Thursday, 15 September 2011

On the art of herding

Much of my college life’s pedagogic moments have been spent trying to make sense of polite squabbles amongst intellectually superior historians. Not that I mind, because debates and discourses are supposed to make us mortals become enlightened soul and all that. But such scholarly debates are often boring to our spring-like minds, to say the least.

The historical debates go something like this:

Elton: There was a Tudor Revolution in Government.
Other chaps: No there weren’t.
Elton reloaded: Yes there was, (with modifications on his views, and slightly annoyed but refuting with gusto)
Some other chap: no there weren’t… and then a lot of other intellectual fellows have a go at it. (The uninitiated reader drops dead... I eagerly survived because of an excellent Professor who made them very interesting and won our hearts in the process). Anyway, such scholarly debates can be intellectually stimulating and all that, but often not very humorous.

Hence, a blog-debate was much fun to read. A fellow blogger explains with much humour ingrained with an idea of the reality that is essential, the pain in the posterior that stereotypical attitudes can be, as a reply to another post where another fellow soul of the female kind ranted about the libidos of dilliwalas amongst other things in a way as if all the stupid, men of the world are imported from Delhi annually. (To be fair, though I don't agree with the view, it was fun to read).

It set me thinking. I mean, we all do have our sets of stereotypical notions I suppose. It’s the notion that one’s stereotypical notions are infallible is what becomes troublesome to those who oppose it. I’ve come across people look down rather snobbishly upon people who prefer Bollywood movies to Parallel cinemas, (or conversely, judge people by their appreciation of Truffaut, Fellini and the likes who by the way are becoming so popular amongst the intellectuals that they run the risk of becoming massy and thus losing their aura). Or categorise the Chetan Bhagat fans as uneducated. I mean, it’s okay to not like Chetan Bhagat or Bollywood. But no one is making it compulsory for you to marry that particular fellow who appreciates all these stuff. So one might as well give the neurons some rest.

And let us accept it. All Bengalis are not fond of Tagore. He was this awesome chap no doubt, but one really can breathe, eat, drink, be merry and do all that even without going head over heels for him or singing his songs in every possible occasion. Also, all men here don’t play football, or have midnight dreams about Sourav Ganguly.

Nevertheless, however much we shall rant, India is too big a country to let go of stereotyping people. It’s like, if you have a farm with two sheep, you might name them Tom and Harry. But if you have a hundred, you might as well address them simply as that big flock of sheep. (I am not great at explaining, and this is the best I could manage). Matrimonial columns are the best example of stereotypical ideas. From the description of girls, it often seems that all are running after the same girl who is tall, fair, convent educated, of a particular caste, can cook, can sing, dance, knit, have a superbly fertile interior to top it all.

Anyway, come what may, the art of randomly categorising people shall remain eternal I suppose. I've been there, done that. But at least we can be mature about it.

7 comments:

DelhiBoy Only said...

your english is great yaar.. u shud be writer only

Caveman said...
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Caveman said...
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BasioMeusPuga said...

I feel I'm not gushing enough about you.
So, well, *gush*

Signed,
Big fan.

Olive Oyl said...

The Mutual Admiration Society you were hoping for, is here. ;)

Caveman said...
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Lost within myself said...

You have come a long way from the early posts I used to read once upon a time. Whenever I stop by, each time after a few months unfortunately, I get surprised at the change. Loved the post as usual. And can't help but think that this probably captures all the different types of people there are in our country in general!