In the play Seagull, Chekhov’s opening lines set the mood for the evening. ‘Why are you always wearing black’, Medvedenko asks, ‘I’m in mourning for my life. I’m unhappy’, replies Masha.
Welcome to the new India, same as the old South Asia. Midnight’s Children have presided over the longest ‘snooze button’ press. Ever. Our esteemed fore fathers have left us with nothing but this annoying feeling of being forever in mourning.
As any Indian and by extension anybody born in the South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, because we are all the same. Except in cricket, where we bat, Pakistan bowls, Sri-Lanka bores you till you give up on Life, the Universe and well pretty much everything and Bangladesh…. Um, watch this) will testify, our birth into this world and subsequently our childhood is filled with optimism: yet somehow, by the time we grow up we have this sneaking suspicion that we should be wearing black.
I don’t know why? And at this point, like most of the ‘young ones’ ennui has set it in. I don’t care anymore. I just want to go out and escape the country any weekend I can. Party hard and escape the morning any dawn I can. Wake up early and escape the traffic and save my mind any weekday I can. And I am one of the few people that loves Bombay; I don’t even mind the traffic (good time to watch all those TV shows you’ve missed – people shouldn’t download stuff illegally, you can of course drive and use your Laptop, the law only stops you from using your phone).
So a huge part of me is tempted to stop here, partly because concluding this thought on this note on a negative note would give me immense pleasure, partly because it gives you, the reader, another reason to feel let down. [Side note: If you are reading this and are still not used to the crushing disappointment that is life in South Asia, you are most likely below the age of 18, or its Holi and you are on Bhang – in both cases, please go do something more fun than read this] and partly because the latest episodes of the Rich kids of Beverley Hills is on.
However, having been inspired by Manjunath , I think I/we should work harder to try and answer these questions; we should be the change we want to see in the world (that and I get paid by the letter). So here goes.
Education/School/Learning: For most people school consists of one building, some sort of garden and an inadequate level of education and classroom cleanliness. Pure sadness. As a child I remember the dread every time I had to use one of the ‘restrooms’ in school/any other place that wasn’t home. I have been in mourning since; every time I am outside and I feel the urge to pee a dread comes over me that only leaves me when I reach home.
Teachers, I love/loved my teachers, but when you expect the people that control your future ability to get laid (earn money) to get by on 10000 re a month, you are in for zero learning. It also means your P.E. teacher doubles as your math professor and you History teacher, is your English teacher, you don’t learn you merely ‘go to school’. By the time you reach your teen years, you’ve lost so much faith in your teachers your pay many times their salary to take ‘tuitions’ and ‘not learn’ the same things you are ‘not learning’ at school. However the time you truly feel like mourning, when the darkness seeps into your soul is when you start university.
One of three things happen when you end up leaving school, you go to abroad ..totally rad, you find a pointless college in India (Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics is pointless) or you end up at an IIT or IIM. This is when the despair truly sets it. What you realize, when you start studying abroad is how ill equipped you are to grow. How the skill set you’ve been ‘taught’ has forced you to either completely reinvent your self or condemned you to forever become a cog in a machine, never it’s creator. If you end up at Hassaram Rijhumal , by the time you’ve realized how inadequately the place has set you up for life, your working at a 9 to 5 job , and still some how getting home at 8pm and working on Saturdays.
This disappointment, this feeling that you are capable of so much more, this attitude of always blaming everyone, stems from this innate disadvantage we face when we grow up. We are setting ourselves up to not fulfill our potential; to be always dressed in black.
The good news: this is super easy to fix. We had Nalanda. Now we have Bihar. It’s time we went back to Nalanda.
The Paranoid Android isn’t really an android, or paranoid. In much the same way Bruno hasn’t been to mars and U2 isn’t really about us two.Merely musings that are wrought from the depths of my despair (not as deep as Adele’s though, that chick is really really sad ). The aim of these thoughts is to prove to you (and me) that we are all doomed, life is pointless.