Friday, 25 January, 2008

Desi Equation of Cosmetic Modernity.

India has been the cradle of human civilisation long before humans even understood the meaning of the word.The cradle spawned n sprawled and couple of millennias later 20th century happened to the world, which some how didn't touch India.With it came industrial revolution, electricity, cars, stock markets, telephone, radio, television, quantum physics, space flight, satellites and computers. then 21st century dawned and the world got economically flattened which was true for India as well.India which remained largely untouched by the changing world of 20th century due to reasons best known to our socialist leaders, was wide open to the changes of 21st century due its robust economy and rapid globalisation, which leapfrogged India from 19th to 21st century in a matter of 15 years.internet, ipods, social networking, information exchange, online marriages, outsourcing of wives n insourcing of husbands, BPOs, tata nanoS, DJs, FDIs, 20000 high stock market index, 9 pointer gdp growth, rising buying power and most importantly the free will to spend money that came along with it completely changed India that we had known of.midtown madness of multiplexes and malls and mega malls and giga malls and hyper malls and theme malls and lifestyle malls and food malls and accessory malls and ...... malls took over and gave an outlet to splurge money on anything and everything.from designed kitchen sinks to modelled lavatory covers with a mini phone to brag about all of it to the next door neighbour whom we prefer to talk over social networking sites and webcams rather than tete-a-tete.everyone we look at is supposedly happy and in a 24X7 happy-go-lucky mood and money seems to be the answer to all of people's troubles.

But all one needs to do is dig a little deeper into proverbial "RAM sharma" and his even more proverbial live-in girlfriend "SITA kapoor" who have an unproverbial child named "DASRATH" whose last name is yet to be decided upon.in this situational cast of characters we have the father of the child "RAM" who works in a bank as an investment banker, whose office starts at morning 9 and ends at evening 6 but actually has to start out from home at morning 7 in order to reach his office an hour late due to traffic congestion and who ideally reaches home at 10 in the night.on the other hand we have our very own "SITA" a throbbing BPO worker whose work time is from evening 9 to morning 7.needless to say they don't get to see much of each other and hence they communicate via sticker notes, online web messengers, office phones.sundays, which is a holiday, goes unnoticed since both the guy and the girl need to catch up with their sleep only to be losing it over a fight on the same evening. this time they are fighting over RAM's alleged romance with his young secretary "URMILA" and SITA's office spouse "LAXMAN" who is SITA's boss and himself has a broken marriage with URMILA. amidst all this elegant 21st century Indian happy family melodrama the little baby boy "DASRATH" hollers, who seems to have lost his sleep over screechy squealing of his unmarried parents.the mother who is unable to lull down the harmless little boy losses her cool and calls up the nanny who acts as the acting paid guardian of the child in absence of DASRATH's incessantly non-existent parents.the monthly price that the nanny charges is very exuberant but the parents can afford to do so but can the child afford to lose out on his parents? they also have two cars, two two-wheelers, carry two cell phones each, have two maids for cooking and cleaning, have membership in two exclusive clubs, two circle of friends, and now that its evident, two separate lives too. having all of it and more is chic, vogue, fashionable and "IN" and of course is the modern definition of a high life and of having seen it all and done it all. our perception of modern India at least from a rookie's point of view is the point of view of millions of wannabe youth who want to be happy and redefine it too, wanting to live the truly sophisticated, new age modern life.

The modern rat race of life is almost like quicksand, which for reasons best known to fools like you and me, looks very tempting.why else would all of us plunge neck deep into it, only to figure out that the more we fight it, the deeper we are drawn towards the bottom of the quagmire.our dreams of happiness are as ephemeral as our definition of modern modernity and of fashion so hideous that it has to change its intolerable elan every week. genius are people who started all of it and more so who even after witnessing the demise of such people, fail to learn from them, only to finish with another billion people at the end of their lives.in the rush of plastic money and plastic happiness, we are fast forgetting that socio-economic hike comes with its own share of socio-economic problems, which if not tackled well, will be followed by retribution of the worst kind.welcome to an india where where cultural programs means fashion shows and where growth means every 1 in 3 Indians still earns less than a dollar a day.all of it is taking its toll on you and me and hence on India that we live in today and the one we are building for tomorrow, unless you (read I) make a difference...