Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trip to God's Own, or, Is It?

I don't have many good things to report on my journey to Kerala, the
train journey I mean. Have we accepted anomie as a part of our life?
Immediately after entraining, I noticed the tendency to be corrupt and
cheat that we are born with, something genetically linked to us.
Anyway I entrain to find a crowded compartment, overflowing with
people who don't have proper reservations. There's a mother with only
three ticket for four people, there are two people joy riding on two
other people's reservations (their tickets are in the waiting list),
and the compartment is full of people and luggage. This disturbs me a
bit. I am at discomfort because there is a person on a seat on which I
should be sitting. There are nine children running amock in a space of
six by six foot area.

All the children happen to be little monsters. One monster's (pardon
my impertinenece but I have to call them monster) favorite strategy to
attract attention is to cover his ears and scream at the top of his
lungs. For everything he screams. Seeing him the other children also
become loud and scream. Children are good imitators, which is how they
learn. Then one monster clambers to the top berth and jumps down not
looking at who is below. Another too. Then he kisses another boy on
the mouth and say "I love you." They do these things without being
conscious of what they are doing? Where do they learn this thing? I
thought it might be an isolated incident but when all the monsters
exhibit this sort of behavior I suspect it is the genetic signature of
the present generation brought up fast food, television, and attention
deficit syndrome. Sadly, they are influenced by and are repeating what
they see on television.

Why do I say television? Because the only time they were a bit quiet
was when they played a television song request program complete with
"where are you calling from?" and "what are you doing?". Then, you
won't believe this, they sit and repeat verbatim the advertisements
that pIlay with such tiresome regularity on televisions. They repeat
exactly the words of "Dar ke aage jeet hai (there is victory after
fear)", "You and I in this beautiful world" and the lyrics of all the
bawdy item numbers. And they say television should not be regulated
and we should give a free reign to the programmers. Can you imagine?
We are bombarding impressionable minds with the most dangerous of
human depradations and base characteristics. And we think it doesn't
matter.

I know I may be in the ranting mode here. The children's mothers
seemed lost and didn't even try to control their wards. I suspect
their teachers also do the same, as a child of five says in Malayalam,
"I will bury you," to another and the mother watches and laughs at the
smartness of her child. No, she isn't embarassed. Nothing personal
here, but is this what the child hears from them? When I used to
travel to God's Own in my childhood I remember I used to sit without
moving in one place because my strict dad was around. All the children
in the compartment barely moved. But that may be glorifying the old
and decrepit.

But tell me, in this knowledgable and enlightened world isn't there
anyone to advocate discretion in viewing of mass electronic media?
Isn't anything there like parental guidance and self regulation? I am
amazed by my discovery inside a compartment of the Garib Rath to
Kerala.

I am sorry to write all this drivel when I am on vacation and I am
supposed to enjoy myself. It took the joy out of my journey of
discovering and filling in gaps in my understanding of God's Own
Country. I am in for some serious introspection in the coming days.

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