, This century started with the fears of Y2K problem about which in my class, some guys – whoever had some familiarity with computer, including myself – never got tired prophesying about. “A great doom lie ahead!”, I’d declare. I was bit happy with the idea of witnessing something so colossal. As the first morning appears in 2000, there was a pleasing announcement in ‘Samachar Prabhat’ (Moring News) by All India Radio that the problem somehow did not appear. I was bit amazed and surprised. I did not like things happening this way. May be AIR got it wrong with all the time difference around the world. I had to wait till 8:30pm till ‘BBC Hindi Seva’ announces that there was nothing happened as predicted. What an start of this decade with a propaganda! The Lie and most importantly people were believing it blindly and forgetting about it just after few day. However some claimed that this problem will emerge in Feb 29, 2000. I waited but no one on Radio took the trouble to inform me on the same day.
This decade had been a decade of naughties as far as Paul Krugman and some Guardian “Free Comments” are considered. People occupied themselves with all the financial collapse and all the shamelessness of Wall Street guys but was not as occupied with Gaza and Iraq/Afghanistan.
Anyway, in my motherland few interesting happened in this decade. First of all, I post-graduated with a degree about which I am quite numb. Second, We have seen common people loosing their definitions. A common Indian no longer lives in villages. It is now english-speaking-upper-middle-class-brown-skin guy who has the habit of ‘work by day’ and ‘party at night’. The real Indians are forgotten. Its none of their fault since they do not form a part of market. But a good thing happened in popular culture. It was return of idealism and real english-speaking-professional-upper-middle-class guys. ‘Rocket Singh’, “3-Idiots”, “Delhi-6”, “Paa” were the movies which signifies this peculiar behavior in Bollywood. A real nice thing to be happening around.
In past, we also had a lot more idealist movies than we have now. ‘Rocket Singh’ and ‘Satyakam’ are so same yet so different. In one, where the life of staunch idealist protagonist turned sour and was forced in destitute with his family, the philosophical factor is prominent than real one. In ‘Rocket Singh’, its the corrupt guys who bite the dust at last. Which is more real. May be Satyakam is more real but Rocket Singh is heartening. Its like comparing Avatar with The Road. Satyakam is with values, Rocket Singh is with reality with fun-factor. One is as depressing as other is hilarious.
A kind of situation is between “Mother India” and “Slumdog Millionaire”. If you ask me, “Slumdog.. is a perverse movie.” It may be real. It may be successful. But it strip off the basic dignity from the people It so piously claimed to speak for. On the other hand you never have a low moment in “Mother India”. Its a story, like a story of “A girl with basket” on Allahabad platform who refuse to take money from the author out of self respect. The story is of partition time. When author come to visit India. The girl was selling basket. She wanted to sell them author also who had his hands full since he has bought a lot of stuff. He put some money on the palm of that girl out of sympathy who returned it back with a smile. Few stories, whether real or imaginary, are life-shaping.
Another thing which has changed in this decade is how people are advertising. No longer Dipoka Ji extolling the virtue of a washing soap. No longer a woman body is being used to sell a car. These days they are selling lifestyle. They are selling ideas and philosophy. Abhishek, is no longer selling “Idea” connections. He is selling the idea of using more mobile. They are making fraternity. Some MNC are using Gandhi to sell their pen. Ironical! Since He was the biggest supporter of Swadeshi. Irfan Khan is no longer using security of insurance to sell them, He is using fear and insecurity of life to sell them. Should We consumer let it happen?