Thursday, November 24, 2005

Dressed and Confused(DBCAs)

‘Open 24 hours’. In a fast-moving, never-sleeping,maximum city like Mumbai, one would expect such a thing to be written at a restaurant close to a railway station or more likely at a guest-house. But much to my amusement, I found this written across seemingly firm bosom of a mannequin at a Mega-Mart outlet in the suburban Kandivili. The very next day at my CAT centre I chanced upon this female (ok, a candidate) wearing the same T-shirt. No less than 44 eyes were ogling at her. 18 wore an amused look, 20 were looking at her just like any guy would look at a good-looking girl (maybe the T-shirt was what attracted them towards her, else it’d have been some other girl who’d be the object of their attention). And some 6 wore a seriously menacing look which seemed to say, ‘ok, let’s see what you’ve got madam’. Not that they intended to do anything dangerous, but the ‘bold’ statement the madam wanted to make had had its effect.

Now let’s come to the broader question. Before that let me ask myself one very pertinent question which you as a reader would want to ask me. The question being-‘what problem do I have with people wearing what they want to wear? ‘. At the outset, I’m a liberal and have no problem with people wearing what they are comfortable with. But what never misses out of my mind’s scanner and my watchful eyes is this whole thing of people wearing T-shirts to give out some kind of an attitude or to make a statement. If one is hip, hep, hop and dude/dudette -ish enough to carry him/herself well with the kind of attire he/she is wearing, that’s hardly anybody’s problem. But things tend to get a bit complicated when this segment of confused, wannabe youth wears T-shirts which appears to confuse them even more and with all the attention such T-shirts attract, the feeling of discomfort is quite palpable.

Che Guevera,Jim Morrison must be turning in their graves now. They are the ones seen most on these t-shirts PYTs wear. Yet they remain as foreign as ever. No, I’m not talking of that 8-year old kid who serves us tea near the college gate. He wears a Linkin park T-shirt with LP written in bold letters in fluorescent on a pitch black t-shirt. The shoulders of the T-shirt extend well beyond his elbow. Forget LP, he probably wouldn’t even be aware of Dr.Kalam being the president of India. I’m actually talking about this college-going student with a decent pocket money at his disposal, seven of ten of his ilk have a bike at their disposal too, hanging/chilling out with his friends at the most hip/hop/hep/ happening places in his city/town. You have more probability of finding such a vikas a.k.a viks in a tier 2 town than a city. But I wonder if wearing a black t-shirt with an ‘in your face’ face of Jim Morrison with ‘The Doors’ in glossy bold letters doesn’t exactly make him hip/hep/cool/. Complete the picture with a goatee, long hair, a yo-man with the ‘rock sign’ to boot interspersed with *ucks and screws, you have the DBCA- desi born confused American!

Am I actually saying that the kind of t-shirt one wears is an indication of an identity crisis or something? The point I might want to make is on a shaky ground and the arguments may not be backed by enough convincing arguments. But to me it appears more convincing than having to look and wonder at a female wearing a t-shirt which had –‘ for authorized persons only’ written right across her bosom.

P.S. Did the girl wearing that open 24 hours open t-shirt mean open as a noun or as a verb?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Sound of Silence

This blog's been silent for a while because I'm tied up with some things and been listening to this song over and over again. Next post sometime around 1st week of December.Exams from tomorrow!

Hello, darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision
That was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
Beneath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share...
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools," said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows."
"Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed in the wells of silence.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said: "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls,
And whisper'd in the sound of silence

-The Sound of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel