Postcolonial Winters

Friends and countrymen got married this winter in the midst of silks and cocktails. This made for weeks of Facebook voyeurism coupled with me-and-my-cats paranoia. Also triggered off an academic question about the factors involved in the concurrent happening of stable job, home loan, first car, love, foreign travel in the winters of one's being the age-group of 28-30. The fulfilling of life lived in the manner that our day and age require of us, is indeed a compelling drive-force. What is it that requires the accomplishment of material, professional and emotional stability all in one time-capsule as one heads towards a gratified thirty? If two freelance hunger journalists, or struggling artists get married, it does not make for very nice Facebook celebration of them having Lived. A divorced 28-year-old law-firm-partner would only give out the Facebook signal of being emotionally messed up, losing track of the right things of life. Professional and emotional stability is writ large on Facebook wedding narratives.

What is also writ in slightly smaller font is that everyone is their own person. Comfortable in their individual and communal skins. They know what they want in their partner, they know how much gold to wear at their pre-wedding cocktail, they know that holidaying in Switzerland is not much cooler than being hidden away in Uttarakhand. These are narratives of confident postcolonial completeness. Complete with kitch, silk, Silk Cuts, sepia, literature, film, chai, love, enough-money, happiness. And anxiety and ennui in their perfect measures. Vulnerability of the kind that Cadbury Diwali family advertisements portray. The Facebook-happy postcolonial, cosmopolitan citizen knows how to live outside the mad anxious race. She is not pushed around by her family to get married to the same-caste software engineer. She is not a victim of dowry, neither alienation. She does not crave Freedom-on-a-banner, as she takes for granted its warm wintry caress. She loves solitude as she has just enough community and camaraderie. She travels with abandon as she knows home awaits. She is the picture of contentment. She loves the Other as she knows the Self is doing quite well.She loves doubt as she knows certainty. She loves being witnessed in all her completeness. On Facebook. Or he.

So this is not just a time of families flying down to joke in the winter sun. Not just winter of bourgeois niceties. Or bickerings over dowry. These are not times of homecomings of Hazaaron-khwaishein-aisi defeats. Neither are these homecomings of bugled conquests. This is a winter of fruition and completion. Joy, excitement, comfort, warm, fuzzy all packed in a photo album that conveys enough satisfaction of wants makes one happy. In a real way that great philosophers could never quite capture.

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