The many firsts
and then the One last
between them a huge pause
that makes me feel
like a lost cause.
The many dots
and the commas,
and at last the dangling full stop
that hangs in the middle
breaking all laws,
it makes me feel
Like a lost cause
Unleashed swords and tears veiled
The murder in the end
the warrior who stands victorious,
waiting for the dead’s applause
his red triumph makes me feel
Like a lost cause
The seek and hide
leading to the inevitable grab
that stares with indifference
at the silence that draws,
its gaze makes me feel
Like a lost cause
The wind in her hair
and then the hollow static
that stands in the corridor
and echoes across
its shriek makes me feel
Like a lost cause
A million words in her eyes
and then the hazel blank
that spreads across his lips
merging with the wound it claws
the numb pain makes me feel
Like a lost cause
The creases on her face
and the hunger on his
that takes her in completely
sans any clause
it makes me feel
Like a lost cause
The finger on the stop button
and the feet on accelerators
that settled sadness
that uncovers his jaws
their accusations make me feel
Like a lost cause
The air that blows above the seas
to me it gently confirms
that He restores
what He withdraws
but somehow I still
Feel like a lost cause
Yes, this is related to the Guwahati incident. The shockwave has got a lot to do with it, but then it took a video to shake the entire country out of its slumber. Merely knowing, in factual terms, that these incidents happen everyday, scattered around the whole country, with your daughter/sister/mother/friend/colleague, has hardly succeeded in eliciting any reaction.
We need to see, in order to react. That sounds fair, but the bigger question to be asked is what are our chances of hope and sane survival in a country where females seek comfort in talking to their friends about molestation? Where night outs at each others’ places often turn into grim confessions about uncles and strangers, and in worse cases, fathers? Where we are repeatedly told by our elders, the same people who “protect” us, to forget it because we don’t have the power to fight it?
Having grown up as a girl in Delhi, I have been groped, molested, verbally assaulted and humiliated in places both public and private. Ditto for all my friends. None of us, regardless of clothes we wore, how we walked or what were our personal stats, have been spared. In any intimate discussion with cousins, or a heart to heart with friends, we have had to explain our discomfort in front of that particular uncle, or our inbuilt fear of the dark. Fear, even in a woman of this age, this time, this city, is an instilled thing. We, who are independent, we who travel alone and go to drinking parties with female friends, we who believe that clothing is a form of personal and not social expression and we who have never seen any discrepancies in how our parents treat us against our brothers. Yet, it is We who are afraid.
The sense of paranoia runs deep. Right from parents not approving of late night shifts, from people telling us that we are asking for trouble if we step out in a single piece dress. We have found strength enough to rebel against these notions and break them too. Yet, whenever I step out of office after 8PM, there is this inexplicable fear that has a firm grip on me. I’m aware of every step, I feel like having eyes behind my neck and I’m awfully conscious of the pepper spray that is resting in my bag. No one, from the auto wallah that ferries us to the society guard who knows when your parents are out, is beyond suspicion.
“Don’t open the door for any strangers” has been the only consistent advice from my parents during my growing up years. Despite all the barricades, we have not been protected. Behind closed doors or beyond. We have grown up, the whole of my generation, with the growing acknowledgement of the fact that we will be molested, we will be groped and we will be harassed. While some of us built a wall of silence, others decided to raise a slap, shout and drag the culprit to the nearest check post. Some of us confided in sisters/friends/mothers and others went on feeling humiliated and cursed for having a physical appearance that elicits too much interest in unwanted elements.
What we see today then is a generation of victims. Children and adults, both girls and boys, whom the system, the government and the society combined have failed to protect. And somehow, we are a part of that system. Because we are making our peace with rape headlines appearing daily in our newspapers. Because we aren’t surprised anymore that a girl was picked up from Dhaula Kuan late at night. Because we don’t come out and prefer to stay in and protect our daughters. I wonder what kind of life will the daughters of our generation lead with our fear and their fear and society’s fear weighing upon them.
The phenomenon that we need to question then is something that is becoming embedded in our system so fast that we hardly have the time to see it slipping in. The question that we need to ask is, are we, as a nation turning into mass molesters? Forget conscience and valor, because lets admit, not everyone who witnesses it is powerful enough to stop it, but are we, unconsciously becoming aides in crimes against women? Every time we talk of an assault or a rape matter of factly, every time we say “yeh toh Hona hi tha”, we are almost allowing the perpetrators to walk free. We are then, in effect becoming like the Khap Panchayts that we denounce everyday.
We have to instill freedom, not fear in the women of this country. Mothers to be, I guess, will have the toughest job in this country. Not only they will have to free their daughters from centuries of silence, but their bigger task will be to instill in their sons the notion that the other gender doesn’t exist merely for their entertainment.
This is a poem that I wrote after seeing the first episode of Satyamev Jayate- the much hyped show of Aamir Khan. Even then I won’t call it an inspired piece. Somehow the thought occured to me that in this whole cycle of female feoticide, it is the mother who goes through the most turmoil- physical and emotional. Yet, she never finds her voice. This is my perspective of a mother’s cry of pain and despair when she kills the life she created.
My use of a fictional, non-Indian name was deliberate. Those who recall Dahl’s book would find little in common with the character but somehow this name struck me with its sense of tragedy. Matilda could be anyone- it could be Me, Sheela, Madhu, Kaveri, Archana, or You.
Here goes the poem that I titled Carpets of Rain
She looks into the static dawn
and counts the drops of ice
that fall from the skies
to fill the wounds
that at the 3rd hour of every night
Throb with breathing pain
Carpets of Rain
Her hand flows over her abdomen
and clutches life within
it moved and grew
and floated inside her darkness
like untamed thoughts in a barbed brain
As Matilda weaved
Carpets from rain
She reaches out with her fingers white,
to touch a drop of water or wine
that shone with hope naked
or even wrath supine
But the water fell through
without wetting her skin
on which tomorrow formed itself, all in vain
Carpets from rain
The cord that she cut
and strangled within
the lover she didn’t leave
yet to wander alone
in streets that whispered disdain
Carpets from Rain
Shred by shred of words
and pearls of muted conscience
she knits and ties
They form a ladder inside her
that reaches her womb
and fills it with cries insane
Carpets from Rain
She violates the law
of love and land
She waits and contemplates
with a slow painful pill
that floated in her soul
like dry dreams thrown in a drain
Carpets from Rain
On nights violent and nights silent
she wielded magic veiled
They say she talks to
corpses inside her
that live after they were slain
Carpets from Rain
She murdered what she created
a seductress of devils
she danced to the tune of death
and raged war on betrayal sweet
Yet on cold, dark nights she wails,
for her lost child
who lived as her soul’s stain
Oh! Matilda! She weaved
Carpets from Rain
Winter and its white ways,
shore peacefully in my barren lap,
they knit together my papery day,
as I dream in corridors empty,
and pour sand in that glaring gap.
Light! That rests on my window closed,
and the static jingle in the air,
the picture that I carefully tossed,
has moved not an inch,
being entangled in my hair.
The rusty moment on my pillow,
and its yellow glow,
it bathes the love lying on my right,
which stirs not,
for He hasn’t spoken to it all night.
The empty casket and the crumbled words,
lie strewn about my feet,
folded in a blanket of birds,
that stretches its hands,
to reach my lap and embrace the heat.
Rivulets in the bedsheet,
and pants of the white marble,
the intruding mirrors they greet,
and with courtesy unending,
introduce them to my floored towel.
The rusty moment on my pillow,
and the love on my right,
which does not with passion glow,
it stirs not,
because He hasn’t spoken to it all night.
One of the most inspiring and thought provoking speeches that I have ever come across. For all those who are grappling with career choices and those who feel they are struck in the wrong jobs or those out of love…
Written by Adrian Tan, author of The Teenage Textbook (1988), was the guest-of-honour at a recent NTU convocation ceremony. This was his speech to the graduating class of 2008.
I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It’s a wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.
My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.
On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.
Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs is always the wife.
And so I want to start by giving one piece of advice to the men: when you’ve already won her heart, you don’t need to win every argument.
Marriage is considered one milestone of life. Some of you may already be married. Some of you may never be married. Some of you will be married. Some of you will enjoy the experience so much, you will be married many, many times. Good for you.
The next big milestone in your life is today: your graduation. The end of education. You’re done learning.
You’ve probably been told the big lie that “Learning is a lifelong process” and that therefore you will continue studying and taking masters’ degrees and doctorates and professorships and so on. You know the sort of people who tell you that? Teachers. Don’t you think there is some measure of conflict of interest? They are in the business of learning, after all. Where would they be without you? They need you to be repeat customers.
The good news is that they’re wrong.
The bad news is that you don’t need further education because your entire life is over. It is gone. That may come as a shock to some of you. You’re in your teens or early twenties. People may tell you that you will live to be 70, 80, 90 years old. That is your life expectancy.
I love that term: life expectancy. We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I’m here to talk about a bigger idea, which is what you expect from your life.
You may be very happy to know that Singapore is currently ranked as the country with the third highest life expectancy. We are behind Andorra and Japan, and tied with San Marino. It seems quite clear why people in those countries, and ours, live so long. We share one thing in common: our football teams are all hopeless. There’s very little danger of any of our citizens having their pulses raised by watching us play in the World Cup. Spectators are more likely to be lulled into a gentle and restful nap.
Singaporeans have a life expectancy of 81.8 years. Singapore men live to an average of 79.21 years, while Singapore women live more than five years longer, probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in the bathroom.
So here you are, in your twenties, thinking that you’ll have another 40 years to go. Four decades in which to live long and prosper.
Bad news. Read the papers. There are people dropping dead when they’re 50, 40, 30 years old. Or quite possibly just after finishing their convocation. They would be very disappointed that they didn’t meet their life expectancy.
I’m here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.
After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.
Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.
That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.
If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.
Life’s a Mess
What you should prepare for is mess. Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armour against fate.
Don’t expect anything. Erase all life expectancies. Just live. Your life is over as of today. At this point in time, you have grown as tall as you will ever be, you are physically the fittest you will ever be in your entire life and you are probably looking the best that you will ever look. This is as good as it gets. It is all downhill from here. Or up. No one knows.
What does this mean for you? It is good that your life is over.
Since your life is over, you are free. Let me tell you the many wonderful things that you can do when you are free.
Resit the Temptation to Work
The most important is this: do not work.
Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.
Work kills. The Japanese have a term “Karoshi”, which means death from overwork. That’s the most dramatic form of how work can kill. But it can also kill you in more subtle ways. If you work, then day by day, bit by bit, your soul is chipped away, disintegrating until there’s nothing left. A rock has been ground into sand and dust.
There’s a common misconception that work is necessary. You will meet people working at miserable jobs. They tell you they are “making a living”. No, they’re not. They’re dying, frittering away their fast-extinguishing lives doing things which are, at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful.
People will tell you that work ennobles you, that work lends you a certain dignity. Work makes you free. The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. Utter nonsense.
Do not waste the vast majority of your life doing something you hate so that you can spend the small remainder sliver of your life in modest comfort. You may never reach that end anyway.
Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.
I like arguing, and I love language. So, I became a litigator. I enjoy it and I would do it for free. If I didn’t do that, I would’ve been in some other type of work that still involved writing fiction – probably a sports journalist.
So what should you do? You will find your own niche. I don’t imagine you will need to look very hard. By this time in your life, you will have a very good idea of what you will want to do. In fact, I’ll go further and say the ideal situation would be that you will not be able to stop yourself pursuing your passions. By this time you should know what your obsessions are. If you enjoy showing off your knowledge and feeling superior, you might become a teacher.
Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don’t, you are working.
Most of you will end up in activities which involve communication. To those of you I have a second message: be wary of the truth. I’m not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth. Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.
In order to be wary of the truth, you must first know it. That requires great frankness to yourself. Never fool the person in the mirror.
I have told you that your life is over, that you should not work, and that you should avoid telling the truth. I now say this to you: be hated.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.
One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong.
The other side of the coin is this: fall in love.
I didn’t say “be loved”. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.
Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.
Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.
Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.
You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.
You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.
Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.
Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.
Kahaani-Story- Tale. This is one of the very few movies that live up to their name. At the very core of the movie lies a strong, interwoven script, that folds in its creases many layers of narratives. While some narratives are strong, comprehensible, others are blurry, distorted and even filtered. But that’s the way it was supposed to be- since the whole movie is based around the concept of story telling, with multiple stories inter-meshed into the same net.
Apart from complex narration, there is another thing that the movie accomplishes beautifully. The art of romanticizing a city. Kolkata, in the movie, is not just a mere place of dwelling. Its a character in its own right. it evolves with the story-line(s), it swells up in excitement, it contracts into narrow lanes under pressure and it throbs with crowds in suspension. The days of Pujo, alongside which the story builds itself up, also give a sense of progression to the events. Every day in the pujo holds a traditional significance, and Sujoy Ghosh has extracted his cultural riches and squeezed them into the movie. Thus the hunt that is spread over the days of the puja assumes varied avatars- much like the nine incarnations of the goddess, and culminates into a violent but righteous end. On the last day of the festival, as the mystery unfolds and the search concludes, Vidya Balan is herself the incarnation of goddess Durga- her attire, hair and act of rightful revenge completing the canvas.
There is near perfect personification of other elements too. The persona of the tram, the metro, the clock blaring 8.43AM, the underbelly of bus yards and the pujo tents crowded with idols, finished and unfinished, are all very imposing.
“Aisa sheher hai jiska double role hai,” goes the opening song of the movie as it opens into the by-lanes of Kolkata. During the course of the movie, the meaning of this city with double role becomes increasingly clear, much like the meaning attached to two names for the same person (Daak naam and the actual name). Rana, whose character gets defined by the Daak naam concept is also a symbolization of a facet of Kolkata, much like Bob Biswas, the contract killer, who also epitomizes the underbelly of the city. Bob Biswas, I believe has delivered one of the best performances in the movie, his haunting Namaste echoes much beyond his gun shots.
Kahaani is a movie without a hero, but that’s at a literal level. In the frame of the movie, its Kolkata that emerges as the male lead. It’s mysterious, it’s unpredictable, it always acts as a shield over his muse and it romances Vidya Balan throughout. After her revenge is over, it is Kolkata that engulfs ‘B’idya Bagchi in its throbbing crowd and once again, acts protector.
If you don’t want to see the movie for its plot, or for Kolkata, see it for its brilliant suspense. Its one of the very few bollywood movies that can be justifiably termed as thrillers. With the exception of A Wednesday, thrill has not been our forte. (Remember Race?- a perfect example of a thriller that got thigh-busted!). Kahaani however, seems right out of a Frederick Forsyth novel.
All that apart, I for one, can see the movie again and again for its last shot. The shot of the Durga Idol being submerged into Hooghly. The gradually submerging face of the idol has an ethereal quality of serenity, of peace and of inexplicable sublime beauty. It declares another end, end of chaos only to lead to the chaos of normalcy. The epitaph of the movie that is delivered in the ever powerful voice of Amitabh Bachchan, adds a sort of story to the calmly receding Durga idol, much like Vidya Balan fades away into the crowd, enveloping in herself her sadness, her story and wiping off a villain from the land that is also her lover- Kolkata.
So, lets face it. There are not many people who belong to this category. It is reserved, so to say, for the traumatized, or the inhuman or the I-hate-animals,insects and all slimy creatures- types. While you are a lost cause if you belong to the last category, but whatever may be the case- the other class, that is the dog lovers, would never quite lose hope that one day your tiny-winy heart will melt to those cute little Beagles or the huge-lazy-docile Labs. And one fine morning, you will gladly saunter to the dog lovers majority of the world , eventually.
Beginning from bottom up- Yes, I’m not a dog lover. Or any pet lover for that matter. And I just don’t understand why the world is hell bent on making me one. Call me un-meltable, (I know that’s not a word but I will use it anyway) but I can’t think of myself sleeping in a bed that is full of dog hair, or worse still, sleeping with a dog’s head tucked under my blanket. No, a sight of a Lhasa Apso doesn’t trigger in me Awww type of emotions, nor have I ever felt like cuddling a dog in my lap. In fact, at the risk of being declared an outcast, I have never really even felt upto patting/ caressing a dog.
The problem is that I have hardly ever been left to rest in peace with my own notions. There have been attempts at debate, reasoning, practical sessions (of bringing a dog close enough to elicit love) and even some not so appreciated, behind the back scheming (Like leaving me alone with a pet in the house), but there has never been acceptance.
In the process of this totally one-sided ‘forced’ conversion- I have been labeled a lot of things- inhuman, traumatized, scared. What astonishes me is the fact that no one can just accept a person as not being a dog lover at its face value. If you are not exactly fond of dogs, it is something abnormal, something out-worldly and something that certainly needs rectification. And thus, after the initial gawks of others when you declare you can’t enter a house with dogs unless they are leashed or under control, there come remarks like, “They won’t do anything”, “You will get used to them and then you will love them”, “Just pat him, you will love it,” or worse, ” Just let him smell you.”
I’m sorry, but I beg your pardon? Why exactly should I let a dog lick and smell me all over when there’s is nothing that I would avoid more. Why would you just dictate my love for a species that I have never felt like venturing close to? And why O why must you reason me into touching something that gives me the creeps!
It’s even worse outside. People would do little to control or leash their dogs while on the road, and leave them open to smell and examine anybody walking along, while also adding various fragrances to car tyres, kinara shops and the roads in general. Ok, so you are confident that your pet won’t bite. Even so, how can you be confident with the assumption that everyone will appreciate the dog-touch that your pet shall bestow upon them?
I guess its non-relational politics at work in both the sects. While we the non dog lovers cannot understand a lot of things that dog lovers do, for the dog lovers, its an unsolved mystery as to how can anyone in their right senses not love dogs. It is at times, also something of a rather comical display of emotions for them, to see a person shy away from dogs or worse, yell on discovering unasked for proximity to a dog.
Let me here also clarify, that not being fond of dogs doesn’t translate into being indifferent to them. It does bother me to see an abandoned dog stuttering around in the cold, and it does pain to see a dog become victim of the highway. I have heart enough to ask my dog loving friends to see to an injured dog or provide food to a street one. I can even go to extent of saying “Cute” to a dog wallpaper. But I cannot allow myself to be examined, licked, smelled by a dog, forget caressing it myself.
I agree that non dog lovers are a minority community. More so in a world where the notions of keeping a pet have traversed much beyond pure security concern and love to being a much coveted status symbol.
So, in the end its like any minority equation- the rights of the minority community are as often disregarded as they are forgotten.Their choices are hardly ever taken into account. Instead, they are constantly pestered to accept the choices of the majority.
It happens with a Punjabi who doesn’t like Butter Chicken. It happens with a child who can’t bring himself to eat mangoes. It happens with the woman who would rather roam around in shorts. And it happens with people who can’t bring themselves to love dogs and go Awww every time a dog is in their sight.
Its a matter of choice in a free world. But to understand that, we have to begin from scratch and acknowledge that not loving dogs is indeed a matter of choice, rather than some sort of impulsive fear or compulsive disorder.
A sportsman who turns into a dacoit. The theme is simple and yet, it is disturbing. We all know the inglorious fate of sportsmen in India, yet the movie Pan Singh Tomar brings about a new awareness.
It doesn’t depict the struggle of a man to become a sportsman. That comes way too easily. What it does portray is the struggle of a man to be recognized as one. PST highlights, with all the subtext, that the genius of Irrfan Khan can add, that how easy it is to misinterpret fame. How taken for granted we tend to take the glory we bought to the country, to sit pretty in our plate as well.
Yet, in a country where chaos is order and power is most often either weapon or money in pockets, a mere sportsman with a couple of gold medals to his credit doesn’t stand a chance. The mishap happens at the very core. One expects their fame to carry forward beyond the field. Yet with the exception of cricketers or Bhaichung Bhutia, that rarely happens.
What happened with PST was nothing but this reality check. He tasted his glory, and was given the option to sit with his crowns intact once his hay days were over, but he went back to normalcy and tried to make things work for himself on the basis of his glory days on the fields.And that had to back0fire in a country like India. Not that PST was not aware of that-yet he tried to wield power that for him, was extinct.
In a way, PST is not a movie about rebellion, or unsung heroes of the sporting world, though that certainly is the most apparent message. (Made crystal clear with the names of unsung sports heroes who died penniless that appear in the concluding roll) It is a movie about the misconceptions of a man who expected the systems to fall into place only because he ran for the country.
What made PST a dacoit is not the inefficacy of the system to protect his family, but the fact that the system failed to do so despite his record breaker athlete status.
I do believe that Pan Singh Tomar gives us an insight into what would have been the logic behind Naxalism in India. It also tells us that once the initial revenge is over (In this case PST’s mother’s murder) it all becomes a game of terror, power and useless deaths. But beyond all that, PST presents the underlying dichotomy of fame in India.
It does not necessarily make the viewer emphasize or sympathize, because we are not sure if we would have made the same choices if we were in PST’s shoes. It does however, make us grieve. It makes us sad to see that a man who was wise and talented enough to earn recognition, wasn’t wise enough to not hold onto it.
That is why, there is a sense of sadness attached to all the beautiful sunsets of Chambal. PST is the story of a man on whom the sun is going down, and his sunshine days can do little to alleviate the apparent darkness.
I wonder if we have, as a nation, come to a stage where all stories of injustice and wrong doings of a system inflict little beyond sadness. Because that’s all I felt when I stepped out into the filthy exit of a glitzy cinema- Sadness. We have long lost hope from the system, and can only grieve for the people who weren’t wise enough to not hope.
I for one, think its more compulsive and addictive. You just can’t help yourself from peeking into the new collection, or trying to decide on a bed cover for your room when you are supposedly at work. It’s an escape, its a joy too, and it’s forever available.
You don’t have to make a reading list in your little notebook and search for it whenever you enter a book store (Though I still prefer it that way). You can just place an order with Flipkart instantaneously. Its the era of everything instant, and shopping is taking that turn too. A new dress for that weekend party, beer glasses, birthday gifts…Thing all varied and unimaginable crowd the e-shopping space.
Yes, there are glitches. In India you just can’t trust the delivery system. The logistics for a lot of companies, except the likes of Flipkart continue to remain a problem. The shoddy take back policy of some online stores also result in a sour mouth, as do some of the great discrepencies between that on-the-screen-huge-and-beautiful-looking-thing and the tiny-quite-ugly-looking-stuff that gets delivered to your doorstep.
Nevertheless, people are experimenting, and are getting hooked if they manage to strike the right chords during the first few times.
Despite the enthusiasm, there are doubts looming around the economic viability of the some of the financial models (mostly dependent on VC funding) that these companies are following. (For more on this, you may want to read this article I did recently- http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20120229/coverstory01.shtml)
But if you are getting a brand at 50% lesser price than a physical retail store, would you really fret about the money the online retailer is making?