I don't know how much the current generation of teens and youth out there remembers, poetry or not. After all, this is an age of Memory Chips and 100+ giga inexpensive hard-drives. So save as much as you can. Even dedicated drives for downloaded DivX movies. Ek Dum!
When I was a kid, there used to be this scheme run by the government to encourage savings at a young age, called Sanchayika, whereby your schools used to run a sort of Savings Bank and each child could credit to his/her account even 5 paisa - each day or whenever possible. And we were proud owners of pass books. When I quit school, from 7th std until 10th, I had saved 32 rupees painstakingly over 4 years and to receive it as hard cash!!! Rs. 32/- in 1981. How much is it worth now?
Well now, am not talking of that savings.
Save to Memory. The watch word of the day.
And thus computer does make Hoarders and Packrats of us all!
So, everything is available on the World Wide Web. There is no need to write notes, buy bazaar guides, burn midnight oil at the 11th hour. Visit one of the many essay and guide sites dot com and search and save.
In absolute contrast to the Nazi burning of the books where the watch word was "Search and Destroy", now we are witness to the age of Search and Save. In either case, we spare the world of paper. Thus Nazis and We are both contributive in our own ways to Save Trees, Conserve Ecology and all that jazz!
As an extension, we spend more and more time on the WWW. As a natural extension we start living out our lives in front of the Computer more than in real-time. Leaving aside the fact that we now consume more hydel energy instead of Bagasse, communication, exchange of messages, emails, opinion sharing all happen in this P2P world of give and take. I am going out there one of these days and go on a Friends of IPO (IPO Bachao Andolan) a-la Medha Patkar. May be I'll go on fast and get Saif 'Cyrus' Khan to endorse and probably have his movie banned at our own Q IS DEAD MOVIES!
I read the other day that postmen who used to go door to door to deliver post and parcels, of late have also started carrying stamps, money order forms et al so that now they are mobile post offices of the minidor sort. Yes, now that courier deliverers have taken over going door to door to deliver posts and packets and parcels, IPO-men have to move on. IPO ya BPO - ay, there's the rub! So anyway, these poor souls have no raison d'etre anymore. Even worse, no one writes to the postmen anymore. And the Postman Doesn't Even Knock Once.
Blame it all on the blog!
I must be getting past that age when I can't consider myself eligible anymore to be in the youth age-group. The newspapers who write about theatre in Chennai have done away with the youth tag on me. There are real youths (I mean 18 and 19) getting into theatre. My early theatre days was like the English cricket team of about until 5 years back. The average age of a theatre youth would be mid-20s. Chennai Theatre scenario isn't so anymore, it resembles the youth world of American tennis (15s and 16s), although the English Cricket team seems to be cruising on the mid-20s aver-age mode as ever (else how do you account for Shaun Udal!). So, forget me. Move on to real youth.
The youth seems to have its own ways, as it always have been through the ages. Except, we are entering or have already entered an absolutely new hi-fi age where high infidelity and low fidelity rates in relationships are the norms. But we are not talking that either. We are talking about the habits of keeping unearthly hours.
I normally fuzz out at 11.45 the latest in the night. Times were I used to crawl home at 2.20 and 3.10 am on my Titan Dial with an array of smells in my breath, enough to make the Fragnipanis and Baldinis of the world go dizzy with envy. Not any more. I cop out at 11.45 PERIOD
And the next morning I get up early (which is about 6ish) to check my mails (lest there are heavy downloads on my mail, since I belong to the primitive civilisation of Dial-up users) and surf the net for info I seek for any writing projects of mine. And what do I find? The comments to posts on some of the blogs I visit as well as the posts themselves bear the stamp of Interstate 1.00 am-ish to 3.00 am-ish. I got piqued and asked couple of my young gen acquaintances in theatre.
Well, apparently around 2.00 am is the time of maximum DivX Downloads since the broadband is relatively faster then. So while a six-hour download starts its life, the surfers all commune at the bloggers park and start posting and commenting.
It's Darkness in the Junge, Listen to the Night!
Wow! Who would have thought that a country that two decades back was pronounced as backward and developing and conservative as it went to sleep by 9 pm to wake up and start its day at 4.30 am to the sounds of cows named Radha and Lakshmi swinging their heads as they chaffed at the fresh grass, would today go to sleep at 4 and 5 am!! Who would have thought that a country divided by the plates that unite Vindhyas underground would get together in the night. After all this is the country that got its Freedom at Midnight!!!
And then there is Call Centre! So what's so unique about Call Centre life anymore. I scoff at all these yuppie Call Centre folks when these days they come and strut about their night life. I hear you Chetan, we are in sync. The whole nation is anyway awake and that is a whole new world, brave or not. We have started working and communicating and now even conversing to Western Time Zones.
What happened to the good old real-time meetings among friends and common-interest groups? What happened to all those days of arguments and debates and exchange of ideas and trading of opinions and formation of hypotheses over coffees and pakoras at Debate and Poetry and Literary Clubs? Everything happens on-line.
Coffee is Passe and Latte is In!
Even neighbours seem to communicate either through phones or emails. I mean, the traditional description of a neighbour is a person who lives next door. And even if Indians don't anymore live in wall-sharing street-houses, we all live in neighbouring flats. How can two neighbours who share the same floor of the same block of the same apartment complex not open the door in real-time and walk across to each other's interior to say something?
This incident happened to my brother, am not joking. My brother had gone to his headhunter at Bangalore to attend his overseas interview calls as he was poaching for a job to get back to US after a couple of year's break. Obvious, it was a call center. And he was attending interviews. According to records and some sidewinding done by his B'lore companpy, he was supposed to be attending an interview call from Nebraska or wherever. They do it regular if you didn't know. That's how Indian placement guys operate. You give them a CV they forward another to their headhunting clients... further doctored needless to say. In the first place, most of the job-seekers themselves partially doctor their CVs to reflect the latest in CSHARPs or DOTNETS or whatever, and show the most recent employment as until the other day even if they were not employed until the other decade!
So, coming back... suddenly the guy at the other end, apparently his prospective employer, interviewing him gets a bit fishy and decides to probe. Actually you're sitting in India right? Haaarrummmph! Well... things kind of work out! The thing in my brother's favour was that at least he was not putting up accent or disproving he's Indian who used to be Murugan or whatever turned Mark or whatever! And then he happens to adjourn to a near-by eating joint! Wonder of wonders... he runs into someone with whom he starts chatting to while time away... and that guy narrates the story of how he was sitting in a Bangalore Call Centre and happened to interview a guy who's supposed to be in Nebby or someplace... No joking, this happened a bit recently! So... we've reached a stage in the drainpipe where two guys sit in the same Indian town and behave like both are in another western country and interviewing each other! I SALUTE THE CONTEMPORARY FIBRE OPTIC INDIAN PREDICAMENT! What shall I say?!? That was just an example what we are leading ourselves into.
The cutting edge age of bytes mega and giga
We are witnessing - and some out there are being part as well of - a generation that has become unable to structure their thoughts seriously enough that they have started speaking in monosyllabic "Hey" or bi-syllabic "Howdy" (now that comes from Frontier Westerns originally) or "Hey You" or even better "Sup?" or "Wussup dude" irrespective of the gender of the addressee or addressant or whatever s/he is! And we have become inept in communicating spontaneously not because of our lack of language tool, but because we are losing touch with reality. We need to constantly update ourselves about what's up in the world of current affairs or movies or music or books only because the next time we visit any blog we need to be able to participate and leave comments so as not to make a total turd of ourselves. Who cares? No one even knows whether you visited or not. As the used to say in the Frontier West days... "If you don't leave yore corral, yore hoss don't leave no trail, sabe?" But we have also become info-exhibitionists that we feel impelled to impress others with our knowledge that was probably acquired as a result of nethunting for info on Wiki or Rottentomatoes or NYT or Salon.com or wherever just a couple of minutes back after reading other's comments. And so the bangwagon of insecure generation rolls on!
Was it Robert Frost who said, "Poetry is what gets lost in translation"? If that, and as a natural extension this current gen is Poetry as it is getting lost in translation from real-time to blog-time, then am I witnessing Poetry in Motion? With too much of verbal diarrhea, it is probably a bit too loose motion. And they now even have a new terminology based on blogging that should anytime get into the dictionary.
BLOGGER CANDIDATE. That's how TIME described a certain IRAQ War veteran who returned home and was spurred by a politician friend of his to run for the Democrats in the election. The candidate spoke about all things that never would mean anything in realtime to the voters. And he got outdone by a traditional Senator candidate from the same county because he knew the reality. That's what it is. Blogger Candidate. Too much of attitude and too little REAL info. How much of info that is being exchanged on the blog really is useful? "Well, it gets people to know each other better... these little little exchange of opinions". So what're you going to do? Is this a sort of about to be married candidates prospecting each other? Beat it!
Arre... wah wah... new to Blogging? Welcome to Blog World (or like I leave as my housewarming comment, W2BW).