Father persuaded him to be shot by his son

A recent tragedy occurred in Meerut, India. When Vinod, an Indian man, was persuading his son and his daughter-in-law not to quarrel, he was shot and killed by his son.

“India Express” reported on the 8th that Vinod’s son Kishan and his wife had a fierce quarrel on the evening of the 6th over financial issues, and then Vinod came forward to persuade him to fight, but he did not expect that the enraged Kishan took out a pistol from his clothes. He pulled the trigger while holding his father’s head, Vinod was killed on the spot, Kishan ran back to the room and locked the door.

Soon, more than a dozen policemen in body armor arrived at the scene of the murder. Unable to observe the situation in the room, the police smashed a corner of the window and handed the phone through the window into Kishan’s room. The police communicated with Kishan via video phone, hoping that he could open the door, but after three hours, there was still no movement in the room. The police saw from the video that Kishan was lying on the bed with the pistol that killed his father beside him. Seeing that the communication failed, the police broke into the house and arrested Kishan. It is reported that Kishan owed a huge debt and his father was a wealthy businessman. The police believed that this might be Kishan’s criminal motive. In addition, Kishan has a history of drug abuse. He received treatment in a drug rehabilitation center in November last year.

I want to make the reader participate in one of my usual concerns: Where are the old porteños? Are there elderly in Buenos Aires? And if there are little old men in this turbulent city, in what mysterious corners do they hide?

The interest of some cities is nothing more than the number and display of their elders. The old men of these cities, generally quiet, usually have their exclusive squares and walks, where they go on sunny days, if it is winter, or on cool summer mornings. They are also seen in{134} doors of the houses, watching beatifically the course of things in the street, or forming groups on the banks of the promenades, to comment on the events of half a century ago.

These stiff old men don’t exist in Buenos Aires. Naturally, it would be too demanding to ask that the survivors of Rosas’s time walk with their little step in the vertigo of the City. Troubled cities often exclude all weak people from their center of life; but in the quiet backwaters, in the central avenues of Paris, for example, it is common to find the neat old men in old-fashioned clothing and with the rosette, sometimes, of an honorable decoration.

I have investigated the walks of Buenos Aires, and I have not seen in them more than children, melancholic and tormenting passers-by. Is it that there are no old men in Buenos Aires? Perhaps they do not exist, in fact, or at least they do not form a multitude. Of course, it can be assured that there is no such class of vegetative, walking, stiff old people, of those who pa{135}pray to be preserved by virtue of a particular environment.

To many, this fact may seem heartbreaking. But if we look at the bottom of the problem, it will be easy for us to see that stiff old age, stationary and vegetative old age, does not always indicate a distinguished degree of vitality. On the contrary, cases of excessive old age are the heritage of stationary countries, where existence lacks energy and ardor. The old centenarians, according to the statistics, are in greater numbers in the poor and little fertile towns. There, longevity is reached due to the absence of spending: it is an effect of the economy that enters fully into squalor. By dint of skimping on action, life is prolonged; but that kind of life, if life can be called it, does not deserve to be envied.

Whereas in active towns, man lives fully, without reserving himself; he abandons himself to the whirlwind of chance, and puts all his vital treasure in the contest. It is not sordidly sheltered. His nerves, his muscles, his fundamental organs, his ce{136}rebro, his imagination, he throws everything to life. Fifty years of struggle means a long history of emotions. He lives, but he lives fully, with all his being, robustly, intensely. Negotiate its existence in the short term; when the term has expired, his organs are destroyed. Death, inexorable collector, manages to make the bill effective. And everything ends. And another comes immediately to fill the position …

Missing cats

Another very curious peculiarity of Buenos Aires is that it keeps very few cats. If a statistic of such mammals could be made, we would be surprised at the shortness of the numbers.

In many countries the cat is considered an adherent, indispensable, necessary entity to the family. The cat thus becomes something like the hearth, like the bed, like the cradle, like the pot. A family without a cat, in those towns to which I refer, is equivalent to a fa{137}truncated and incomplete milia. When the family changes places, the cat faithfully follows the exodus. If the family is poor and has been evicted, the cat, on the miserable trousseau, stoically endures the reversal of fortune. And the cat is in charge of supporting the irascible humor of the family, when the family suffers, or receives the gentle pampering when the family enjoys. Sometimes kicks, other times tender strokes on the back, the cat supports it and accepts everything, with that cautious philosophy that distinguishes it so much. And he is seen on top of the furniture, clean and silky, his neck adorned with a red ribbon; or next to the filthy stove, in the warmth of the familiar embers. Some frustrated mothers adopt the cat as a son, lavishing the sweetest affections on it. And at night, especially on winter moonlit nights, rooftops often become scenes of loving tragedies; the mahidos of the cats fill the night calm with their superstitious music.

Very few cats are seen in Buenos Aires. There are many families who are unfamiliar with the cat, who have never had it in their homes.{138}This would seem absurd to many people in other countries. Why are few cats seen in Buenos Aires? Is it that Buenos Aires families lack tenderness? Or is it that there are no mice?

The explanation for this phenomenon must lie in one of the main characteristics of Buenos Aires, that is, in the accident rate and nomadism of homes. Families organize too roughly: in this case, many things in the home need to suffer from the defect of improvisation. Two foreigners, coming from opposite areas, meet, love each other, get married. They are two “déracinés”, as the French say. By joining, each of the spouses omits their traditional habits. They remember that in their home in the remote homeland there was a portrait of their grandfather, some curtains that the mother embroidered in her youth, a sofa where the father died, an old and maniacal cat … But all this has been left far away, interrupted, broken, without continuity, like a first volume of a novel. When forming a family, they instinctively state the purpose of{139}”start again”. They do start a life, a new account. Everything about them is new, without tradition and without previous commitments. They buy the furniture, the utensils together, at once. They don’t inherit anything from anyone. The home is a conglomerate of anonymous things bought in the bazaars. How could they remember the cat? The cat presupposes family history and tradition. There being no history or commitments with the hands of the ancestors, the cat has no reason to be or to exist. It is true that it hunts mice, and that usefulness of its claws could sincere its existence; but chemistry with its poisonous powders, the hardware store with its automatic traps, surpass cat nails. The permanence of the cat is not due to utility. The cat, in the civilized family, has a more intimate, more philosophical sense, and of a more hidden essence.{140}

The shop windows

Few cities surpass Buenos Aires in the luxury of its shops. It is often an imaginary luxury, a waste of light and mannequins, a fantasy of exhibitions. The Buenos Aires shop windows turn out to be a true celebration of decorations, of lavishness, and often also of good taste.

But shop windows, like all things, even the most vulgar, have their own particular psychology. Going through the Buenos Aires shop windows one by one, it is possible to find out the vices, the moral characteristics, the passions of the inhabitants. Observe, for example, the shops destined to sell edible objects, and you will discover an original note of the Argentine character: its low gluttony. But immediately observe the windows of the luxury stores, and you will know the pruritus of ostentation that occupies the largest space in the Argentine soul.

The windows of the stores and pastry shops are not in Buenos Aires at the height of{141}its prestige. There are many bars, restaurants, confectioneries; But this profusion of places where people eat and drink does not mean, at best, anything other than an abundance of money. On the other hand, the care of the samples is lacking, the temptation of the delicacies displayed with the intention of bribing the gluttony of the passerby is lacking. This indicates that the Argentine is not gluttonous. Rather, it is not vicious to eat. Their ancestors, clinging to the churrasco, the mate and the hard biscuit, supported the heroic enterprises of the plain. The pot, which is still in force within respectable families, speaks better than anything, with its culinary simplicity, of the sobriety of La Plata.

But the windows of the fashion stores, ornaments, jewelry, are speaking for their part of the display and lavish condition that fills the soul of Argentines, as well as pseudo-Argentines. Traders know this very well; the showcases of its stores gleam before the gaze of the poor fascinated women, and before the greedy eye of the men. They like patent leather,{142}silk, lace, tails, jewels, feathers. Everything that concerns vanity.

The horror of the old

The old houses of Buenos Aires are leaving. Very few remain, and the few that remain disappear with remarkable rapidity.

The death of familiar things gives rise to a feeling of melancholy everywhere; When those things, in addition to being familiar, have an artistic value, melancholy is still much more accentuated and universal. But in Buenos Aires, because it is not known what phenomenon of psychology, all this does not raise the slightest emotion. The houses fall, the old is demolished, the familiar and the historical flee, and the public soul remains so cold, as if those objects did not affect it at all. It would seem that the entire city is populated by new and adventitious people, for whom what happened yesterday is meaningless. Their souls seem to have no contact or continuity with their ancestor souls. You would say a city without{143} history, especially without ancestry, whose tradition begins yesterday, even more: from today …

What is characteristic of Buenos Aires, and also of the vast region that follows its inspirations, is a kind of horror towards the old. Disgust for the patina, —that is what makes modern Argentine society unique. The houses are all new; when the sorrow of ten, twenty years begins to varnish them with the priceless hue of time, then they are torn down and new, brand-new ones are built. The furniture has to be new too, so that the living rooms of a house offer the appearance of having been furnished the day before in the afternoon. Nothing of antiquity.

European countries like to estimate things, not because of their novelty, but because of their age; Those people understand that a family will be all the more noble, the more generations it can count, and that furniture, houses, jewelery and costumes gain in nobility over time. It is thought there that the noble is not today, because all{144}heraldic or intellectual, it needs to be contrasted and discerned over the years, over the centuries. It is also thought there that patina is the secret of aesthetics, since a beautiful recently built palace, with its virgin white stones, is excessively reminiscent of the bricklayer and the master stonemason; It seems to have come out of a workshop, clean, shiny, with the architect’s signature clearly visible and the blacksmith’s handprints on the park gates. While, on the contrary, a simple old tower devoured by ivy, offers, thanks to its grim old age and its anonymous workmanship, a strange effect of beauty. It is as if that tower had arisen made of the same land, or as if a whole time, a whole civilization, had taken part in his work. In the same way it is understood, in those European countries, that marble,{145}

The objects of Christian worship show the same desire for neatness, the same tendency towards beauty as the Creoles. Foreigners who come from secular countries are surprised by the almost negative effect caused by those varnished temples, devoid of gloom and severe austerity that a house of prayer must have. A Gothic cathedral, with its moldy marble tombs, its slightly discolored altars and its somewhat chipped images, would be received in Buenos Aires with a pout of disgust. Immediately they would open windows in the walls, so that the dark ships would acquire light, and the saints and altars, the stones consumed by the friction of the centuries, everything that speaks to the religious spirit in such a profound way, would be reformed, polished, varnished, in tune with the general worldly correctness.

Nor are people very attached to dusting off long-standing historical memories. Everything that refers to a century belongs to the “ancient age.” The story proper begins in the re{146}volution of 1810; the previous thing to that date corresponds to prehistory. It is suspected that before that culminating year of the revolution there were men, perhaps merchants, perhaps artisans: but everything appears blurred and vague, as the life of the Pre-Latin Gauls might appear to a Frenchman. We do not want to delve too deeply into the prolegomena of nationality. In fact, those preliminary centuries in which race and character were formed deserve little sympathy; it is as if it were strange things and people, without contact with current things and people. And yet, the towns have a lot of resemblance to the wines. Good harvesters initially prepare their vats, macerate the broths, until the container is soaked and saturated with what is traditionally called “solera. Although the primitive wine is getting alienated, the new contributions are saturated with the original flavor, thanks to the powerful virtue of the solera, and the new vintages, in infinite years, always preserve the flavor and tone of the first elaboration. The peoples, likewise, by many{147}imports and renovations that undergo, always keep the modality, energetic, definitive, that they acquired in their formation. For this reason, with all the exotic and multiform contributions that fall daily in Argentina, the authentic modality, the one that was formed in the early days of the colony, is always kept alive.

But time will pass, and everything that is now heteroclite and renewed will be consolidated. Fortunes will become more and more traditional. The families will then have a lineage of several generations. And it will be born, if it has not already been born on a small scale and timidly, love and worship for the ancestors.

When that time comes, Argentines will lament their ancestors’ disrespectful mania for destruction. Modest, fragile and simple as they were, however, those old mansions had kept the breath of the grandparents, in their environment the ancestral lives unfolded, and from them the mold of nationality emerged.{148}

The human tide

We all know that a city is very similar to the human body: it has a vital organ, from which dynamic energy flows and spreads. The heart is the urn that contains the seething treasure of human life; cities also have their hearts.

The beating heart of Buenos Aires is called the City. Delete that vital neighborhood, and the population will have no reason to exist; paralyze the feverish movement of the City, and the city will have remained motionless, stiff, like a man in the throes of a syncope.

One of the qualities of Buenos Aires that deserves the greatest appreciation is its frankness. Buenos Aires does not fool anyone. To the foreigner who disembarks at the docks, he offers as a first show that of the City, with its banks and business offices. It makes, as it were, ring a bag of coins in the immigrant’s ear, to convince him from{149} then in that land of promise you will find nothing but monetary topics.

Other populations are often hypocritical or conventional. They present to the traveler the severe facades of their universities, high schools and art galleries, with the intention of pretending a life of mental wanderings. But Buenos Aires, much more sincere, puts its banks and commercial offices first. Thus he manages to chain the ambitious man, injecting him from the moment he disembarks the virus of greed. An honest and loyal greed, free from simulations.

The City itself is small: it comprises at most an area of ​​one square kilometer. In this very short space of land, you will find the most vigorous and powerful of the city: the Banks, the Stock Exchange, the navigation agencies, the large auctions, the land and insurance offices. The most alive, everything that means financial strength, is included in those privileged streets.

But the City, despite being the heart of the metropolis, has such different aspects that{150}it seems like a strange city, a foreign town embedded in the Creole city. Novel Americanism evokes in the imagination light and indolent forms, light and picturesque colors. The City is not American in that sense. It is of a Yankee Americanism; black, ugly and sour. The narrowness of its streets means that trams, carriages and people are fighting among themselves and avoiding stumbling. One thinks with terror that he is walking down the street of miracle, and one comes to firmly believe in a vigilant providence.

And the noise. It does not resemble the disciplined noise of some European avenues, where the symmetrical passage of four rows of vehicles reminds of a marching army, of a majestic torrent. In the narrowness of the Buenos Aires City, the noise is disorderly, sharp, irritating. The trams, skimming the sidewalks, throw their twitching metallic beats into the ears of the passerby; cars get tangled; drivers squabble, apostrophize and threaten with clenched fists. The nerves vibrate. And the walkers pass fast, em{151}pushing, stepping on, obsessed with their one common concern.

Despite its ugliness and sourness, how exciting the City is! There is nothing in Buenos Aires that makes such an energetic impression on me, like a walk through that Carthaginian neighborhood. I feel in its streets like the brutal caress of a hurricane blast. I remember the Ocean, the tempest, the torrential precipices, all the primitive and strong things that abide by the empire of doom. In those tumultuous streets I receive a breath of wholesome and transcendental barbarism. I forget the decadent delicacies, the effeminate neuroses, the intellectual remudations. The crowd surrounds me, swallows me, and I am swept away as if by a torrent. I forget and excuse the clashes of the men, the run-ins of the carriages; about my nature as a cabinet man,

Barbarous and violent, everything has a new, strange, exciting flavor for me. The{152}The red faces of the businessmen, the lack of education and composure, the abrupt gestures, that hardly touches my sensitivity. Everything brutal that resides there, I apologize. The total wave grabs me, carries me, infuses me with vigor, like a big shot of whiskey . I feel that then the drunkenness of that dazzled crowd assails me, and the enthusiasm of the environment enters my timid intellectual soul …