More Things, October 18, 2012
Taken together, it is a relaxed, delightful experience that (if you squint a bit) recalls the Kantian notion of the beautiful: that at its best, and divorced from specific contexts, art excites and enlivens the imagination. But beyond the intellectual satisfaction of the audio-visual spectacle, joy often just creeps up on you.
Walking is different than biking or driving down a street. Heads stuck in smartphones, we miss the humanity of the scenes we pass. Yet using that same technology we can call up with atomic granularity the time and place of a meeting with a dear friend years back. Sometimes those two spaces collide—technology creating an almost psychic, projected awareness of the here and now.
What, then, is new in the new India? People have somewhat more mobility, and correspondingly greater ability to reinvent themselves, constructing identities that tradition has not handed them…thus the promise of mobility, while creating real exit options from desperate situations…also gives rise to despair when the promise is snatched away.
The upshot of many books on writing seems to be: Write, write a lot. When you are done writing a lot, write some more. I wonder if this is always the best route to the creation of something enduring. Am I alone? Or do you find yourself longing to escape from a daily tsunami of words? What if people wrote less and paid attention more?