when the rock’s in your hand. Maybe after committing the murder, you have an epiphany. “Oh Lord… I killed someone.” The realization must be terribly agonizing. Or it’s possible you’ve been so psychologically affected by the act, you’re not yourself anymore. You don’t feel bad about having killed someone. There are a few many people who savored their murderous acts.

Really, imagine being the murderer. If that doesn’t make you feel dirty, nothing will.

Most murders aren’t random acts of violence—there’s normally a cause, a stimulus. You can’t just kill someone without reason, however unreasonable. Murders are born from jealousy, feuds, depression… why, just a month ago, there was article in the papers about a software engineer who murdered his wife because she was irritating. It’s fascinatingly scary to think about where these murderous thoughts begin. Hard to think they’d originate from an annoying wife.

Reading all these articles about murder also reminds me of my neighbors. Oh no, my neighbors are not murderers, thank heavens for that, but the younger ones, the kids in the building… well, they do things on an almost criminal level.

I don’t mean to stereotype, and I am not racist, but these kids I talk about are mostly Arabs. They vandalize walls with unintentionally misspelled explicit words (c’mon, how hard is it to spell a four-letter word right?). They litter the corridors. They burn the plastic buttons in the lifts. They spit on their walls. They kick footballs at their neighbors’ doors. They bully juniors. (Many years ago, my sister and I were once cornered in a swimming pool by an Arab boy. I remember begging him to leave us alone as he mocked at our Indian culture. Today, I’m far bigger than he is, and, excuse me, but I can kick his ass.) They throw stones on cars. And their resourcefulness knows no bounds; they once threw a water balloon on a Mercedes parked below the building. Since they threw it from the twentieth floor, it managed to completely shatter the windshield of the car.

Every now and then, you will surely come across a teen with a blue eye, or with a serious injury. The more observant of you will find that these kids, far too young to have obtained driving licenses, go for drives in their parents’ cars. Do their parents know? I dare say, do they even care?

Day in and day out, these kids hang around the building, smoking cigarettes, doing really stupid, redundant things… it just makes me wonder what does on in their heads. I, like most people my age, feel horrible when I’m not intellectually stimulated in some way or the other. Either these people are really good at masking this horrid feeling or they have no intellectually stimulated memories at all to crave for new ones.

I am sorry if I come across as condescending, and I’m sorry if I’ve offended any Arabs out there. I’m not too sure about the attitudes of Arab children in general, I’m not even sure if they have a general attitude, but I can tell you I’ve stated nothing but the plain truth.

As much as the other children in my building partake in all these activities, none of them troubles me as much as the way they treat animals. I’ve seen them put a rabbit on a skateboard and slide the poor thing down a sloped surface.

One day, my mother found a ginger-colored cat with a belt fastened tightly around its neck with one of its hands in it. No doubt, one of the kids did it. My mother, being a major cat lover, repeatedly tried to reach for the cat, but to no luck. She then saw this Russian boy, around ten years old, who lived on the nineteenth floor. He smiled sweetly and asked my mom what was wrong. On being told of the ailing cat, he simply reached for it, unfastened the belt around its neck and started petting it. He smilingly told my mom that he was going to keep that cat at his place. I had met the kid after that incident, once with the cat. He seemed to be a real nice guy, not like the other destructive (maybe destroyed?) kids.

Why can’t more kids be like that boy? What pushes these children, the future generation, to forms of violence so needless and so primitive, it borders on being the acts of Neanderthals? (No, that’s not a hyperbole, I’m serious.) Is it them acting out against their sad lives? I strongly doubt any of them have sad lives. So what’s the reason? Is it fun to be violent? I’ve never gotten into a physical fight, so I can’t really say. Is it modern video games? Playing ‘shoot-em’-up’ video games so often has possibly sparked some rebellious soul in them. But that’s not likely—I have several sane friends who do nothing but play said games.

How did the kid feel when he fastened the belt around the ginger cat? How did he feel knowing he could’ve killed the poor, yelping creature? No too different from the murderer smashing someone’s head, I think.

Quite clearly, there’s something very wrong with the workings of things if children are resorting to such ridiculous actions. Sadly, I can’t even think of something to say to soften the blow of this article. I can’t even end with some little streak of hope—let me try…

Maybe there are still some children out there bound my good values, raised on morals—like that sweet Russian boy from the nineteenth floor who unbelted that ginger cat and took it into his house.

Maybe there is still hope.

Or maybe there isn’t.

My mother just told me that they found that ginger cat splattered all over the ground outside our building. The watchman said it fell from the nineteenth floor.

– Cinematic Jackass, signing off.

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12 responses to “On Murder, Neighbors, Arab Kids and Ginger Cats

  • LJ

    Coincidentally I was just reading a book by Arthur Hailey, ‘Detective’. It’s about this detective in the homicide department who is now confronted with a horrible case. He has to catch a mass murderer, who, by the looks of the victims, seems to enjoy doing what he does. I would recommend you read the book as it provides quite some insight on a murderer’s mind.
    But what goes on with the children now days can be blamed on the past generation. Children only do what they see or hear or understand from their surroundings. Some of them even find pleasure in others misery. Truly it is a twisted form of joy as you said. These children are beyond repair and nothing can be done about it. One can only hope that when they reach a certain age, they might mature.
    As for murderers… it’s very hard to know what really goes on in their minds. But it is a fact that all murders are committed to vent out anger. Maybe some murders are done because the murderer feels it is their duty to remove ‘filth’ from the face of the earth. All in all, its just sad what goes on on the world today.
    You have once again successfully written an article about a horrible and discomforting truth. Nicely done.

  • Rush

    You thought I wouldn’t like it. In my happy state of mind, I don’t like the effect it’s had on my brain. But it is so very true and I do agree with you.
    And OMG… the cat. 😥 ❤

  • cinematicjackass

    @ LJ,
    Thanks mate 🙂
    But I disagree with you when you say that “these children are beyond repair and nothing can be done about it.” I think, or atleast hope, something CAN be done about it. I still dunno what though.
    And yeah, age will bring with it mental maturity.
    I should mention, though, that most of the ‘kids’ I refer to in my articles are my age, many even older!

    @Rush,
    🙂

  • Ankur Vincent Peter

    @ Cinematicjackass
    I totally agree with all the stuff you said, and it’s kinda weird i happen to be writing something similar….only more MY way 😛
    And dude seriously! I miss my cat even more now 😥
    Well done…..again! 🙂

  • Invention of a New Man

    Hey CJ!
    Awesome article and topic.
    It got me thinking…
    I agree with every single word you said about the Arab kids… But I also got to agree with everything LJ said.
    And well as you said… All we can do is hope.
    Anyways, Keep up the good work !
    Waiting for your other posts !
    – INM

  • LJ

    Well when I said “beyond repair”, I of course meant that it is impossible to argue with these kids. They might (emphasis on might) listen to their parents but you never know. Even an encounter with the police might not be enough to convince these teens of the gravity of their actions.
    Let me leave you with a question for now… Do you HONESTLY think that a change could be brought about in these teens with any other means than ageing?
    Because I am convinced that as they grow up, they realise their past mistakes and mature up! In fact I know an Arab teenager (2 years elder to me) who used to live in my building. Big playground bully when he used to be 15-16. But now he’s all mature and quite responsible. Dude, trust me, there is absolutely NO WAY that these teens can straighten up. You can hope all you want, but you will be disappointed.

  • LJ

    And why in Al Pachino’s name is my display picture on this website pink!? :/

  • Ddh

    Umm… it’s something that me and my mom have dwelt at length. You see, we used to live in this part of Satwa that had an unusual number of Arabs in it. (No, I’m not generalising or being judgemental, it’s just what I saw)

    The were out to find trouble. That is the only thing I can say.
    For example: One took his quad bike and was goin at top speed, he didn’t see a speed bump on the road. He almost got thrown off.
    You’d think he’d thank his lucky stars and move on. Nope, he did it again, coming even closer to death. Okay, you say, one psychotic kid, nothing new. But then, his friends who were smoking in the corner see how much fun he’s having and they too start, in two’s and three’s.

    It’s sad, but I think this is due to a number of socio-economic factors. First of all, they have no goal in life, the govt. pays for everything. Therefore, a lot of free time. Then, they’ve not got a solid set of family values. The traditional values melted away with globalisation, yet, no new set has, of yet taken its place. And third, anyone who’s halfway intelligent/sensitive is beaten down by the rest of the gang.

    There are exceptions, but usually, they exist only among the super rich.

  • someone

    Are you seriously this prejudice? Or just so much of a backwater bumpkin that you have only seen a millionth of the green earth?

  • Sonali

    nice article Krishna, kind of disturbing but nice
    Though it deals with physical murder of people, animals and walls It got me thinking of how murder of a person emotions is far worse.
    Across the world peoples dreams and lives are shattered by unthinking, inconsiderate, selfish and unfortunately called “civilised” or ” educated” human beings.
    And if you think about it we would have all done something, even though unconsciously , that was, well, not right.
    What would we all become then, white murders ?
    And as for what goes on in the mind of the human who becomes a murder, well anger and fear are the most common of emotions seen, but I’m sure I’ll never know for I am not a murder 😛

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