“Master Toshi! Master Toshi! Now that I’ve mastered the monkey crane wing kick and the oxtail punch, what must I do?”

“You must learn the dead crow mountain slap.”

“Master Toshi! Master Toshi! Look after 15 tries, I’ve learnt it. Now, the enemies of peace will shudder!”

“There is always much to learn. Find the cadence of the breeze and learn the one-legged stork stance; watch the sparrow eat and learn the bird fist peck. Learning is like a meandering stream. It has no beginning or end. And that’s the goal: becoming one with the present.”

“Master Toshi! Master Toshi! I voyaged to distant lands to listen to the wail and whisper of the wind and now have mastered the one-legged stork stance. I watched both the sparrow and the eagle and learnt the bird fist peck. I stood by the rivulet and watched it for days before I was and was not. I was one with the stream, or it was one with me. I became the present. Now the enemies of peace will definitely shudder!”

“You have progressed far. But there is still one thing you haven’t learnt. It’s the kangaroo jump elbow. No one will ever learn it because of the Kangaroo God who cursed us when we slew his offspring. Thus, we might be and not be, find the present, touch eternity, defeat the enemies of peace, but we’ll never learn the move because we’re damned.”

“Master Toshi! Master Toshi! After months under a banyan tree, the gates of the invisible realm opened to me, and I walked in and slew the Kangaroo God. The curse doesn’t affect us anymore. Before slaying him, I made him teach me the move. Look! I’ll show you.”

“Nigga, you can’t be serious! I’mma beat your smug ass! Here I am, spending years trying to fight the curse, and you crush it in months! Motherfucker! I’mma shoot you! All this Kung Fu garbage for nothing! If there is a God above, he’s dead. Oh wait, you killed him! Bitch! Always wanting to learn more, and never satisfied. Where’s my shotgun at! Gimme my damn shotgun!”

Β© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)


17 thoughts on “ Kung Fu Prose ”

      1. Thank you! I try. It’s taken a six year on-again, off-again relationship with WP to progress this far. You didn’t recognise the picture? Hopefully no one has copied my deleted work and posted it as their own! It’ll be strange trying to prove that my own work is mine πŸ˜‚ I listened to your song Apricity again yesterday btw. It’s really good. As good as some of the best minimalistic piano pieces out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 😳πŸ₯° Thank you. That’s a beautiful compliment.

        I don’t know if people can really plagiarise each others work and keep producing in the same vein. Maybe you should consider publishing your collection. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I guess… breaking in, is going to be hard. It’d be much more effortless if someone just left the door unlocked. πŸ˜…

        On that note, it is hard to argue against reality. But there are plenty of ways to reframe it. I always thought self-publishing was accessible.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. πŸ˜‚ But then it’d feel like you haven’t beaten the strongman or the final boss to get in, and you just used cheat codes. I’m being silly. Yes, self-publishing is accessible. But it’s my last resort. The problem is that you may not even earn the amount you’ve spent on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. No need to apologise! Yes, I was partially revealing my stance on life. I think that when it comes to something you love (in my case writing) you’d rather earn merit than have it handed to you. When it comes to anything else (like taking a vacation for example) I wouldn’t mind someone paying for my stay, good food and cigarettes πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You want someone else to acknowledge your work as worthy… but not just anyone, you want the gatekeepers to acknowledge the blood, sweat and tears you shed, for and in your craft: writing, metaphorically speaking. Maybe you perceive them to be at the top of the pyramid.

        Again, I beg apologies if I’ve offended you.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I guess in a way you’re right. But then again, I ask myself two questions often: Are the gatekeepers really atop the pyramid? Isn’t it enough to have a few people who actually read and enjoy your work for what it is? But, having said that, writing is pretty much all I do, and so, I don’t have much of a choice but to want publishers and critics to acknowledge me.But then again, I’m never going to write something that’s tailor made for the critics to praise. So, it’s all one catch-22 situation really. You didn’t offend me at all, and so, no need to apologise!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It seems like an internal conflict you have. The traditional role of a gatekeeper is precisely to determine what gets offered to the greater public. That may be changing because of the way technology functions in our lives. The issues that crop up with self-publishing (anything), is that quality may take a hit, if only because suddenly it’s possible to publish anything. But, lol, always a but, I think what will happen is that for the same reason traditional gatekeepers may one day disappear, technology, has the potential to put people directly in touch with their audiences… and no matter how niche we go, there is always going to be someone who has the same taste you do… but now they’re potentially more discoverable than they’ve ever been. So yes… like you say… I think it is enough… and…

        I also think we always have a choice and that all our desires are valid. Cheers to being acknowledged by publishers and and critics. πŸ™‚

        Thanks for having this conversation. I enjoyed it. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Your comment made me think a lot. It gave me hope. True, these days, it’s possible to target a niche audience who’ll buy and read your work. Still, I do believe that as long as the traditional gatekeepers are present, there’s always this stigma attached to self-publishing. People are more likely to pick up a book published by one of the big publishing houses than a self-published one. Then, there’s also marketing in order to reach your audience which is hard, especially for an introverted man like me who is very critical of social media! Having said that, people who’re published by traditional houses often hardly earn anything except the prestige of being published by one. Let’s hope something works out in the end, and I’m happy with the choice I make!

        Thank you for the conversation. I enjoyed it too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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