The Curious Case of Being Modern

It isn’t easy being “modern” these days. There are umpteen trends to closely follow, contradictory statements to endorse and, of course, a fair bit of money to burn. Disbelieving, are you? Read on.

For starters, you can’t be modern if you haven’t heard of Humpty Sharma’s bride. You haven’t eh? Hell, you are probably from another planet. In a parallel world, you are ancient if you are still hooked on to Hindi cinema. Worse still, if you watch Hindi sitcoms. What have you achieved in life if you aren’t updated with the latest seasons of American people hustling and bustling in a cleaner world?

Similarly, the colour orange went out of fashion ages ago. Amber, however, is in. Purple might be out too, now replaced by mauve. Just when you decided to beat them modernists in the race, and packed your wardrobe with the latest “in” colour, whoosh! That went out too. Just try walking into a Delhi mall wearing your dowdiest clothes in colours of the “last century”. It is immensely entertaining to see women vying for the #1 Modern title, wearing the skimpiest clothes heedless of how they look in them. It is then that you truly achieve what is popularly called detachment or nirvana.

This dilemma over modernity is true for the workplace too. Lately, you are called modern if you leave work on time. You know, if you are tuned in to the work-life balance school, the kind that believes in “smart”, as opposed to hard work. Now, when it comes to the implementation of the same, you might just need to risk your modernity for more err, pressing needs like deadlines, “team accountability”, collaborative responsibility, and other such scary demons. The impact on the new employee? He loses his mind, and eventually comes to believe that’s the norm.

Modernity is elusive. You may run behind it, but it will outrun you each time.  I avoid this kind of running. It is an out-of-this-world feeling to halt. Watch an evening go by, the birds fly home. I enjoy my antediluvian existence, hobnobbing with the plants in comfortable clothes. This way, when the flood comes – as I bet you it will – I will not find it difficult to run.

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10 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Being Modern

  1. Ah. Modern is as modern does. I’m fascinated by how people need other people to establish they are people. And God help those who are so out of it! The need to conform and be seen conforming is probably the greatest of needs in today’s world. But when you stop being that way, and are different, it is indeed truly liberating! Having been a non conformist for a large part of my life, I know how it is 🙂 Modern or not – it is about finding what you are comfortable with I think 🙂

    I think most of my comment is off topic, but I loved the way you spoke of how comfortable you are with what you do! Kudos to you!

    • Usha di, I can see where you are coming from. This excessive need to conform only ends up confusing and frustrating the one who tries too hard. How many groups will you conform to? What are the parameters to define which group is “cooler” and hence more worthy of being conformed to? 😛
      Haha, I totally enjoyed your comment and echo what you put very deftly: Modern or not – it is about finding what you are comfortable with I think 🙂
      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I am very interested to know the trigger behind this post of yours. Modernity is illusion really. Trends and new cultural wave trying to find it they can survive in this ever changing world. If they survive they become classic and if they don’t they vanish without a trace. Classic is always here to stay and never goes out of fashion- be it your conservative black suit, a kanjeevaram sari and even manners!!!

    • Anita, let me connect with you separately on the trigger for this post. 😛 😛
      I completely agree with you – modernity is indeed an illusion. You can never beat the classics – in fashion, in literature, in cinema, and as you said, even in manners. We need to appreciate the diversity of our world and the fact that everyone has varied tastes. Perhaps then, all this mad running after something imaginary can stop.

  3. that’s why i never bother about fashion , I buy and wear what I like 🙂 easy peasy .. and I dont think one shud follow the ad’s they are usually deceiving..

    whattttttt is orange out of fashion oh nooo.. I jsut bought a turban of that color 😦
    I am planning ot grow my hair and start wearing a turban again .. It is in FASHION these days he he he he

    • Sorry about your orange turban! 😦 See, this is why you should have visited Saddi Delhi before purchasing that one… 😛 😛
      I love your attitude on this, Bikram. Easy peasy is the way to go. To hell with what the world – especially, the commercial side of it – thinks. Cheers. 🙂

  4. Hey! Guess I belong to the old guard in believing professionalism is not a lost term, being accountable matters the most. I am a self confessed Hindi movie buff and not easy being modern is true as advertisers keep hurling all kinda stuffs to confuse us. And, they say, our gen got everything easy!!!

    • You bet Vishal. Advertisers are out to confuse, intimidate and scare us – heck, I sound like a scaredy-cat. 😛 But seriously, there are tonnes of people who take TVCs too seriously for their own good. I agree with you on professionalism – wish there were more people who thought like you on that. 🙂
      Yes, our generation definitely doesn’t have it easy. We just force ourselves into believing a lot of hogwash.

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