Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The "Nowheres"

This came up in a discussion I was having with a friend a few days back. He was trying to define people like him and me amongst the people of our kind, the upper-middle class, well educated young urban crowd. There were two extremes, and we lay in between.

There were the 'pseuds' who were distinctly different from the others in their propensity to talk in English (unconsciously, for some reason that seemed to be their first tongue), who had already had multiple trips abroad, who wouldn't be able to tell you the Chief Minister of their state, and for whom it had probably been years since they watched a Bollywood movie. No, these guys (for the most part) aren't snobs; they just hadn't grown up like us. They probably slept through Mahabharat when we sat glued to our TVs as kids, they probably ended up watching the English version of Duck Tales rather than the DD one.

On the other extreme were the 'desis', people who had typically come from the hinterland, who had seen English movies only in the passing, who still sing Hindi songs, whose first trip abroad was/is going to be really important for them, who can discuss Hindu mythology with passion, and who are only able to abuse in Hindi! These guys were the best from whichever part of the country they came from, and now into the city, are finding their roots again. Many of these will be the parents of the people like us, the third kind, the "nowheres".

We are a curious mix of the above two kinds. We know Beethoven and Bach and know Altaf Raja but prefer listening to someone like A R Rahman. We have seen the Westerns and Sholay and can laugh at Jim Carrey as well as Johnny Lever. We can talk of Greek mythology as well as whether Karan was the greater hero than Arjun. As conversationists, we are in demand everywhere, we can blend in any crowd. So, what you might ask is the problem?

The problem is when you start thinking about which place you should call home. Where and who do you belong to/with? It is difficult to find people who we can really bond with, who would understand us both ways, carry out a full-blooded conversation encompassing everything. The biggest problem in this obviously is in finding a person of the opposite sex who would be like this. I mean, the "nowheres" are never seen as the "nowheres", people take them either to be the first extreme or the second, and they aren't even able to identify each other. So, it is difficult finding another "nowhere" and then getting them to like you is a completely different and difficult proposition. And any relationship with a person of either extreme is never completely fulfilling.

It is a lonely world, my friend!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The World We Live In - Part II

Who is making the decisions in our lives? Who is leading our generation into its future? It is such a travesty that the world is controlled by old men, who don't have much to live and couldn't care less about the future of the world. The fundamental disconnect that they have to the reality of the world around them makes them see everything with an eye of the past. And they couldn't care less about a world they don't recognize. Is this the reason why the world as I know it is in such a downward spiral? Because those in charge, don't really care? The young are too busy either fighting or enjoying sensual pleasures to notice the fact that their lives are being screwed. And it's the old that hold the reins of power. Previous attempts at revolutions have failed, because power is vested to a generation which then young later becomes old and cyncial, giving more importance to temporary materialistic sensual pleasures than more sustainable efforts.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The World We Live In - Part I

Increasingly, I have bouts of paranoia where I start thinking that the real world is being taken away from us. No one I talk to has a sense of what is happening around him, all around people are happy going about their jobs, shopping rituals and parties without any knowledge of what the rest of humanity is up to. For all we know, there might be people building bombs outside our own houses to blow us up. We wouldn't know. The media is too busy covering the parties in South Bombay/Delhi, and worrying about fashion sense of the classes. As much as I am worried about the trivialisation and tabloidisation of media, what is more worrying is the apparent unconcern about it, even among people we would call the "buddhijivi". When the entire front page is covered by articles about Shilpa Shetty, Rakhi Sawant and the Bachhans' temple trips, you wonder what is really happening out there. Nobody has any clue; nobody cares. Nobody has risen up in arms against the fact that we are not being told important things, that we are being surrounded by utter faff and nonsense.