…..And there's nothing wrong with me
This is how I'm supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don't believe in me…..
“Malls: Where people make believe, where escape from reality is cool, where individual identities are conveniently camouflaged in social swarms” – this is what I texted a dear friend last evening. I was at a mall with my family. It was a Sunday evening. I wondered whether the place was reminiscent more of a Virar local at peak rush or a toddler fancy dress competition. There seemed to be an odd, unspoken mutual need for all those people to be there – maybe to reassure each other of their existence. By themselves, they felt like lost strangers, but together they represented the majority of purposeful rationalism.
We went to the furniture and lifestyle store(y), then to the apparels outlet – a shame-inducing collection of what the definition of fashion (and hence society) is today, inspired of course by our own dons and divas of the film “industry”, lovingly christened by us as celebrities: the people to be celebrated (venerated?)… for what? I said shame inducing above, because it serves as a constant reminder as to what we are meant to look and feel like – which of course redirects to what certain people in certain cities of a certain United States of Assholes look and feel like – or pretend to be doing so. A one-off trip with a (predominantly non-existent) analytical mind is enough to point out the sheer preposterousness of the façade of western culture – the phenomenon that we so unerringly, wholeheartedly and myopically follow.
I shall make no pretense of it – I felt insecure and rather trivial, looking at the intricately groomed exhibits around me – many of them humans. It is stunning to see just how precisely the (window) shoppers, essentially humans, merge with the ostentatious furniture (pun intended). I am saddened at the willful surrender of the virtuous choice for the ornamental mutual (belief of) social security. I believe it is a cardinal sin to subject one’s concept of class at the sole discretion of the callous, merciless makers of pop culture – advertisers.
Malls are a vivid example of how the grotesquely gullible majority of the society is willfully carted by the scruff to a bone they neither desire nor need. Fashion provides the indulgent the hope of an individual identity in a public, by robbing from the individual precisely that. The next time you visit a mall, ask the lassie in the miniskirt and sleeveless tank top how comfortable she feels there – she’ll tell you she is just as lonely and insecure as you are (which of course, neither of you will admit). She needs reinforcement and approval from people around, just like you - but do you really need it? Trust me; life is not all a farce – grow up from the perennial tweenteens, will you?
There is but one thing that felt reassuringly like home among the maze of offensively bright colors and agonizingly bland faces – The comfy sinkable couches, and smell of freshly ground Coffee beans at Café Coffee Day, which tell me there still is hope in this world.