Saturday, 29 October 2016

A catalog of defeats.

It is often said that history is written by the winners. But it doesn't do much to belittle the significance of the defeats, or so it was pretty much the case in the past. Victory beckoned glee and mirth, but defeats were not mere loses. They were often concomitant with the dignity and reverence of a fight that may not have gone your way, but a fight that stood up to the title. But times have changed and so has the meaning of the realm of losing. Losing is no longer as venerable as it was. It has now become a flagrant phenomenon often accompanied by humiliation, vituperation and literally demolishing destruction of the conscience. Defeats are no longer about the gigantic gladiator who fought with surreal rancor but succumbed to a more mighty humdinger. Defeats in the present times signify the doltish charlatan who despite using vice and venom, goes down begging and blanching, not because he didn't try, but because he was never even meant to win. 

In the past, battles ere fought among only a few and the rest of the world was conveniently classified as spectators. The right to fight was reserved for only an eclectic few and battles too were limited. Battles were fought in the Colosseum, in the arcades, on war fronts and in political balustrades. But now, we're fighting a battle, and a constant one, with ourselves, and that too almost everyday. Our battle's core fulcrum lies around proving that very part of ourselves wrong which knows deep down that we are too irrelevant to be even counted in for the great grand war. Yes, the great grand war still exists, albeit it is now not centered around ethnicity, but around the overall trend of things. Wars are now waged by bourgeoisie of countries and companies that dictate trends. And a few still make it to the war. But most of us, are still struck and confined in the meager walls of the battle we fight against ourselves. 

Look carefully all around you. People buying cars with decisions rooted not on mileage and features but on what car would make the neighbor envy and crib a little more. People joining courses not based on their own desires and aspirations but based on what the trend demands. And then there is this latest and creepy phenomenon - cataloging moments in pictures. 

During the first few years post invention of photography, or prior to that during the era of paintings, it was only considered apt for some of the most enchanting and prolific moments to be captured and enshrined in the annals of immortality. The signing of the declaration of independence, the first human flight or even in as late as 1969, it was man's great grand feat of having conquered the celestial bounds to reach on moon that was considered exclusive enough to be trapped in an everlasting and celebrated picture. And look around now. 

Not only have we far surpassed our recent iconoclasm of capturing everything from birthday parties to festivals, we've in fact started capturing every moment when we're eating, drinking, or even as much as breathing. We're capturing every moment not because we want to garner likes on social networks. Likes are not currency which could be traded at an exchange. Those likes are a way of keeping us at a safe distance from the truth. The truth that we are loses, and that we are cretinous enough to capture yet another moment of our miserable plight, well hidden in the veil of a glaring smile or a recondite pout. 

We're all losers and our biggest loss is not knowing we are one. We are living the most dreadful of lives. Not waking up by our will, not breathing at our will, not living at our will, and even not shitting at our will. None of our choices are really ours. It's either the companies who use the pretense of marketing or the countries which use the armory of regulation, which later on percolate to all strata and shape all our actions. We're marionettes in short, and just like them we're a motley of smiles, painted over dead and lifeless wooden articles. 

Look around and look deeper into what people are really doing. Look closely at the lady who is capturing herself at the contour of a food joint. She is not capturing her eerie smile and her salacious pout, she is capturing her loneliness, which is very well masqueraded by the glitter of her looks. Look at the guy capturing himself at the airport lounge. He is not capturing the glory of his travelling, he is capturing the vibes that come with the strings that are clanged to him, choosing where he goes. All of us are too beleaguered, too intellectually famished, and too physically worn out, to even notice the disparity between real joy, and one that is portrayed in pictures. The very fact that we take 2 minutes to make the perfect poses and another 2 to get the perfect shot of a moment that holds no worth, in itself tells you about the gravity of the harlequinade that our lives have become.

To clear the air, even I was victimized by this mental sodomy and remained one for years. I always avoided the Internet till as late as I was 20 and didn't joins social networks till as late as I was 21. But once I was in the fray, I was writing posts, snapping pictures, doing check ins, and all kinds of stuff on it. All this time, I was so engrossed by the prospect of making my friend circle know about all my activity, that I didn't even realize that my morbid existence didn't deserve to bamboozle anyone else, not even me. And it was only a few days ago that I realized during some introspection that I often took it to social networks at my lows, and when I was on the crests, I didn't even need it. And the fact that I was now literally living on it, was a testimony to the fact that I was now lost beyond the point of return. 

We're all losers and modern modes of communication are so instinctively built to make us feel like winners, making our view too narrow and too constricted for us to even know how badly we're injured from inside. We're cataloging the murder of conquest every day, through that good morning posts that receive the most tepid response, through that political critique which is all yours and which either attracts obsequious admiration or annihilating rebuttal, and through that perfectly captured moment which finally culminates in a barrage of likes, all from a group of more losers, who are just reciprocating by helping you stay away from the realization that you're so lost in the hubbub of universal glitter, that you don't even know that you've lost already. You were meant to be the spectator from the past or the glorified and celebrated vanquished gladiator at best, but you chose to be the winner who is so lame and tamed that his victories are too glib for even himself to believe in. And so we choose to make our lives and our times, a catalog of defeats, one that will condescend any other volume ever written, but one that will wither away the day we face the truth.