Divide and Rue

I’m back! And on Pi day, at that. Or at least, I was supposed to. I owe the knowledge of the day’s existence to a certain Mr. Bhagat (and his 3 mistakes). Ditto for Australian beaches and what transpires there. More than two weeks thence, and a college fest older, I find myself in familiar territory. It’s not a particularly easy or enjoyable (lest your social presence and persona don’t easily allow you the privilege of getting on people’s bad sides) task to go about organizing the aforementioned (Special mention to the game of one upmanship that emerges across the various social media platforms as our inevitably clashing fests release their awe inspiring lineups for lectures and concerts.)  Especially if the fest in question happens to be the ‘annual technical extravaganza’ of the college. Tl; Dr : Simon Taufel was here, I was elated. He returned, and I reverted to my perpetual state of brooding/ semi- sadness.

While I went about blissfully (at times, if not always) trying to change the world in my capacity as a post holder, there was unsurprisingly a lot transpiring in the realms around us. Usually, I’d just resort to poetry to bail me out, but I’ve now realized that I use too many proper nouns for people to take me seriously.  That, and a penchant for drawing in Federer. Hence follow some unfunny questions for thy consideration:

  • Is it normal to be depressed on Birthdays? And I don’t mean the “Birthdays are just another day” or the “My rear really hurts” or the “Birthday Bash induced Birthday Blues” depressed.  Real, unmitigated grief, punctuated with layers of disinterest. Vivid enough?
  • Is Quora beyond saving? I recollect being proud at introducing my friends in Ryan to the joys of Quora. The irony of the phrases in bold owe their origins to my overblown sense of achievement, my delusion and accelerated depreciation, respectively. Jokes aside, it is genuinely saddening to see a hub of knowledge degrade into a repository for pickup lines and relationship advice.di
  • Do Ishant Sharma’s theatrics ordain an Emmy nomination? In about ten seconds, Sharma’s face conveyed the entire range of emotions that his ‘fans’ have been through over the course of his almost decade long journey with the national team. In a series replete with brain fades, weird snake references and dinner invitations, Sharma’s distortion of the limits of human emotion definitely held its own.
  • Are writers a hit with the ladies?– I’ve been to the Jaipur Literature Festival and have witnessed public proclamations of “I’m your biggest, biggest fan!” turn to proposals rapidly. The writer on stage, with his hair done just right, sunglasses in tow, blushes and wryly acknowledges the adulation. Wish people who wasted their Sundays in conjuring blogs and optimistically making their cases could get some of the aforementioned.
  • Is dealing with withdrawal tougher than dealing with a relationship gone astray? The ‘withdrawal’, in my case refers to just the lack of fest related work. There is an innate unhappiness as you watch the power and control over proceedings which you held dear slip away, gradually. Not as sudden with its impact as the latter half of the question, but equally grief-inducing.
  • Was the Kohli- Smith love story  a deliberate PR attempt, apart from holding its own at innuendos? With the ingenuity of the name calling from the Australian media, Amitabh Bachchan’s slightly illogical rebuttals on Twitter and Kohli himself making use of the time spent off field (which was a lot this series, especially with India batting) to come up with obscure Youtube videos, it served as the icing on the cake.
  • Is it ethical for professors to cite politically lopsided examples, in a course for which the same are neither essential nor really relevant? Without getting into a debate on teaching methodologies, wouldn’t it make more sense for him/ her to focus more on the syllabus and the content for the course than that clearly enunciated ji after naming their preferred political leaders?

Murkiness, thou art now afoot! The last three months have added some new perspectives to the incessant ‘war’ between the left and the right. With each side getting stauncher with their ideologies, the Gurmehar case was just one of the earlier infringements of the clash in aspects of our daily lives. Wasn’t the first time that it happened, and doesn’t look likely to be last.

As the left goes ballistic, claiming to stand up for the downtrodden and yet resorting to every vile measure that they accuse the other side of using, and the right goes around doling out decisions and lathis (and in some cases, rape threats) and cover it under the all encompassing cloak of nationalism, one seems to have no choice but to be a part of these two warring factions, the left and the right. Or better still, “The corrupt/inept/ ISIS agents” and the “Bhakts/ Fascists”.

We had a poem in 7th standard by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, I believe. ICSE had its perks. And an awfully long syllabus. The essence of the poem is still relevant.

My country! In thy days of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
And worshipped as a deity thou wast—
Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well—let me dive into the depths of time
And bring from out the ages, that have rolled
A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime
Which human eye may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be,
My fallen country! One kind wish for thee!

 

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