Imagined Reality

We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us.

As a kid I used to be scared of the night watchman. Every night, during his patrol, as he passed by my house, creating a ruckus with his baton and whistle, I used to curl up into a bundle of pure fear. I could never dare to look out my window to invalidate my baseless imaginations but my young mind painted the image of a red-eyed hairy daemon, walking through the streets in search of kids to devour. The quiet of the night and the solitude used to make the moments all the more ghastly. I knew he was employed as a guard and it was his duty to keep thieves and burglars off our houses, but the knowledge never helped me feel otherwise.

As a kid, what frightened me most were imaginary things that I believed were real. As an adult, I realize how easy I had it back then. What keeps me awake at night now is the fear that what I believe is real might just be my imagination.

The Age of Documentation

This is probably the most adorable advert Apple has ever commissioned. The warmth and EQ is very christmasy, the message is subtle and the technology and features (did you notice the slo mo?) have been sprinkled ever so lightly. It is the perfect concoction of subliminal messaging and good storytelling and is bound to meet Apple’s expectations on the returns.

The advert aptly captures (and attempts to vindicate) our obsession with documenting our lives. Today’s technology has aided, and exacerbated, this nature. Before Instagram, Facebook and Twitter existed, people drew self-portraits, kept diaries, wrote letters and documented life as it happened, but the technology available was never simple and accessible enough to overshadow life itself. You didn’t kiss such that you could take a selfie at the same time, you just kissed (and someone else took a picture and made it the world’s most famous kiss).

Granted that photographs and videos are amazing ways to recall our most beautiful experiences, but somewhere between the Mona Lisa and hashtag we began replacing experiences with tokens of memory. We are so busy capturing the moment (and making it look beautiful) that we hardly enjoy it. Every experience reduced to a dead digital copy, like a thin slice of our life mounted on a microscope slide, labelled, sorted and stored. And let’s not even talk about how we make it even worse by sharing these “experiences” to the world in an attempt to gain approval and feel good about ourselves.

On Moving Mountains

You don’t move mountains. You don’t bulldoze them with the brute force of your will. They are stronger than the forces of your nature. You erode them. You chip at them with the strength of you determination. You annihilate them bit by bit with the power of your perseverance. You don’t need an unstoppable force to conquer an immovable object, you need an unending resilience that refuses to back down. Come what may.

Police evicting Kejriwal from outside Sheila Dikshit’s house a year ago.
Police evicting Kejriwal from outside Sheila Dikshit’s house a year ago.