My new friend, S. didn't laugh when I told her the basic story, of my small life. She was like, "Ok, I've like seen cooler people do cooler stuff." That was nice. Our cities are more and more conservative, expecting more and more, that common things should happen again and again. Its not just the media with its syrupy formulations of family life, its also the fact that the neuclear family, the cosmopolitan reality and the rapid and universal debasement of all things simple and small in the market-we-call-our-world. In this-world-which-is-a-market-in-disguise each of us is merely wearing clothes, wearing tongues which makes it easier to sell in our lane. There is no bigger context, there is no bigger rationale. Most of the time. It feels almost sick sometimes seeing everything reduce to their peculiarities. Films sound and look like films, TV like TV, Art like art, artists like artists, love like love. Sometimes someone dares to be honest, speak the truth - things seem fresh, as sharp as chilli pizza on buttermilk. This way to be, or feel cannot be aspired to.
We have tied ourselves up in knots which are more complex than what a new aspiration could resolve. We need respiration not aspiration. Anyone who is trying to inspire you, trying to make you take a ride to the other side is essentially short of breath.
In cities we don't care so much about what anyone else is doing or being - it is a diasporic, immigrant experience. Re-inventing our history and tradition, desperate for some prescription. So the urban ethic has re-defined itself as the TOI-experience. British or Australian education, call-centre jobs, new Nokia phones. The immigrant experience has its own freedoms and liberties - if we are truly able to leave, cut-off, disintegrate our memories into foam and lather which goes down the drain.
This need for tradition distorts our guilt-processor playing with it like a honky-tonk horn. People actually feel guilty today because they do things, they think they remember they were told by someone not to do! Else the guilt is sterilized and the role of the window-watcher, wallflower is easily taken on. Militancy in the social order is not on the cards, liquor is pretty cheap and there are havens, there are vacations which one can easily enjoy for a small price.