Monday, November 3, 2008

part 2 of 2...

Perspective changes when one witnesses the unexpected. These guys have preserved in all their modernness, an India and Indian-ness that we, living in the country, haven't! Its been taken for granted at times, or just hasn't been thought of as important enough to cherish in our day-to-day lives. The "chalta hai" generation, as Nishant put it quite aptly, is too casual about most issues. Be it something cultural like this which might still be trivial, but even the few blasts a couple of days back in Assam and Guwahati, a few blasts in Mumbai before that, a few in Gujarat, Delhi, Bangalore.. and life goes on as usual!

There are always going to be the ones who actually get things done, and ones who crib about how fucked the system is! But its not going to be easy, it requires sacrifices, one at a time, people have to give up this materialistic maze that they live in and get things done! To clean up the system, to get our roads made, to get into the political veins of the country, to improve social security; India has a GDP of 2 Trillion $$ today, but so does Brazil, S.Korea, Russia, MEXIfuckinCO! with 1/10th or 1/20th the population which relates to 10 or 20 times the amount of money for each person. The U.S has a GDP of 12-13 trillion, with a GDP per head at 45,000$ ... India is at 650$!

I have not included China in my list here, we do NOT compare with them, they are not a couple of years ahead, but many many years ahead in terms of development that has already taken place in their country, we have years before we can catch up.

I realize that if not duty, the capability or opportunity doesn't exist for every Indian to fight the system. The average Indian has too many daily issues to be going out fighting the system, he'll only end up warped into it further. Here's the predicament...

Well, for starters, since I initiated the topic based on the "Indian-ness" of a few ABCDs, there is another point to stress on. It is of my opinion that only the exceptional ABCDs have managed this balancing act. These fortunate ABCDs have parents who have excelled in their professions, most probably they were the older generation who studied either Medicine or Engineering before settling in this country. Not only this, these Indians who settled abroad must have struggled during their initial years, the only difference being, that this struggle did not include bribing the policeman, worrying about whether their children would get infected due to contaminated water or sitting in the dark as the electricity just went out. There probably are just as many ABCDs who dont really give a damn about Bharatanatyam or Kathakali, or even about who wins their next election. Just like the average ABCD doesnt give a damn, the average Indian is too caught up with daily issues to be able to celebrate our "Indian-ness".

My itch is with the those exceptional Indians who are IN India and who should be trying to do something for this country. I hope I do not end up as the one who just cribs about how fucked the system is, but actually do something to make it better.

The only catch here is... who decides whether they are the chosen exceptional ones...?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

one night at Harvard university...

what a night!! .. what a fantastic night man, I just got back from probably one of the most innovative performances ever! ... brilliant would be an understatement in terms of the quality of themes that they used, the choice of music.. the choreography... the everything!!

And what am i talking about? well, I of all people, am talking about a Bharatanatyam performance! My maiden trip to the U.S has been a very satisfying one, in terms of the fact that I've been able to accomplish whatever I had planned, meeting friends, family and also explore the place to an extent. But this, had to be the icing on the cake. I had a glimpse of the life of few students, ABCDs mostly, in one of the most prestigious institutions of the world. It so happens that one of my cousins in NY whose daughter is studying at the university was participating in an ethnic cultural event of sorts in which they were performing BharataNatyam.

Growing up in Vashi, New Bombay, my parents have not inculcated certain values that other tam-bram families do; which includes learning and actively following CARNATIC music and Bharatanatyam. So I have been to very few performances of this sort, frankly, I get BORED since I do not really understand what's being portrayed.

But I went anyway, point was to spend time with my cousins. The auditorium was quite packed by the time we arrived. A mix of a lot of Abcds, few Asians and Amrus. The concert ensued, these 20 odd girls had obviously been trained since thier childhood, and even more obvious was that they were super talented and hard-workers. The manner in which they went about the show was very professional, one of the dancers always made it a point before every piece, to come and explain every move and step that they would use during the piece, and this made the whole show extremely clear to the audience as to what exactly was being conveyed. It wasnt just mythological bullshit, but a mix of modern ideas and scenes from daily life that they portrayed. It wasnt just carnatic music in the background, but from A.R Rahman to Asturias, I heard it all, from the movie Black to the crucification of christ, I saw it all, it really was fantastic to a layman like me. And this was all happening in Cambridge, MA!

I had come to visit the campus, the historical city and capture a few moments through my lens but had been given more than what I had asked for... end of part 1 of 2...