Monologues of a Selfie
by Ashwani Kumar
Hey, you love me. Does it matter?
I don’t need anyone. I love me. I say it loudly. I love me.
I am not someone. This is my body-made for myself.
This is such a nice thing. I am no good, bad or evil.
It’s not hard to meet someone like me these days.
I feel like I have really made a genuine connection with myself. What a discovery?
You know my name. Nope. You guess – Abiku, Azaro, Sinai, Analogue, Android, Andromedean.
Ah, I am my generation. No name calling.
Forget your father, mother, uncle, aunt, siblings, and a series of absurd filial connections.
Forget family planning also. You are your own Gene.
Don’t think wrong of me. I tell you something about my personality traits.
I am no ascetic, no pragmatic, no conservative, no free thinker, no humourist, not follower of any leader or sect. Don’t get me wrong.
You think I am a bestseller. Yup. You got it right.
I am attractive, intelligent, confident, and successful. I make no mistake. I rock all the time.
I don’t want to know you. Yet I got lots of friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter.
I often bare myself on Instagram. You want me. Don’t lie. You want me.
Tell you frankly. It is Impossible. I love myself. We are new monogamous. We date ourselves.
Don’t think we don’t have reproductive organs. We procreate and replicate.
We are like various brands of the milk – like soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk, chocolate milk, lactose-free milk, skimmed milk, regular milk etcetera.
We don’t age. Just grow old. Carry on.
Is it true that memory is like a room without windows? I can’t hear you. It is only me here.
Who is she? Who is he? I like to talk. What about you. Don’t care if you also like to talk.
So, the problem of finding common ground is over.
I feel like we are learning so much new about ourselves.
Hey, I don’t invite my boyfriends or girlfriends to my apartment. Gender is so boring. Male or female, it makes no difference. It makes things uninteresting.
I prefer walking by night. You like tram rides in the day. Fine. I earn my work. You also work for the Ministry of Future. A lot of you are afraid of me. But you like my pictures –
Let’s move a bit forward. I know all your quotes. You know mine. It’s great. I change my DP every day. Wait. Nothing changes though.
I love my own fragrance. Oh. Its so nice, so erotic as well.
Sure, you’ll love your own.
I don’t go to any public library or watch films at multiplexes. Neither do I withdraw cash at ATMs.
No hanky-panky. No ketch up. Damn it. Sing this ghetto-blaster-DUP-DUP- dudududu-DUP-DUP.
You know Kai Miller – that Jamaican poet. He loves singing DUP-DUP-dudududuDUP-DUP.
Don’t tell me a reason why you like it. Just sing DUP-DUP-dudududu-DUP-DUP.
Oh, life is so beautiful these days. Me, Me, Me, Me Only Me. It is queer. Downright queer.
Are you still not convinced? That’s O.K. Good news.
These days, we don’t have to be in the same picture frame. Don’t we?.
I know you are like me. You just don’t want to admit you love yourself.
It looks like you just got a new alert. Hey, don’t delete me. I confess. I am just a selfie –
I love my simplicity!
About the Author’s Selfie
Ashwani Kumar is Indian English poet and Professor of Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). His books include Banaras and the Other (Poetrywala), My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter (Yeti Books) and Community Warriors: State, Peasants & Caste Armies in Bihar (Anthem Press) among others. He is also one of the chief editors of LSE’s prestigious publication Global Civil Society. His poems, reviews and columns are widely published and he has been visiting fellows to leading universities around the world. He loves brown egg-whites, cold pizza slices, pomegranate muffin and pumpkin spice latte. In leisure, he makes his favourite Bihari litti-chokha, rides Derrida’s punctured bicycle and croons’ “Ooh La La Tu Hai meri Fascism, Fascism, Fascism’!