Breeding and Feeding

Dimpy (Dimples) asked Jamali if he’d done homework. He said, “Yes, Miss Kashi, I have done it.” The whole class was amazed. It was the first time ever in Spatial Studies class that a student had done homework. What was going on?

The course had no fixed subject matter, just a desire to fill the gaps in thoughts. It was less about education, and more about expression and entertainment. Even Dimpy couldn’t recall what task she’d set the class last week.

“Please remind the class of the homework assignment.”

“The assignment was, ‘Write a page about the biggest space in your life’.”

“And that’s what you’ve done?” The surprise in her voice was obvious. “Will you please read it to us?”

Jamali looked down. “What’s the matter?” said Dimpy.

“I thought you would mark it at home,” he said. “I didn’t think people in the class would hear it.”

“But these are your classmates, Jamali. You all learn together. That’s the idea.”

He was a quiet boy, she’d noticed, but other students were really nice to him always; unnaturally so. They began calling out, “Go on Jamali! Read it out!”

“You’re the only one who’s done it!”

“Make us proud!”

He had his eyes closed, and then opened them and nodded. “Okay, I will read it out.” He cleared his throat, opened his eyes and began, “My father is a scientist in Salistan.” Where was that? Dimpy wondered. Was she meant to know? “He is a university professor with PhD’s in both biology and psychology. He says that all knowledge is connected, and it’s not how much you know, it’s how well you fit it together.”

Ah! Thought Dimpy. That’s what I’m doing here with Spatial Studies, trying to fill the gaps between thoughts.

He continued, “We travelled all across the country, seeing and exploring. There were such wide valleys and plains that we spent days crossing them. Such big spaces that I thought they must be inhabited by giants.”

That’s some space, thought Dimpy.

“When the war began in Salistan, my father said it was inevitable. Human warfare is like animal warfare, he said; it is mainly about control of territory for breeding and feeding. It is also affected by psychological maladjustments and complexes. These lead to frustrations and fears, which are exploited by aggressive leaders, who have maladjustments and fears of their own.”

Dimpy thought, boy, he’s good.

“Furthermore, dysfunctional socioeconomic systems lead to the disproportionate influence of special interest groups such as capitalists, the military, and industry. My father believed that humans had developed their outer world substantially but not their inner world adequately. They remained selfish and aggressive, and were unlikely to change. Their long term solution lay not on a shrinking planet. They must disperse through the universe. Go to outer space.”

A student whistled, and others nodded.

Jamali continued, “Being a scientist, my father was not allowed to leave Salistan, but he managed to smuggle me out of the country and I came to Canadia. I promised him that I would always be a good boy and do my homework. So I’ve done it.”

Dimpy said, “Thank you, Jamali. Your father would be very proud of you. When did you last speak with him?”

He looked up at her and said, “I haven’t seen him since I left Salistan. That is my space.”

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One Response to “Breeding and Feeding”

  1. The best Spatial Studies story so far

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