Festival and New Year Wishes – Relation Respirators

1 September, 2009 at 13:44 1 comment

It was yet another festival in India the other week and I was yet again bombarded by “Happy X” kind of messages from family, colleagues, friends and sundry over email, SMS and phone which throws me off. Why do I have to be reminded that I should be happy on some day and horrors, celebrate it with gaudy new clothes, excess food and wasteful booze promoting crass consumer capitalist agenda? People who know me well should know that I dont believe in this shit but we will come back to that in a bit. People who dont know me all that well are tricky ones. Come on. How do you handle these messages? Think of two choices:
1) Ignore them at the risk of seeming rude
2) Reply lamely “Thanks and same to you”
No big prizes for guessing which one I go along with. Then there are some who call you. I mean, how do you respond to that? You definitely cannot ignore them. They are in your face, er, ear. As bad as this, if not more so, are facing people who sent you wishes messages (which you ignored) and awkardly getting asked/reminded if you got the email/SMS. In either case, I choose to weasel out and go “Oh uh, I, I, didn’t know you wished seriously. Were you really? Thanks” but what I really want to say is that it is none of your business of how I should spend some day chosen at random and conditioned with from early age. Let me be sad, cynical and scroogy. Humbug!
As for family and friends and their messages, it just seems to me that festivals serve some strange function. Here you have people who really dont have anything to talk and have not been doing so for quite a while (no news is good news) and the festival and the wishes messages it prompts is like this relationship respirator keeping these marginal and peripheral relationships alive. Why do we do this? Because we get to be nostalgic of how we had it good on this occassion in the past. People need this fix and strangely crave for this. It is very important for human beings to feel part of a community. But mostly, it is about path of least resistance and type in a few words every once in a while. Festivals provide that easy context.

    [edit: 20100103] The thoughts apply to New Year madness too I guess. So, I had to change title and did a little dilly-dally re-formatting with an ode to Scrooge in place

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    Entry filed under: CWorks, India, Life-Theories, Stand-Up.

    Spin on Street Celebrations of Festivals Encashing Gandhi – Ruhe, Melancholia and Fetishes

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