Friday, August 10, 2007

Who we are and what we do.

Tears (quite literally) in Bangalore following the sad demise of the historical MG Road boluevard and an 80-something year old building which housed the equally ancient photoshop GK Vale and Lakeview ice cream parlour. Another instance of a fragment of history, of time itself being amputated to welcome its modern counterpart. This time, the underground Metro.

Why tears, you ask? Alas, any heart would stir at an ambush, more so because it involves a century old green showcase dismantled. Because it is a quiet rendezvous invaded. Because it brings back memories, happy ones. Tear would then be little tribute to something as revered as a cherished memory, that lost love, the sole ambient light, dying melody. A farewell note.
Desperation. Frustration.

Who are we and what are we doing? Why are we treating inanimate-yet-truly-alive structures worse than parents being thrown in old age homes? Is it because some faceless visionary thought loss makes the heart grow fonder, that loss teaches us values? That, I gather, is the philosophical pretext debating with the anthropological pretext of modernization to obtain a reason to destroy; a debate which will not find a judge for eternity, both being lost causes. Philosophy does not teach mankind. It only makes visionaries. And destroys.

Why do we even create captions like 'live and let live' if adopting them was out of question before their creation? We are blinded hypocrites and happily so. This is probably the only conclusion drawn from the want of a subway station precisely under century old green boulevards (no, replanting trees elsewhere cannot replace the original), antique buildings and not a few walkable yards away. If non-livings are shown such 'mercy', one can only imagine the value life carries and what it would fetch in times to come..

The old man is dead. He will not return. Others are dying. We cannot save them. Many more will die. We will not take trouble saving them but indulge with grandeur on their graves.

May our dreams of evolving into another US or UK rest in peace.

(note the sarcasm)

12 comments:

Nisarg said...

Interesting,I understood what you wanted me as a reader to feel...and I felt...because I loved eating "Pani Puri" at a near by pull-cart "Lorri"and because of making the area more luxurious they banned all Lorriwalas.More than pani puris or Golgappa as they say in some other parts of India,I enjoyed watching people feeling good and enjoying something which they really liked.We ,friends, after coming from school used to stop by there and spend 2-5 rupees...and watch people and we would make fun of them.It was really live and enjoyable.

However Now they have a bench there and every time when I passed by that location before entering my home ,I remembered that Lorriwala and our enthusiasm about PaniPuri.But situation now ,is not even that bad,I see old people taking rest there after a walk.I see dogs sleeping under the bench in the winter.I see people reading newspaper.I see children playing WWE cards , I see two lover having a stimulating conversation and all these things may not make me feel the same but I learned that sometimes destruction is necessary for construction. The place is still being used and perhaps well used..small things can be really very satisfactory sometimes...for example one of the aunt who lives next door to me , always says to her daughter that I''ll pick you up by the bench.

"Philosophy does not teach mankind. It only makes visionaries. And destroys."

I think this very argument destroys the thesis...How can Philosophy only destroy...when it also creates visionaries. And I think , It's necessary for nature to destruct things.

Read : 3 times.

*Now I am in the USA,I had this observation when I was in India and when I was in 12th.

rachan kamath said...

Thats a nice blog you've got there lady!.The language you have used is awesome.why dont you try writing articles for the newspaper??...just a suggestion:) And sometimes you sound more 'Brit' than the Queen herself [:D]

Akshata said...

@ Nisarg:

"How can Philosophy only destroy"

Read it the 4th time. I never said it ONLY destroys. Thesis restored.

@ Mr. Kamath:

Much honoured, sire. Thank you. :p

Akshata said...

@ Nisarg:

There are profound things about the boulevard you dont understand. In fact, the very same things which used to happen on the bench that replaced the Puri wala happened on the boulevard -- kids playing, lovers talking, friends chatting, now all gone. It was full of such benches; imagine what would strike you if the bench was gone, the next time you passed the place? Can't see how a subway station would replace it. This time, change was not entirely for the good. It's life removed. The pang.

pravin said...

I suppose we do need a place we can just call home. That's the reason we kept our ancestral house the way it is - with mud walls and a thatched roof. Every now and then when life just gets to me, I retire there to unwind :)

But then I suppose a city needs to grow. Perhaps they could've chosen another place for the tube.

Nisarg said...

Hmm,Well,I would not like to argue here.All I would say is that change is inevitable and one should either try to change the change if one thinks that is not acceptable to his or her.Moreover, I think you should wait a while to see what this new change at your place come up with. And it is a firm belief of mine if I would not like the change I would change it or I would change myself.

Matter ends...Next!

Nisarg said...

"Regret is just waste of time!!" Don't you think so?

Akshata said...

Wish I could agree.

Regret is a reminder. Regret is my teacher. Personal opinion. Matter ends. ;)

Karry said...

Finally, I find an intellectual discussion somewhere on the net. Happens rarely. Only if you search for it. Good to see it's happening here on my sister's blog. :)

As for the article..well, I find it hard to swing either way. While there is need for modernisation, to keep up with the rest of the world, it shoudn't be at the cost of those things which have helped us sustain ourselves so far. Of course, people might claim that US, and UK, and the rest of the countries have done it without much damage to themselves, but I cannot help but ask, how many people in the US and UK are really healthy? Of course, Indians suffer from uncurables like AIDS, and all that. But Americans, however many vaccines they have, however many facilities they have, face obesity. Diabetes. They actually go and sit in oxygen parlours..makes you wonder, is modernisation really worth it?

There are beautiful places in Bangalore, right at the heart, which I hope are never disturbed, no matter what. Places like Sankey Tank. Or those old establishments which are being removed to make way for huge malls to attract deep pockets. Metro might make our life easier to live, but, at what cost?

Philosophy isn't a waste of time, sis. But it isn't the answer to things, either. It just gives you a way to look at life. It makes visionaries as you said. But I do not necessarily agree with the destroy part of it.

As you said, personal opinion.

Yet another great article, sis. :)

Yes, I know. My comment comes really late. Thought I would make you wait for it. :P

Nisarg said...

Ah..There is a difference between experience and regret. Mind that. :P not it ends.I end what I start.Gabbar Sing.:)

Akshata said...

Gabbar Sing? :o Call me that again and you'll have the stuff knocked out of you. x(

Nisarg said...

Gabbar Sing! Did I say that again? :O .