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.