destination india

Friday, July 01, 2005

big is beautiful

A recent ad that has caught the fancy of the viewers is that of a TV manufacturer who says – big is beautiful, the bigger, the better. But facts show otherwise – we love small cars, small families, small talks, to most of us small is beautiful. Miniaturization is the USP of the day, the mobile is becoming smaller, video phones have taken center stage. Yes, bank balances should be big, salaries should be big, and apartments should be big. Dada, in Bengali, means elder brother – well, they have big ideas, they try to implement them in big ways, unfortunately, somewhere down the line, some little one turns up to put a spoke in the works. We seldom come across big hearted people, everyone today is out to get recognition for himself – he is unable to see beyond the tip of his nose. There used to be a time when the catch words would be ‘live life king-size’. Alas, there is no King, no kingdom; we think big but live small humble lives. With big brother breathing down your neck and big B waiting to take the two crores plunge, we have to wait and see how beautiful ‘big’ really is.

We used to be part of one big country; there used to be rajahs and maharajas, there used to be zamindars. After independence, we introduced legislation to do away with that culture. The princely kingdoms merged with others and the rajahs accepted the mergers. Today, we are creating smaller and smaller entities so that more and more of us can become rulers. We threw away the reign of kings and princes only to renew them in their newer forms. What we see all around us are proofs that all of us want to become princes from paupers.

In a few years time, we will be back to square one – there will be reincarnations of rajahs – innumerable numbers of rajah of this-khand or that-khand, this-garh or that-garh. They will formulate their own laws – the unwritten laws of today will find acceptance in their newer avatars. The trends are already visible. The ‘big’ feeling does not seem to be at work!


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