Incomplete Zero

Completing the Nothingness

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Bastardisation of Everything

Many hail the liberalization of our country a decade and a half ago for the cushioning comforts it has bestowed upon our lives and hark back to make comparisons with rightfully demonised License Raj that was the third child the great lady gave us along with Jekyll and Hyde. But looking deeper beyond the gloss into how our country has changed, more specifically our culture and lifestyle and how for the poor the things have not changed, we have to question the paens.

Liberalisation has directly made a substantial monetary and hence material difference just to one strata of society:the no longer middling class.What about the poor, well they are waiting for the trickle down effect and given the immobility of labour in India they will all be dead in the short run as in the lon run all of us will. But the greatest and most telling effect of 1991 has been on our culture and lifestyle.

The liberalization of 1991 was not the opening up of the economy but the prostitution of Mother India; we opened her up, and our generation the bastard children born out of that continuing prostitution. We are the bastard children of that prostitution because we have no identity, we can no longer call ourselves Indians in the truest sense nor are we truly Western because we only understand their superficialities and popular culture.

Every country and its people evolve a culture over a period of time, like a girl transforming from the sparkling adolescent to a beautiful woman, that is unique, that is the churning of the great minds that their land produced. The culture manifested through language, music and various art forms passed on from generation to generation who develop it and help it along its further evolution. India is a marvel because of the multiplicity of languages and cultures. But the future of our rich cultural heritage seems bleak.

Our current education and value systems governed by free markets and designed to produce alpha males/females to work for big corporations and ensure that wealth goes into a few hands, do not even provoke thought. More and more children of coming generations would know their mother tongue only in its colloquial form and would be unaware of the beauty of its literature and hence would not contribute to it. Kids being prepared to become scientists and CEO's have too much homework and parents are busy meeting deadlines to even contemplate such trivialities. Do children down south still take lessons in Carnatic music in the same numbers as before or even my generation, do youngsters between 15 and 20 in Maharashtra ,Bengal and Kerala take an interest in their theatre and literature, i would not hazard a guess.

The precious little time people get is used to devour popular culture, which also is no longer Indian. Liberalization and hence the right of MNC's to sell their products in India has brought about a fundamental change in our society from a predominantly non-materialist one to a materialist one.Ours was a land which espoused the need for moderation and futility of trying to find fulfillment of the material unlike the West which was always so, and now we are more like them than ever before, just like Japan is a cheap imitation and hence a huge market for the U.S. . Selling products, as my fellow MBA's would vouch for, is done by occupying mind share and this by altering popular culture through the media. Our wants are controlled by the constant bombardment of audio-visuals through the media. Television which at one point of time aired simple gems like Nukkad,Rajani,Mr.Yogi and the list goes on.., can now only pathetically ape the reality shows which are popular in the West, and which again just prostitute the emotions of the common man and his near and dear ones for TRP’s.

Capitalism creates an illusion of happiness. It turns all of us, like Tyler Durden said,into nice consumers . I'll sell clothes to my friends while I buy their housing loan for that cozy apartment, car loan for that sexy SUV , insurance incase I can't withstand the high pressure lifestyle and deadlines and finally all the cosmetics in the world to keep me forever a young metrosexual who downs his food with cola.

Man has always been driven by the hunger for power and possession and since the first one became the leader of his tribe, we have been constantly been evolving more sophisticated methods concentrate power and hence possession in a few hands. Earlier it was direct, riding on regal horses and elephants with majestic swords in hand chopping of heads in a single swoop, now its totally subtle, it will happen while you are watching Indian Idol and you kid is on the computer. They don't need your body, just your mind.

Is there hope and salvation in any other 'ism', yes nihilism.Human beings essentially flawed as we are can never do justice to any ideology but the one of self-aggrandisement.So even if the revolution is achieved ,the power its brings to the victors will betray the very ideology that gave them power.

The big wheel is moving on, a few cogs make a noise,drop out drowned in the din of the great march forward,and roll away into silent lush dark green alleys and slowly nestle under their favourite tree with all the time in the world waiting to rush into their outstreched arms, if only more could and would do so.


Friday, April 01, 2005

The Sacred Feminine

Intoxication is good, especially the kind when you have cosmic air circulating inside you. Noise in its truest sense is quarantined and hence allows for an interplay or jugalbandi between the senses and the mind, where the nuances are appreciated in the most mundane inanities and profound sensibilities. Each of the senses is at its receptive best: music never sounds more crystal, words are never more meaningful, the eyes see patterns hitherto unknown, the taste buds at the touch of food (and lo behold if its sweet….) transport one to heaven, all this is possible because one travels from point A to point B in any of these experiences far more slowly, imbibing and assimilating bereft of any noise. But the experience one would truly cherish beyond the sensory is when one lets the mind travel, find something and then delve into its essence. In my mental eye I am running across the lush green grasslands that is my mind, in search of a thought or an idea manifested as a poem, a song or even a person. Knowing an idea by reading is incomplete knowledge and experiencing the depths of it is knowledge with understanding.

The conscious is nothing, it’s the subconscious that everything. What is consciousness, a state where our five senses working in perfect condition take us way from ourselves towards the outside world, the things we hear, see, listen, touch and taste. The knowledge of the subconscious is what takes us closer to our “selves”. Last nights ruminations during travels in the subconscious were such a revelation.

Human beings yearn for affection at their very core. In their partners for life they are looking for this very affection: the male for maternal and the female for paternal, and in generally in a strictly non-Oedipal sense, though the latter also exists. In short men look for mother figures and women for father figures. Women have a latent maternal affection in them because of the faculty of childbirth. Hence between two mature individuals of the same age the woman will more than fulfill the man’s need for maternal affection but the man cannot provide the same. Thus, a woman can be a mother to a man a couple of years older to her because of the latency that makes up for age and the man with the wisdom of age can also reciprocate the same. Therefore what ancient wisdom states that there should be a certain age gap between a man and woman in a relationship is very correct and profound. Freud with his insights into these needs shocked the laity in the early 1900’s; the ancients would also have had the same insights and reasons but would not have stated them openly because of the nature of society at that time and also because men were more willing to follow what the learned said, unlike today when the virtue of recognizing one’s ignorance about the self and the world is a forgotten one.

Taking off from the above hypothesis, if the concept of a God as the Creator and the apotheosis of Love, Compassion and Forgiveness is true, then the sex attributed to the human embodiment of this concept cannot be masculine it can only be Feminine.