Not Jockeying!!!

October 12, 2013 at 9:15 AMOct (Friends, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

My visits to the old boys’ hostel increased during the end of my course. Unlike the new hostel where I used to stay the old boys’ hostel has a common loo and bathroom and the rooms are relatively small and hence the old boys’ hostel has the culture of drying the clothes outside the room.

During one of my visits to a friends’ room in the old boys’ hostel, in the corridor, something caught my eyes and I stopped wondering what my underwear was doing there! I had seen it from the corner of my eyes! By the time I turned towards my right, wondering, it occurred to me that it couldn’t be mine and wasn’t mine! It was a similar one! The same brand! I laughed at myself and as I laughed my eyes traveled the string on which clothes were hanged. To my surprise I saw couple of more underwear of the same brand and the same style. The rest, though not all most of them, were all of the same brand. My laughter vanished for it made me uncomfortable!

Why isn’t there any variety? Why is there an obsession with a brand? Why is there such homogeneity?- questions popped up in my mind!

Few years ago in an Institute that I was a part of I saw almost every student going for a similar hairstyle! That was the “in” thing then I guess. From far everyone started appearing the same. A larger number of the population there seemed to be getting high over the same food (fast food) and same drinks. Almost everyone seemed to be listening to the same music and reading the same books . In such homogeneous culture, I thought and still think, things can only decay! All of this had troubled me.

Now years after I was standing and wondering how did I also fall trap to the same phenomenon! It had not occurred to me, until then, that I had fallen trap to the same. This is what globalization does, I started to think and feel that it absorbs us without us realizing it! Globalization and capitalism markets brands and brands become standards and these brands not just establish themselves but by equating themselves with the products they eliminate other makers of the same product. Meanwhile through the help of advertising a particular brand is projected and made to believe as the marker of a standard of living and the only way of life. With this make belief and the elimination of other producers there is hegemony of one brand and homogeneity of life and culture! An advanced stage of the same would be we being left with no other option but to go with that one brand. From that day the brand will decide what our lives will be and how our lives will be for we will be slaves to the brand and left with no other option but to dance to their tunes.

Almost a decade ago at Jaipur I had heard Aruna Roy speak. In her speech, pointing at her Khadi saree, she had said, “My dress is my politics.” I have repeated her lines innumerable times when asked about my khadi kurtas. My roommate once had made fun of me saying, “baahar khaadi, andar jockey.” I had laughed in good humor! But the unknown underwears in the old boys’ hostel made me realize that for dress to become politics one needed to go deep and the it should come from “inside”!

Seriously guys. Not jockeying!!!

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