Long back in college a professor was enraged! He told us, the technology influences and shapes the way we interpret the world.
He also lamented the fact that the world was moving towards the visual culture. He blamed it squarely on movies and TV. Those were the only 2 culprits those days.
As per the erudite professor, the
visual aspects of life were getting more important as these technologies penetrated new areas. He shouted in the class--
" What a pity! People are more concerned about how things look
then what they actually are!"
I thought he was overreacting. Professors are like that only, we chuckled.
But recently when I visited Kala Ghoda Art Festival at Mumbai, the professor's words rang true to me. Almost everyone had a camera. Not just camera phones, many of them had a real professional equipment.
The art festival had some great installations. But people were more interested in clicking the pic then having a close look at the 'Work of Art'.
"Click me with this horse in the background! We will put it on Facebook!"
So many people gathered around to take a selfie with the installations that you just can't admire it in its fullness. You would be obstructed by pose making girls and their boyfriends putting their arms around...installations as well.
Just think about it--Camera is indeed a great thing to capture the visuals, but what about the first excitement that a piece of art creates in you? The questions that could arise when you watch an installation closely. What could be the artist's intention in creating that art? What she wanted to convey? "Was that just a horse? Or there was a deeper meaning to it? What about the craftsmanship?"
She writes in the intro to her art work: It's something to provoke the sensitivities of the
society against the torture on environment. Come again? Who is concerned about your sensitivities poor lady? These Pepsi guzzlers with selfie stick in their hand-- which is
almost in your face are there to make a statement...Look I we were at Kala Ghoda art festival. Here is a proof...the high resolution picture. Now LIKE it!
I imagined my professor standing there with me. Utter disbelief in his eyes as he saw those 'Facebooking' guys. His voice was weakened with old age so he could only whisper,
"My boy! These bloody cameras should be banned, break those if they insist!"
Do you think he is overreacting once again?
Enter your text here...
I am hurt. Not just by what you said but many more things. And don’t get alarmed by that shoe there. It’s for a meaningful purpose.
Before you make any perceptions about me, let me assure you I am not a bhakt. Not an Aaptard, not a congi. I am an Indian. A funny Indian, as crazy as collectively we all are.
I attended RSS shakha in my childhood, when I didn’t even know it was a shakha. I used to go to a playground and an old man facilitated the games for us. He told us many stories, most of them moralistic and patriotic. I was not brainwashed. On the other hand some of my best friends are Muslims. I went to their homes, attended weddings in their families, even ate from the same khoun along with them. I refused to drink from the same glass of water because I didn’t find it hygienic. And they didn’t mind. Even today we are friends. Except one who turned out to be a bigot.
So, that’s who I am. If you noticed I addressed you only by your first name. That last name is not important to me. So in that spirit, take what I am saying seriously.
You are an inspiration to many. In this country where people demand the top post just on basis of their last names and family lineage, you mean much more to us. You are a symbol of rigorous preparation, hard work, commitment to the job that you do. You can get away with less, but you demand more from yourself. We appreciate this. We watch your movies to discover that brilliance.
Amir, that’s why such a huge outcry on your comments. It’s something that people never expected from you. You too Amir! That’s what everyone is saying. Don’t brush aside the criticism as ‘Bhakt’ outrage. It’s coming from every nook and corner.
I understand Kiran’s fear. In fact I am also afraid of morning newspapers. When you read about thousands dying every day due to terrorist attacks, a mother killing her own daughter, illegal buildings eating the greenland, little kids being abused in school buses, one must be concerned. My wife is concerned about page 3 with all those semi nude pictures of your colleagues getting in the hands of children. I feel concerned with the news of political leaders and the celebrities getting away with crimes while many innocents are suffering in the prisons. It bothers me when the news channels discusses silly comments of news mongering people for hours and nobody bothers to talk about the handful of inventors and innovators in this country.
Did it all happen only in last 2 years are so? Has things suddenly deteriorated so exponentially that someone has to leave the country? I don’t think so. And if there is an increase it is not just in India, the intolerance is increasing everywhere in the world. May be due to social media things are talked about much more. Earlier only you could talk your point of view on the TV and common men didn’t have a way to respond. But now they are coming back. These are same people who go gaga over your movies and help spread the word. Did you give it a thought, how movies suddenly started making 100 Cr mark in a few days, in last few years. It’s the same phenomena. Appreciation and retaliation are more pronounced now. While appreciation feels good, we are not used to criticism. It sure is something new. May be some people don’t understand the etiquette, they abuse and it feels bad. I understand some people have hidden agendas and misusing these new mediums. And that’s where that shoe comes in the picture.
That shoe looks new, but it’s not. It is a worn out shoe. It is polished to look like new. That’s the shoe we are wearing as a country. We are one of the oldest civilizations in the world, but with a new passion, new aspirations and looking to match the pace of the world.
The shoe is not meant to run. It is not a sports shoe. But we are in a hurry brother. We are running with the same shoe. That’s the fundamental reality. People who wore it for long, used and misused it. It started hurting so much that people pulled out the old wearers. Now, for past 2 years the shoe has a new foot in it. The shoe will take time to adjust to this new shape. This new guy wants to run fast. He is as good or bad as any other politician in this country. But I feel he is more in your league. He prepares for his role. He seems to be committed to the script.
If you ran in a leather shoe, you would know it is not comfortable. And this new guy wants to run faster than anyone else. You personally may or may not like him but as a country we chose him.
And there is one more thing. The pebbles. Even you can beat Usain Bolt if he has pebbles in his shoe! In our shoes there are so many. These pebbles have suffixes like swamis, sadhvi’s and maulana’s. They hurt. And hurt even more when you run fast.
Amir, when you made that statement, you added one more pebble in the shoe.
If you think the intolerance is increasing, you have a right to that. But when you say you want to leave the country that hurts. Things haven’t changed that drastically. Even when everyone is crying out for boycotting your movies, they won’t. May be they won’t go to the theaters but watch it on torrent downloads. But they will watch the movie and appreciate you. This country is not that intolerant in that respect.
But we must be intolerant. Much more intolerant in many areas of life. I suggest you should lead that intolerance! Like intolerance to -under performance, sab chalta hai attitude, and rewarding the lazy imitators (Like our copy-cat brothers in Bollywood who imitates shamelessly and call it inspiration). The known pebbles can be thrown out anytime but these are the serious ones. No one talks about them.
Let us get these pebbles out. You will see the shoe changing its form. One that is meant to run and will hurt less.
Let’s keep the faith.
With best wishes to everyone in the family,
Another crazy Indian!
Sometimes an image can express much more than what we can say. This picture has evoked many questions in my mind.
I am asking, "What's the true freedom'?
While we can take decisions independently, are there invisible shackles still there? If not, then why do we settle for the ordinary? When we have great ideas in our hearts why do we comprise and go for the mediocre approaches?
What truly govern our actions? The drive to rise, to make the most of our potential, or the survival instinct? Why do we tell the truth in close circles but not in open forums? Why do we criticize the powerful in hush hush voices but keep mum when the occasion arise?
When we know the path, why don't we walk on it and wait for others to lead us?
If we know the shackles are there why not break them? Today and now!