May 13, 2009

Becoming Page 3 or The Lure of Capitalism

On Saturday when I woke up, a pain seared through my body. Perhaps the weeks of stress was finally telling its story. It was tough to just pull myself out of the bed even as the sun shone through the blinds.

It has been few tough weeks. But then that’s where the fun lies too. Anyway that’s not the point. The point is that all along I had thought that it’s the prerogative of the individual to choose what is best for him or her. The societal pressures often cloud this power to choose and sometimes you get caught up in the shroud of the image you have created for yourself, not managing to break out of it.

To simplify my personal tastes, I have segmented my choices into simply two - class and mass. For example, in choice of food, I am classy. In choice of clothes, I’m not even mass-y, rather I should admit I am rather messy.

So when I woke up and looked longingly at the book I was reading on Friday night, unable to reach for it, I thought. And I felt like Stephen Hawking. The difference being he thinks about Strings, I think about Jelly Beans. Well you get the drift. So after thinking for a while, I remembered what was there in the refrigerator and thus was able to pull myself out.

As I walked along with my cycle, (of course I couldn’t make myself ride it) I thought of what my body needs. And I realized that it hasn’t been pampered for a long time now. What I really needed was a Pehelwaan from Western UP, but since Mumbai does not take kindly to the type these days, I decided to look for alternative options.

Now my association with Page 3 is through the kind acquaintance of Miss TG and Ms. SM. 10 years from today, I am sure they will be on Page 3s of TOI. My misguided fashion sense often tries to get back on track with their kind advice. Anyway as I spoke to T about my condition she suggested that I go to a massage parlour and rattled off 20 names with suggestions. So under the afternoon sun my flatmate and I left with Didi cheekily commenting that she would not fly down to bail me out if I was caught in some shady place.

When I was a child, the right to massage my head was only with one gentleman. He had the rights over the heads of three generations of our family. I think his spirit conspires with my grandad’s spirit to ensure that whenever a massage is concerned I always get slotted to another man. Frankly, I don’t mind. But somehow, I clearly do not understand how people can go off to sleep while undergoing a massage. I could hear people snoring away to glory.

And as I closed my eyes and thought, I realized why Capitalism would win in short term over Marxism and Spirituality. Capitalism doesn’t deny you life’s pleasures; it doesn’t ask you to make sacrifices. It only makes you ask for more and work towards that more. Only when we realize that more is never enough then we look towards finding our inner spirituality.

On a complete different note, a very close friend called it quits from his day to day boring and high paying job. Nitin is going for his PhD and I feel so proud of him. It takes a lot of gut to move out of your comfort zone and he did it with so much ease.


Anonymous said...

Nice!! Capitalism... right. First our comfort is important. Yesterday I went to shopping to a place which is 4 kms from home... waited for bus.. no use.. took an auto...when me and mom got into auto, buses came... but I compromised and convinced my mom by saying "Our Comfort is important"

P.S. Anon :)

Anamika said...

Let my name be ANAMIKA..
P.S. Anon

Anonymous said...

Banjo you write well. But almost always you are politically correct. I would like to read slanderous posts in which you tear the traditions apart!

ANAMIKA V 2.0 said...

Let my name be ANAMIKA V 2.0


Soumya Sen said...

You are coming full circle. Much like the rest of us. Some are living in a society where they remain blind with the pleasures of capitalism till it starts to hurt them and push them down the social ladder, while others crave for a little bit of pleasure and some freedom from the burden imposed on them by totalitarianism. Humanity is doomed to go round in circles, from capitalism to socialism and back, driven by their selfish animal instincts and circumstances. The political history of the world stands as a proof.

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Anamika - Why would you go to shop 4 kms from home?

@ Anamika v2.0 - Let me give you your answer through a post

@ Soumya - You just stole away my content for my next post. But you are absolutely right

Soumya Sen said...

Go ahead, my comment won't be that much of a spoiler.

War - war said...

My friend Nitin is doing the same! Damn, but offices will become duller if the Nitins of the world get back to college...

Anamika said...

went to shop 4 kms from home, cuz my mom wanted to buy something which is available only there, the nearest location :P

Shreya said...

The body is even more screwed and not in a good way, when it spends majority of its time jumping up and down on roads, zipping through the sugarcane belt of India. Numbers of massage parlours please.

Rohina Katoch said...

Banjo, as ususal, I am spilling my guts out laughing. Jelly Bean Theory clearly states that 'A Body Must Wiggle To The Tune Of Something Only It Itself Can Hear, Like A Jelly Bean That Jumps To A Secret Cosmic Tune, Unheard By Anyone Who Is Not A Jelly Bean."

You have done me proud by visiting a massage parlour.