Aug 262003

The Heroes – Mumbaikars

This must be the most remarkable place in the world. yesterday afternoon at around 1 pm. two bombs went off and killed 46, and injured 140. and there were rumours of serial bombs. the mobile network went down and the tv channels (star news in particular) reported every idiot hoax in town.

you would expect a sense of fear, of panic of even tension. I went for a meeting at 3 pm to safed pool – kurla. an overcrowded dump. and people from all walks of life – going around their work and their business

Today everyone is back at work. i have had a few meetings, dozens of phone calls – and every single person i know is back putting mumbai on her feet.

The Villians – The bastards who placed the bombs, and the Government

Last night i felt a terrible impotent rage – rage at those who placed the bombs, rage at a government which is so busy endorsing the distribution of trishuls and the banning of cow slaughter, that it has forgotten to look after the security of its people

LeT, LeS, some jumble of alphabets is quoted after every blast. but has the government given us anything apart from rhetoric. has the government upgraded the tools available to the law enforcement agencies? somehow i will not be surprised if the government knew about these attacks but chose not to act – afterall a communally divided india is as convinient for them as it is for the LeT.

Aug 162003

It was very interesting to see the power black out in the USA. a lot of people i know smirked. they now have an experience of being third world, they said. But i guess in a lot of ways, they already are.

Here are some common characteristics of “Third World” countries – oops sorry developing countries – see if it applies to your country (some of it applies to mine)

Spend more on the military than on education/health/social development

Subvert the Political Process – rig elections

Put people who oppose you in jail

Create an environment of Hate – and campaign on the basis of that.

Handover Utilities such as Water, electricity and telecommunications to buddies who rape the institution and give citizens a poor service

Curtail civil liberties in the name of national interest

Ensure that your friends, and family have key positions and become amongst the richest in your country – and they influence Government policy

Ensure that your poorest become poorer while your richest become richer

Destroy your manufacturing base, deskill workers and ensure that foreign companies earn the most money and send it out of your country – while your brands disappear and your people remain jobless and your coffers remain empty

Go to war with someone, anyone will do (it could even be within your own country) – to ensure that attention is diverted from how fucked up your system is.

Note to citizens:

Citizens – buy candles, boil water, and ensure you have your savings in gold – you are not quite sure whether anything will last

Aug 032003

A cultural hell is a place that has been designed by “creative” people for other “creative” people. where we will hear whiffs of “post modern” and “neo freudian” and “hegelian dialectic” and the adamsian paradox – but not much else.

yesterday i saw a guy on tv. ndtv 24*7 no less. he was one of those “artistic” types. he said something that blew my mind. “creative people should spend more time with other creative people”

and when i heard that piece of wisdom the last part of the jigsaw fell into place. the puzzle was – why is such a thriving society so fossilized in its art forms. why have we produced no great piece of literature in the last 50 years – manto and premdas were the last of the greats. why have we produced no great films in the last 30 years. why has our musical innovation died in the last n years. why are we so pretencious in our cultural output

that is because creative people, like academics and like marketeers, spend time with only their own kind. As a result they are in a complete contextual cloud cuckooland. the context of their art has no real basis in mass society.

culture is derived from society. without interaction with society at large you cannot hope to be creative – because at the end of the day it is society that has to consume your art form.

If you say art for the sake of art – great. then don’t crib if no one buys your art form or admires it. However, you want people to appreciate your work then provide them with something that they can associate with.

You want to write, create and deliver pieces of “art” that no one will understand spend time with your kind – you want to create something that endures talk to the milkman, the dhobi, the bai, the rickshawalla, the farmer, the bus conductor. You have so much to learn from them that it would truly open your eyes to “art”. Picasso’s greatest work happened when he was fighting the spanish civil war. Van Gogh spend his life with people you won’t invite into your home. Premchand was involved with the community as was Manto. Sahani spent his time with ordinary people as did Ray.

My fav this year has been byatt having a go at jk rowling. byatt is art because no one except an elite crowd reads her books. rowling is crap because everyone reads her books.

Intellectual and creative snobbery at its best!

Having said all this i still think the bulk of tv is crap 🙂