Monday, January 14, 2013

Rubber band nation

One of my friends wrote in his blog that we are a Nation of Rhinos, quite evident from recent events as well. I think on top of that we are a nation who love to stretch things beyond any comprehensible limit. Let us start with our television series. One can find numerous examples where the story line keeps on stretching. To give you an idea as to how much it can stretch, let us assume that one of the stars had a baby while the series is in say its fiftieth episode. By the time the child grows up to watch and understand the series say in his/her mid-teens the show would be still running and no one would feel that they missed something. This is the scenario for say the regular mother-in-law daughter-in-law stories where episode numbers may run to even four digits. Lets take the case of comedy series, though after sometime you are forced to laugh watching them since there is hardly any comedy left. I have seen a few comedy series from American sitcoms and I find that each season does not stretch beyond say 30 episodes and the series may run for say 7 years making it a 200 episode series. And on top of that each scenario will be finished in a single episode. but if you take Indian comedy series each scenario will at least run for four or five episodes and on top of that some of the series have already made to 1000 episodes (e.g Tarak mehta ka ulta chasma). It seems though the public in this country are increasingly drawn towards 20-20 format of cricket our television directors and producers are keeping the five day format alive. This case of rubber band mentality is there not only in our television but in our culture as well. Be it ceremonies in festivals or marriages or births or deaths we can always see the presence of Mr. Rubber Band. It is not that we understand the meaning of all what we do but since it was being done before so keep doing. Somehow, it feels like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times where he is given two spanners and he keeps tightening the screws no matter what and it continues even during his break. This rubber band effect is seen in our academic system as well. I can understand if you keep stretching the rubber band philosophically beyond imagination or say literary but to stretch it historically is something I never got it. History is something that has already happened and what is there to stretch for school kid. While in school I found it on regular basis that if I can write that "India became an independent country on 15th August 1947" using considerable amount of paper and ink, I got more marks. Same is the story with our higher education in science. The common belief still exists that you have to suffer for at least 6 years before you are fit to be called a doctorate. The quality of work is not important but the time is. I can keep writing on and on like the rubber band effect and still there will not be any end to it. Amongst all these stretched scenarios the only thing short in this country is memory which for some reason does not stretch beyond ones single step. And this is quite evident from the kind of people we keep sending to our parliament year after year. 

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