Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The systematic murder of the cultural references and memories of 80s' Generation

Blame it on the “times they are changing” phrase, the generation born in early 80s and the one who started following desi MTV version in 90s, have of lately been so busy in earning and making a mark for themselves that there is a whole set of their childhood memories that is being systematically usurped by the…by whom...actually – I don’t even know where to put the blame.

My dear single screen cinema halls are being wiped out slowly in the name of “intellectual” audience sitting in those posh, grossly priced multiplexes and thinking that dancing on a song or clapping on a dialogue is “oh so low society…”. And the same “intellectual” set of people still paying to watch timeless classics like Wanted, Blue, and Kambhakht Ishq. The obscene prices of Parking, Pop-Corn and Cola. But oh I forgot, my generation is so busy in deciding their “salary package” with the new company or shouting on his/her junior subordinate “ke yeh sab ke liye time kiske paas hai…just pay, relax and enjoy. Its just the weekend. Chill…..


Test Matches too will soon go. I read someone commenting, “Test matches need results for surviving these competitive times”. I remember sitting in Baroda’s IPCL stadium watching Ranji Trophy matches leisurely and since there was no commentator there, I used to sit on the balcony stand and give a commentary for an audience of 14 to 16 odd people. The match was being played between Baroda Vs. Saurashtra. Agreed, even then the audience was not there for a 5 day match but now the debate is out there. People are debating whether to put an end to the Test matches. Its scary.

Indipop, the songs and the bands on which I grew up have all either vanished or merged with movies. Has anyone of lately heard an album from Silkroute, Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Colonial Cousins, Sonu Nigam, Altaf Raja, Mika or even the genius rap guy Baba Sehgal. Agreed some of them were not talented enough, but they had an audience – an Altaf Raja was always appreciated by a certain audience. Today, Indian Ocean, Euphoria keeps performing their numbers in Delhi, Bombay etc. at Live Concerts. Baba Sehgal supports himself by acting in some mediocre serials. Mohit Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, Alisha Chenoi etc have all submitted themselves to films. Where did Remo Fernandes disappear?
I don’t know what happened to Magnasound – the wonderful company who supported all these upcoming artists. Infact such is the situation today – that the desi MTV and Channel V have become everything but Music channels.


Television is not the same – people expect over the top humor, crass acting, lavish sets, spick & span costumes and make up covered faces, either the characters or the background music are permanently shouting on top of their voices, and before you know the camera would have completed its Zoom-in-zoom-out ritual every ten seconds. Newspapers too have followed television.

Even the kids today are so tv. Their mothers have got them systematically trained. I can tell you of so many instances where the kids I have met are asked to behave in “cute” fashion. They need to have a pet toy with a cute name. They need to be wearing flashy frocks and t-shirts. They need to recite the latest songs on TV, speak in English with guests and have to have a hobby when asked – all this while you are still a kid. I heard a kid saying: “Morning school, afternoon dance classes, twice a week French learning classes and what not…They are trying to make their kid look as if I have come there for an audition of a reality show: The Rockstar Kid of 2009.

Train journeys are no more fun for my generation. Infact, people on facebook no more travel by trains. But ironically, they are always busy on discussing the lowest flight fares.

They all want a t-shirt of Che without actually understanding what he stands for. If probed, who’s that on your T-shirt, some may even go on to mistake Che as some music band rockstar. Rockstar he was, but in a different sense altogether.

And finally if you are on facebook, then you have to put it across your friends that “you are happening man”. Life has to consist of all super hit moments – weekends, free gifts, getting high, holiday, watching a rubbish movie, Play Station, speaking the “F” word is so cool and showing the middle finger is very very cool – oh wow – my generation. You know what, you do not have the power to paint or write/create a poetry. By the way some do try to defy the norm and say I paint or I am a poet – but mostly it is for the heck of it. I am yet to come across a genuine one and then Arvinda Adiga expects that "if we teach every child how to paint, that will be the end of the poor in India" Keep dreaming Mr. Adiga. Even if we learn to paint, it will be 3 to 5 - monday, wednesday, friday.


Its like the dialogue in the film Fight Club when Tyler Durden speaks:

“God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.”


Basically I know where to blame now – to the root of all this is the one major divide: There is no middle class left in India – ether you are Elite India else get into the section called Delete India. And every life problem, every diminishing cultural pattern has its root in the above thought. Try connecting it. Of course, I am sure you don’t even have the time to complete this article in one sitting. Your mobile ring must have come up twice, your chat messenger would have pinged twice and oh did someone hear about Google Wave. Its so cool man.. I am on top of technology…aaaaAAArrrrgh…

Shut up….Shut Up…

Blank…

Monotone…



© Copyrights 2009 www.bhaandgroup.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

9 comments:

निखिल आनन्द गिरि said...

I am lucky that i read the whole article in one go.....
i am lucky that i still dont use facebook frequently
i am lucky that i can write some good words that can be called poetry
i am lucky that i can still die seeing sachin batting on 99 and facing 50 more balls to complete his century in a test cricket.....
i am lucky that my train fares still matter more than 'hawai' yaatras....
i am lucky that i have a friend like u who still thinks of sparing some time to give others a recipe to think......
blogging zindabad

nir said...

Nice article hardik...especially the title - "systemic murder". However it takes me back to my thought library where I blame it on mental state of people with developing economies.
It all starts at a traffic signal, where you always want to be the first to go, when you see green light on. Its the instinct and not a bad manner or practice. Our competitive instincts drive us. Its always about the race, and satisfaction is lost somewhere. Facebook,Orkut just provides with a convenient way to compete in this so called 'race'. No one thinks about lasting long anymore. Its always about how to outlast people around us. I am surprised when I see my dad and how contented and satisfied he is with his life. With the current competition, its hard for anyone of us to be that satisfied with life. Remember as kids we were asked what are your hobbies? Most of them would say watching TV or surfing. Do you expect it to get any better 20 years later. Welcome to social networking - urban hobbies. I am grateful to some of my hobbies like music where I can be myself, no matter how good/bad I am, at least it gives me that good old feeling of accomplishment in a non-competitive way...

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hardik mehta said...

anonymous ...how will i email u if u dont reveal ur identity!!! :)

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