Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Colourfully black and white

'What would you like to see in glorious colour', was one of the question I read somewhere. It was the tagline for a blogging competition asking the readers to suggest things that are black and white and ones which they would like to see in colour. Intrigued and puzzled – my mind tried to visualize all the ‘possible’ black and white’ things that exist in the world. I even googled on the net to find out what all black and white things that existed. I came across some animals like zebras, elephants, dolphins, penguins which are blessed with black and white colour, whilst other animals have been assigned a different colour for each one. Images of the yin yang too flashed on the screen. Also some images of beautiful black and white photography with landscapes and portraits made their presence felt.

Glancing through all the images, I tried to figure out which one of these would look great in colour. Recollecting all the good old movies, I tried to scratch my head to remember all the amazing movies being made in black and white. From Satyajit Ray to Billy Wilder’s films – a long list of memorable classics ran through my mind. My imaginative mind started looking at most of these in its colourful avatars. I couldn’t definitively stumble upon one movie which I could single out to be made in colour.

I realized one fact in my process of this research that – each colour is unique and has its own associative value. The way each thing has its own definite value and characteristic – it should  not be replaced with anything else. As being original has a charm of its own – a remixed version doesn’t always garner attention.

Emphasizing on this realization I questioned myself – how would a multi colour stripped zebra will look like? How will a red and white dolphin seem while swimming ,a chess board has its identity because of the use of two colours. Will a colourful version of black and white classic like ‘Chalti ka naam gadi’ create any difference? The answer was a strict no. I realized that as much as each thing has its definitive value – each colour too has its purpose. Why do we need to add colour to every thing black or white? Why can’t it have its own appeal? I believe all the black and white things do have their own magic which makes them stand apart from the colourful counterparts. Because of this fact, there are attempts to make colourful objects seem black and white.

Photographers purposely shoot some objects in black and white, most of the cameras come with a black and white mode. Being black and white shouldn’t be considered passé, it is sometimes the ‘in-thing’. Our printers too come up with ‘black and white’ versions, to ‘save colour’.

A right colour at right time in right proportion makes the difference. Instead of saying black and white – one should say its colourfully black and white.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Games limited

          "What does Sameer do in the summer vacation" was my question to my friend, inquiring him about his son’s plans for the vacation? Without any hesitation he replied , "he plays video games on his play station all day. That’s what most of the kids do", was his justification for the same. This answer took me aback for a while. 80 days of vacation and most of today’s children spend at home fiddling with these mechanical gadgets. The only fun they get is by hitting a virtual enemy, winning a virtual car race, building up some castles and battlegrounds as part of some gaming exercises on these devices.

          Pondering upon this issue – I tried to compare the nature of games existed earlier than the ones prevalent today. I tried to enquire whether the social set up and the civilization pattern is leading to such a kind of habit amongst the kids. Nuclear family structure and a busy lifestyle takes a toll on the children unknowingly. The charm of a ‘summer vacation’ seems to have faded now. Earlier, the summer vacations were synonymous with a visit to a village, hometown of either of the parents, playing the fields, mud, water, binging on food, sleep and more. Hanging out with the ‘gang’, playing gully cricket, being together most of the time was the norm. This social structure is truly changing amongst the kids nowadays.

          Now, the summer vacations are eagerly awaited to spend maximum time either in front of cartoon network, on video games and on computer games. The vacations are marred by these laze inducing technologies. The ‘summer classes’ are thronged by crowds in such large numbers that one has to really crave out space for yourself to understand the ‘teachings’ of the classes. The ever popular swimming pools during summers are swarmed by more people than the water can take probably.

          A certain tintin, tinkle, champak, chitra katha which were the lifeline of the avid vacation readers don’t have a place in the book shelves now. They are being replaced by the ‘Ben10s’, ‘Doremons’ and many more broadcasted on the idiot box. Earlier, there were no Play Stations, MP3, Nintendo's, I-Pods, Video games, Cable TV channels, DVD's, Home Cinema, Home Computers,Laptops, 
Chat-rooms, Internet, etc but still there was a strong connect. There were much ‘real’ moments of enjoyment than being dependent on these gadgets to give us leisurely pleasure.

          The aspect of the city development and the social structuring too is responsible for germination of such a culture amongst the kids. The open spaces in the city which were earlier playgrounds for the kids are getting fast replaced by townships and housing schemes, the kids have no other place than a club / sports class to go and ‘play’ in a real sense. The spaces in the townships are earmarked not to let the gully cricket make its presence felt. Nuclear family set up is also responsible for isolating kids from the ‘fun in group’ charm. Due to these aspects the parents,who have realized this take special efforts to ‘create’ an appeal for their child’s summer vacations.

          I relived the ‘real’ fun in street games when I happened to see some kids having a ball of a time on the streets – all engrossed in their game of cricket into their own ‘created’ stadium. There is a great amount of fun to absorb oneself on these ‘imaginatively created’ pitches, stumps, boundaries etc. Games like pakda pakdi, lappa chappi, gilori, gotya, dhaba aispais, langadi, vitti dandu and many more do not feature on the list of ‘to-do’ list of the kids these days whilst playing. ‘Jasti- chi-majority’, ‘time- please’ and other lingo used while playing no more are heard.

          Changing times have brought in virtual fun rather than constructive leisure for the kids. Going by the current rapid techno-gratification of the kids, there is certainly a ‘virtual’ scene of being ‘games limited’.