Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Baggage At Home... and why I stopped subscribing to Time & Newsweek

In India, at least, the older gen tends to store things.

For who knows ye kab kaam aa jaye!

Old curtains, clothes in good condition but not quite the right size / fashion / mood to wear, old bartans and crockery, purses, umbrellas, leftover wall-paint, toys, rugs, old landline telephones ... even old lotions, lipsticks, cardboard boxes...

Don't we all have all of these and more?

Throwing it out is impossible.
Even the thought of throwing it out creates anxiety... and usually the younger generation just cannot understand this stubborn behavior of the parents.

Grandparents are a step ahead. The loving, all-forgiving grandparent suddenly roars in irritation and anger. One does not dare touch or move their stuff, forget discuss sending it out of the house (you do not use phrases such as 'throw out' with them)

We have theories too.
These old folks are of the pre-liberalization era - what else can you expect anyway.
It was a time of shortages and minimal supplies.
Aadat se majboor hain (bichare).
Yeh sab hai joint family state of mind (especially in the number of bicchonas/ bedsheets/ towels we all think we need at home).



What I blame my mom and dad and mother-in-law - is playing out.
In me. A tad differently...

And twitter is solely responsible.

My attic, my storeroom, my forgotten suitcase - is my long list of reading online...

The number of good articles I want to read - and I find & store links to - has grown exponentially in the last 6 months.
At any point of time, it is impossible to do justice to each article, so I store it for later.
Via bookmarks, stars, notes to myself... the aim is to come back and read it at leisure. Aaram se, with feet put up, and a cup of tea next to me.

It is not that the moments I crave do not arrive.
They do.
But then, so do the newspapers daily.
And the magazines. (Not to ignore the reality check of the idiot box)
AND the latest tweets with more fabulous links that i simply must read.

That I feel I simply can use productively sooner or later...

It has taken me a few weeks and months to figure this out.
Ke 'that day' has not arrived...
May never arrive.
Perhaps I should just junk it. All...
The idea of reading each wonderfully crafted article one day.

I just know I'll be the loser. Phir bhi.

What choice do I have when the day is still the same 24 hours, the body is still sleep deprived, when the schedule is still as crazy as ever.

And yet human nature - one feels one MUST do some spring cleaning... must throw something out...

So I do throw out something...It is easier to jettison overboard the riffraff of paid magazine subscriptions.

The good articles will in any case come to me, thru helpful tweets of likeminded folks I follow.
Often, to stay unread. Or to read for free.

Here's a small sample of articles I know I can ponder over / chew over/ have excellent insights and perspectives... but all I have done is gulped them down in bits and pieces as I have skim read them... and in some cases, postponed it for later...

Tom ewing....

On smartphones

Just shut up n listen

On friendship

science of retweets

And so endlessly on and so endlessly forth...

So... what am I to do?
And you know what? I wonder, what will happen by the time the next gen grows older.
Where exactly is the human on this planet headed, huh??

(The article that raises some frighteningly interesting questions is one by Clay Shirky - and this one I did read again and again.

And lest I sent the wrong signal out, I simply do love (some) articles in Time and Newsweek too! Here's one - on the anthropology of Wall Street

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