Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Fad Nation


“Photography is my passion, I love going on photowalks and clicking my DSLR”
“BBM me”
“I love wearing these loafers, they are so awfully comfortable” (Oxymoronic is the in thing)
“I need a new phone that works on Angry Birds” (Pun Intended)

Well these were some of the umpteen expressions that have become so very characteristic of our very own dearest Fad Nation. Today everything you do, see, wear, talk, thankfully not breath has to be so-called “trending”. Oh, coming to trending. Twitter started it for tweets, and we’ve ended up using that word trending for anything we can get our devil's workshop to think off.

Before I say anything else, let me make it clear that I have no qualms about anyone’s hobbies, interests, and skills (if you actually possess it). In fact it is our right to do things we wish too! Moreover I’m not even making any judgments here, as that is something I personally never do. But what my issue here is the fact that the lately nice thought of people wanting to express themselves, follow their dreams is going/has gone (so truly Indian) a little too far.

If you’re good at photography, then I’ll be more than happy to appreciate your different view of the world but please, for heaven’s sake don’t borrow interests. Today having a camera is just so cool (not kewl, credit to Swathi for making sure that I correct this slang which I was hooked too :)). Everyone ends up buying a DSLR, better they don’t even know what it means and what exactly they want out of a camera so 8 out of 10 people put up a status on FB saying “Planning to buy a DSLR. Suggestions please!” I mean come on! Get a life people! That’s not where it ends, as these brilliant people go on photowalks (only for the first 2months since getting a camera) and they make sure they aren’t dressed very well, thanks to the stupid never-existent stereotype that creative people are seldom decked up. Wow! and I always thought one would never have to make an attempt to be original or yourself.
Sadly, this entire hullabaloo about photography (with only the camera manufacturer’s are blissful about) has made us/will make the remaining of us repulsive to anyone who buys a camera and we’ll stereotype him/her to be a ‘wannabe’! Photographers, Empathy!

Not so long ago, Blackberry was the best business phone in the market. Today it’s the best BBM phone available. There are these wonderful soul’s who even go to that extent of ignorance by saying ‘Dude! I just bought a BBM phone’. Will somebody please, for the love of god, tell them that BBM is just a service offered by a Blackberry phone? But I have to say; Blackberry users are not the only one to be blamed here. Every smartphone user (which is over 70% of the mobile phone users, thanks to Karbonn mobile doing an Ambani with the Smartphone market) wants to do a check-in (I’m know one person who’ll be grinning the most after reading this paragraph ripping a Blackberry).
In fact, just the other day I remember seeing this person do 3 check-in’s in less than 10 hours and all of them were airports. Not one check-in spoke about some special place/landmark at all. I mean, what was the idea of that? Did he/she just want to show that they only fly and consider other means of transport inferior? Again the Indian ideology, of yearning for acceptance, identity and publicity seems like a bottomless pit (again all of us, including me are a part of this. Just that a few of us are considerate enough to accept our shortcomings and try to do better).

I can go on and talk about a zillion such instances. But I think I’ll save that for later. For now, if you’re wondering where the idea of writing this article came from, well credit has to go to a friend of mine, Rishabh. Just the other day, we were driving down to get some food and suddenly he proclaimed (unknowingly though) “Dude! Look at those poor people walking in a line. They seem so amused with this half constructed flyover. Maybe they’re from a remote village or something”. For those who didn’t get it, well he was referring to a bunch of so-called photographers going on a photowalk. They were gazing at a half made flyover, as though they’d just discovered a Pablo masterpiece (Ay, Carumba!).

Like I always say, everyone deserves to have an opinion. So you are free to infer what you want from these little thoughts that I’ve penned/typed down? But do let me know, as it’s always nice to listen to a different perspective.