Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Globally warm, locally frozen


It is 3.15pm soaked mercilessly in a blazing sun and all that the stretch of my parched capacities allow me to think is whether it was the sun that’s gotten bizarrely hotter than ever or the ozone that's drilled irreparable.
Whatever the case, I have just attended to my compulsive shopping urge and I am comforted by the sight of shopping bags strewn across every appendage of my body. I watch my shopping bags.
Patent leather shoes - A carcass of a cow, probably named Laxmi, reared & revered, to be skinned after or before she died, slaughtered either way - Rs2500; Lycra jeans - Manufactured in a communistically dilapidating factory in Argentina amidst an impending insurgency - Rs2000; A B&W shirt - Printed in a dark, constrictive room by pre-adolescent children, particles of cotton settling inside their lungs with playful levity, something they should rather be chasing - Rs1800; Marc Jacobs perfume - CFCs suspend like helium balloons and explode like atomic bombs - Rs2500.
And like a habitual ingrate, I complain about the cruel summer, the endless traffic jam, the choking smoke and recessive consumerism and I watch a beggar-child sneak around my cab. I expect an imploring, shabby hand but I see a bunch of 5 carnations there instead. Strikingly natural (because they were somewhat wilted?). Their serrated petals curling away from the heat. Rs15, she tells me, extravagantly.
I look away like I am taught to. While she stands there endorsing those 5 carnations, all of them a greenish hue of a disobeying yellow. Taking a chance on insensitivity. On insecurity. (Flowers??? They are embarrassing!)
While the sun keeps scorching outside, the exhaust of my cab keeps emanating fumes and frustrated faces keep spitting their spites, I sit with my trinkets of abnegations, looking away from those orbs of birth. I sit there in defiance holding on to my shopping bags.
And she stands there taking a chance on hope.

Art title – glicee/lithograph depicting carnations

Artiste – Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS

url - here