Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Picking up a thread - 1

[This episode will be an attempt to carry onwards, in an irruptive manner, from and with, a phrase barely mentioned a few posts ago...]

As someone who grew up in the 80's, it's easy to say that the broad pattern in which I remember doing certain things isn't something alien to some/other kids of that time, and those days. Of course, this conclusion can only be drawn on the basis of some I know, few I like/enjoy/love, and even fewer with whom I can share...

Most specifically, the complicated movements being undertaken to begin this post point to one set of experiences whose resonance, as fond memories, I've sometimes uncovered amongst others my age. Much has been written and will continue to be, on that near-ritual: watching TV on sunday mornings. And, in a way, the writing of this phenomena is in greatest proximity and alliance with the extract from Illuminations about childhood, collection and the materiality of the world, and the feelings invoked by the Bravia Ad.

To begin (again? but haven't I begun already? (If yes and/or no,) where am I right now?) ... A few posts ago, I mentioned and barely lingered on the theme that 'at age 3, I had ideas of wanting to become a Sikh militant.'

It the 80's, and Doordarshan (tr. "a medium that bridges distances; bringing from afar, into proximity") was the metaphysical and technological heir of Akashvani (tr. "the voice, words, wisdom of and from the sky.")

[ Remember, this was less than a decade after the Emergency and All Indira Radio, and barely into the 80's. The Glorious and Brave 80's, when the Government applauded the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. When our own desi GOP continued to screw the country even more. One of the main side-effects of this shortsightedness and mindless bumbling the onset of another set of long, bloody, and almost unsolvable insurgencies (Punjab, Kashmir, Assam, amongst others.) Yes, the Mizo Accord was groundbreaking, but still...

Interestingly, the 80's were also when quite a bunch of 'young turks' began to establish themselves. Some of them were part of Old Boy networks, "young, energetic and enthusiastic" - the Congress' 'good people' who entered politics ('praise tha lawd!'), giving up cushy positions in industry, bureaucracy, and even returning from ze phorein lands. For 'scratch my back and I'll scratch your ass' positions in and around government. [The person(a) depicted by Shiney Ahuja's character in Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi offers an interesting preview/comparison: young, connected, emerging from traditional privilege Enablers, Fixers.

Many from this 'batch' - not necessarily only composed of the type Shiney Ahuja played -are now very powerful politicos (in charge of Agriculture, Petroleum, J&K, Bihar, to give a few examples.)

Most importantly, most were Post-Sanjay. Its not as if His Gangsterness' cronies never went away. All they did was sing another set of paeans. To Mother India and her Youthful Dashing, Pilot of a Son, soon to be crowned. (The phenomenon of piloting suddenly reminds me of Derrida's 'The Other Heading'. Hmm :-)

In a way, the 80's was when India was sought to be dreamt and imagined again. Maybe, the 80's was a time of crisis, in a way far different from the 70's. ]

</end enormous aside>

"A Sikh militant? What the fuck (is wrong with you) ?"


Unlike those who only saw the cartoons ('He Man - Master of the Universe!', Spider Man, Tom & Jerry, G.I. Joe etc etc etc) I think I would get up earlier than usual, and in addition to watching the aforementioned 'toons, also tune into what was broadcast before 9am. Krishi Darshan, with its standard opening line of "kisaan bhaiyon ko hamaara namaste" (sic) (tr. 'our greetings to our brothers who farm the land') was an absolute bore.

But prior to that, the 8am slot, was reserved for Gurbani (tr. words of wisdom of the gurus.) I'm now reminded by the parents that I'd kneel and bow my head to the televised image of the Guru Granth Sahib, as it was televised on our black and white Uptron (which, incredibly, had shutters!) How I'd rage about what the Army was doing in Punjab on the behest of Indira Gandhi. How revenge and violence were the only ways forward/left, after
what had been done to the Golden Temple and Bhindranwale.

This was 1984-5, at age 3-4...

In the context of these memories, it was interesting to read portions of Harmandeep's site and blog - particularly, this post - recently. Additionally, his account of a bike ride to Goa rejuvenated many fading details of my own trip to those parts of the country, in late August and early September this year.As always, I don't recall how I reached any of these pages, but then, that's the net for you.

(via) Now grooving to: Deep Space (1.65mb), Driving Me Crazy (2.81mb), Acid Peak (1.56mb), and Kangna (remix) (1.5mb)


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